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The conquests of Alexander the Great transformed the ancient world, making trade and cultural exchange possible across great distances. Alexander's retinue of court artists and extensive artistic patronage provided a model for his successors, the Hellenistic kings, who came to rule over much of his empire. For the first time in the United States, a major international loan exhibition will focus on the astonishing wealth, outstanding artistry, and technical achievements of the Hellenistic period—the three centuries between Alexander's death, in 323 B.C., and the establishment of the Roman Empire, in the first century B.C.
This exhibition will bring together some 264 artworks that were created through the patronage of the royal courts of the Hellenistic kingdoms, with an emphasis on the ancient city of Pergamon. Examples in diverse media—from marble, bronze, and terracotta sculptures to gold jewelry, vessels of glass and engraved gems, and precious metals and coins—reveal the enduring legacy of Hellenistic artists and their profound influence on Roman art. The ancient city of Pergamon (now known as Bergama, in present-day Turkey) was the capital of the Attalid Dynasty that ruled over large parts of Asia Minor.
The exhibition represents a historic collaboration between The Met and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, whose celebrated sculptures will comprise approximately one-third of the works on view. Numerous prominent museums in Greece, the Republic of Italy, other European countries, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United States will also be represented, often through objects that have never before left their museum collections.
Exhibition overview from the museum website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World, is a splendidly illustrated volume that examines the rich diversity of art forms — including sculpture in marble, bronze, and terracotta; gold jewelry; engraved gems; and coins —throughout the Hellenistic kingdoms of ancient Greece, and especially in the great city of Pergamon (in present-day Turkey). Featuring more than 250 objects from major museums around the world, including the renowned collection from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and essays by an international team of specialists, this book describes the historical context in which these sumptuous works of art were created, and provides a new understanding of this period of masterful artistic accomplishment.