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Africa & Byzantium at The Met

Andrea Achi, Metropolitan Museum of Art

December 7, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Department of Art &Archaeology, Index of Medieval Art

Art history has long emphasized the glories of the Byzantine Empire (circa 330–1453), but less known are the profound artistic contributions of North Africa, Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, and other powerful African kingdoms whose pivotal interactions with Byzantium had a lasting impact on the Mediterranean world. Bringing together a range of masterworks—from mosaic, sculpture, pottery, and metalwork to luxury objects, paintings, and religious manuscripts—The Met’s exhibition, Africa & Byzantium, recounts Africa’s central role in international trade and cultural exchange networks. With artworks rarely or never before seen in public, the exhibition sheds new light on the staggering artistic achievements of medieval Africa.

In this lecture, Met Curator, Andrea Myers Achi, will present an overview of the main themes and key loans of her exhibition, which opens on November 19th, 2023. She will also share the process of developing a large-scale loan exhibition that builds on The Met’s legacy of groundbreaking exhibitions on Byzantium.

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