Head of a God

Unidentified Ancient Egyptian maker

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Late Period, Dynasty 30, 4th century BCE

Granodiorite

Overall: 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of the Estate of Mary C. Rockefeller, Class of 1930W, and her son, Rodman C. Rockefeller, Class of 1954

S.999.52

Geography

Place Made: Possibly from Tjebunetjer, also known as Sebennytos (Greek), Egypt, Northern Africa, Africa

Period

1000 BCE-1 CE

Object Name

Sculpture

Research Area

Ancient Egypt

Africa

On view

Label

The smooth texture and crisp lines in this depiction of an unknown god demonstrate the Egyptian mastery of carving hard stone. Granodiorite has a hardness level of six out of ten, compared to marble and limestone at two or three. Egyptians frequently used hard stones both because of the proximity of local hardstone mines and because their durable nature reinforced the notion of a long-lasting Egyptian rule.

This fragment of a monumental sculpture was collected by Rhode Island Senator Nelson Aldrich on a trip to Egypt with financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan in 1913. It later entered the collection of his daughter, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who donated more than one hundred works of art to Dartmouth in 1935. This sculpture, however, remained in the Rockefeller family until 1999. Wealthy collectors in Europe and American during the Victorian era (the 1820s through 1914) were fascinated by the ancient world, which led to extensive excavations and a bustling art market for objects from Egypt, the Italian peninsula, and the Middle East. The Assyrian reliefs were also acquired during this period of intense interest in early material culture.

From the 2024 exhibition Ancient Narratives: A New Look at Old Art, curated by Ashley B. Offill, Curator of Collections

Course History

REL 55, Ancient Egyptian Religion, Susan Ackerman, Spring 2015

REL 55, Ancient Egyptian Religion, Susan Ackerman, Spring 2015

REL 55, Ancient Egyptian Religion, Susan Ackerman, Fall 2019

REL 55, Ancient Egyptian Religion, Susan Ackerman, Fall 2019

REL 55, Ancient Egyptian Religion, Susan Ackerman, Fall 2019

CLST 12.03, ANTH 13.01, Who Owns the Past?, Julie Hruby and Jesse Casana, Winter 2020

ITAL 3.01, Introductory Italian 3, Damiano Benvegnu, Winter 2020

SART 17.08, Digital Drawing, Karol Kawiaka, Fall 2020

COCO 26.01, What's in Your Toolbox?, Heidi Denzel and Mokhtar Bouba, Fall 2022

COCO 26.01, What's in Your Toolbox?, Heidi Denzel and Mokhtar Bouba, Fall 2022

Anthropology 3.01, Introduction to Anthropology, Charis Ford Morrison Boke, Summer 2023

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 36, The Eye of the Beheld, Caitlin Roberts, Class of 2008, Student Programming Intern, Main Lobby, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 29-March 19, 2007.

Ancient and Premodern Global Cultures, Gene Y. Kim Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019.

Egyptian Antiquities at Dartmouth, Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, February 12, 2011-August 13, 2012.

Gene Y. Kim, Class of 1985 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 13, 2000-February 6, 2005.

Gene Y. Kim, Class of 1985, Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 12, 2013-April 29, 2014.

Glimpses of Ancient Life, Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art's Collection of Ancient Art, Gene Y. Kim, Class of 1985 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 19, 2000.

Global Cultures at the Hood: Ancient to Premodern, Gene Y. Kim Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26. 2019.

Publication History

Barbara Thompson, "The African Collection at the Hood Museum of Art," African Arts, Volume XXXVII, No. 2, Los Angeles: African Studies Center, University of California, 2004, ill. p. 20.

Caitlin Roberts, A Space for Dialogue 36, The Eye of the Beheld, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Mueum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2007, ill. p.1.

John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 73, ill. plate no. 4.

Provenance

Collected by Senator Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (1841-1915), Cairo or Luxor, Egypt [in consultation with Albert M. Lythgoe (1868-1934), Curator of Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York], about 1913; to his daughter, Abigail "Abby" Aldrich (Mrs. John D., Jr.) Rockefeller (1874-1948), about 1915; to her son, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908-1979), about 1948; to his first wife, Mary Todhunter Clark Rockefeller (1907-1999), about 1961; given to present collection from the Estate of Mary Clark Rockefeller, through her son Rodman Clark Rockefeller (1932-2000), 1999.

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