As the President of the New Orleans Museum of Art, managing partner Robert M. Steeg is excited to shine the community spotlight on an upcoming exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art: Queen Nefertari’s Egypt. This momentous exhibit will be on view March 18–July 17, 2022.
As the favorite wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II (reigned 1279–13 BCE), Queen Nefertari had significant diplomatic and religious roles before her death in c. 1250 BCE, and she is linked to some of the most magnificent monuments of ancient Egypt. Artifacts presented in Queen Nefertari’s Egypt provide an extensive look into the power and influence of women during the New Kingdom period (c. 1539-1075 BCE), when Egyptian civilization was at its height.
“The exceptional objects in Queen Nefertari’s Egypt, drawn from the collection of the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, will bring to life the fascinating history and culture of ancient Egypt,” said Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “NOMA is delighted to be able to present exceedingly rare objects found within the tomb of Nefertari herself in an installation where visitors can appreciate their great history up close.”
Nefertari served not only as a queen, but as a divine consort, diplomat, and queen mother, and had one of the largest and most richly decorated tombs in the Valley of the Queens. Through the presentation of 230 objects from this period, the role and legacy of women, including Nefertari, and other great royal wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of pharaohs, as well as goddesses, are brought to life through sculpture, objects, votive steles, stone sarcophagi, and painted coffins, as well as items of daily life from the artisan village of Deir el-Medina, home to the craftsmen who built royal tombs.
Until the early 1900s, Nefertari, whose name means “beautiful companion” and who was called “the one for whom the sun shines,” was known primarily through a few sculptures, hieroglyphic inscriptions, and text-based sources related to Ramesses II. In 1904, the Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli, then director of the Museo Egizio, first re-discovered her tomb. Although the contents had been looted in ancient times, the remaining objects and the magnificent murals lining the tomb walls revealed the power, authority, and status of Nefertari, and detailed the perilous journey she had to make on her path to immortality.
“Through the presentation of this exhibition, we hope to ignite the same sense of wonder that was sparked with NOMA’s 1977 exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamun, which visitors still reminisce about to this day,” said Taylor. “We look forward to welcoming long-time enthusiasts of this fascinating subject matter, as well as introducing the treasures of ancient Egypt to new generations of locals and visitors alike.”
Presented in six sweeping sections, Queen Nefertari’s Egypt casts light upon the belief systems of the New Kingdom period, life in the women’s palace and the roles of women in ancient Egypt, as well as the everyday life of artisans, and the ritual practices around death and the afterlife.
Tickets and Extended Hours
Queen Nefertari’s Egypt is on view to the public at NOMA March 18–July 17, 2022. During this time, NOMA will be open seven days a week to visitors, and the museum will offer extended hours. NOMA members will have access to exclusive Member Magic Hours.
Due to the momentous nature of this exhibition, there is a special ticket and pricing to see Queen Nefertari’s Egypt at NOMA.