Assyrian Reliefs

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
These twelve massive carved alabaster panels, on view together for the first time, dominate the walls of the Brooklyn Museum's Hagop Kevorkian Gallery of Ancient Middle Eastern Art. Originally brightly painted, they once adorned the vast palace of Ki... more
These twelve massive carved alabaster panels, on view together for the first time, dominate the walls of the Brooklyn Museum's Hagop Kevorkian Gallery of Ancient Middle Eastern Art. Originally brightly painted, they once adorned the vast palace of King Ashur-nasir-pal II (883–859 B.C.), one of the greatest rulers of ancient Assyria. Completed in 879 B.C. at the site of Kalhu (modern Nimrud, slightly north of what is now Baghdad, Iraq), the palace was decorated by skilled relief-carvers with these majestic images of kings, divinities, magical beings, and sacred trees. How the Reliefs Came to Brooklyn In 879 B.C., King Ashur-nasir-pal II celebrated the completion of his palace at Kalhu by hosting a banquet for 69,574 guests, but the glorious palace was soon abandoned and forgotten. In 1840, nearly three thousand years later, a young English diplomat named Austen Henry Layard noticed an unusually large mound while rafting down the Tigris River. He returned in 1845 to unearth the remains of the palace, sending his discoveries to the British Museum in London. He sent so many monumental sculptures and relief-decorated slabs that the museum sold some of them, including these twelve ... more
These twelve massive carved alabaster panels, on view together for the first time, dominate the walls of the Brooklyn Museum's Hagop Kevorkian Gallery of Ancient Middle Eastern Art. Originally brightly painted, they once adorned the vast palace of King Ashur-nasir-pal II (883–859 B.C.), one of the greatest rulers of ancient Assyria. Completed in 879 B.C. at the site of Kalhu (modern Nimrud, slightly north of what is now Baghdad, Iraq), the palace was decorated by skilled relief-carvers with these majestic images of kings, divinities, magical beings, and sacred trees.

How the Reliefs Came to Brooklyn

In 879 B.C., King Ashur-nasir-pal II celebrated the completion of his palace at Kalhu by hosting a banquet for 69,574 guests, but the glorious palace was soon abandoned and forgotten. In 1840, nearly three thousand years later, a young English diplomat named Austen Henry Layard noticed an unusually large mound while rafting down the Tigris River. He returned in 1845 to unearth the remains of the palace, sending his discoveries to the British Museum in London. He sent so many monumental sculptures and relief-decorated slabs that the museum sold some of them, including these twelve reliefs. In 1855, the expatriate American Henry Stevens purchased the reliefs and shipped them to Boston. Unable to raise funds for the reliefs there, he sold them to James Lenox for the New-York Historical Society. In 1937, the Society lent them to the Brooklyn Museum and in 1955, Hagop Kevorkian, the New York collector and dealer, donated the funds to purchase and install the reliefs in the renamed Hagop Kevorkian Gallery of Ancient Middle Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Other objects in the Brooklyn Museum's Ancient Near Eastern collection include works made by the Sumerians, Assyrians, Achaemenid Persians, Sabeans, and others. Art from this region served several purposes. Some objects, like the twelve reliefs installed along the walls of the Kevorkian gallery, were meant to impress and overpower viewers. Figures of gods, in both human and animal form, were worshiped in temples. A few objects, especially small animal sculptures, seem to have been made simply to be enjoyed and appreciated. Though each culture had its own artistic tradition, they frequently borrowed themes and styles from one another. Certain subjects became standard throughout the Near East and were repeated for centuries. For more than four thousand years, artists living in what are now Iran, Iraq, and Turkey fashioned images of supernatural beings combining human and animal characteristics, for example.

Drag the street view to look around 360°.
Use the arrow buttons to navigate down the street and around the neighborhood!

Assyrian Reliefs

Wed, February 01
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Thu, February 02
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Fri, February 03
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Sat, February 04
11:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Sun, February 05
11:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Wed, February 08
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Thu, February 09
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Fri, February 10
10:00AM
$
Adults: $16
Students with valid I.D. and Seniors: $10
Ages under 19 and Members: Free

First Saturday of every month except January, July and September: Free
Occurs 121 more times through Jul 29

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 638-5000

Schedule

Feb 1, Wed 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Feb 2, Thu 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Feb 3, Fri 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Feb 4, Sat 11:00AM - 6:00PM
See complete schedule

Category

Arts

Other Arts Events

Jersey City Museum Permanent Collection

The Museum's permanent collection features American art and material culture fro... view

92NY presents Bach Collegium Japan & Roderick Williams

The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY), one of New York's leading cultural venues, p... view

Sex Lives Of Animals

The Sex Lives of Animals is a celebration of the diversity of animal sexual beha... view

PlayWorks™

Feed alphabet letters to a talking baby dragon, drive a New York City fire truck... view

 

Princeton Photo Workshop: Creative Food Photography

Successful food images challenge us to use light and composition in some unexpec... view

Moving The Millions: New York City's Subways From Its Origins To The Present

On the platform level, Moving the Millions: New York City's Subways from its Ori... view

New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Campbell’s Gallery Exhibit

About the show:
Spanning 10 years of cartooning, TODAY showcases a collection... view

Hayden Planetarium

Dominating the Rose Center is the magnificent Hayden Sphere, which features the ... view