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Ancient Egypt & the Napoleonic Era: Masterworksfrom the Dahesh Museum of Art

(Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Cleopatra on the Terraces at Philae, 1896. Oil on canvas, 29 7/8 x 46 1/8 in., Dahesh Museum of Art, New York. 1999.5)

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is pleased to announce the new exhibition; in celebration of the centennial of archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, the VBMA presents Ancient Egypt & the Napoleonic Era: Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art on view from January 27 to April 28, 2024.

Western encounters with the Orient date back many centuries, but the Industrial Revolution developed dynamic new levels of engagement. New and better forms of transportation created a flood of travelers—writers, scholars, and, most crucially, artists—all heading to the Orient. The result was an extraordinary range of artworks with various themes and styles. The show explores artistic visions of the cultures and peoples from when Napoleon entered Egypt, taking with him dozens of draftsmen and engineers to create renderings of this country’s rich cultural phenomena.

The exhibition features 60 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and illustrated books by a diverse group of artists, many of whom were academically trained, having learned to draw and paint from life and sketch directly from nature (en plein-air). Their motivations to travel varied: some accompanied official governments or wealthy patrons, and others were drawn to create fresh subject matter that appealed to a changing Western art market.

“The Dahesh Museum has organized several Orientalist exhibitions from its extensive collection,” said David Farmer, Dahesh Museum of Art’s Director of Exhibitions, "but this collaboration with the Vero Beach Museum of Art is an excellent occasion to commemorate such important events as Howard Carter’s discovery in 1922 and Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign in 1798. Napoleon, the subject of a major current film, is 2 controversial in many ways, but his Egyptian quest represents the unquestionable genesis of our knowledge of Egyptian civilization.”

All works are on loan from the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York, the only institution in the United States devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting works by Europe’s academically trained artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Dahesh serves a diverse audience by placing these artists in the broader context beyond the academies role in reinvigorating the classical ideals of beauty, humanism, and skill.

The Museum will present a full slate of related programming for all age groups and interests, including International guest lectures, Art Talks in the gallery, studio art classes, and artmaking projects for families. For more information and to register for programs, please visit the website and or call (772) 231-0707 ext. 116.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is available for sale now in the Museum Store.


The Vero Beach Museum of Art is at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963. Directions: From I-95 (Exit 147), from U.S.1, and Indian River Boulevard, take State Road 60 east over the Merrill Barber Bridge to the beachside, and turn right at the first traffic light into Riverside Park. Parking is free.


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