Exhibition: The Good Life: Collecting Late Antique Art at The Met now open

The Good Life: Collecting Late Antique Art at The Met showcases the Museum’s important and rare collection of third- to eighth-century art from Egypt and reevaluates it through the lens of late antique ideas about abundance, virtue, and shared classical taste.

Writers and craftspeople translated these ideas into a concept celebrated as the “the good life.” Anchored by crucial gifts to The Met of late antique art, the exhibition explores themes connected to social status, wealth, and living well in Late Antiquity.

The core of The Met’s collection from late antique Egypt was formed through public subscriptions and generous gifts in the 1890s. The first decades after the Museum’s founding was a time when profound interest in the earliest Christian art inspired scholars, collectors, and the public alike. Today, The Met continues to collect late antique art that reveals the burgeoning of literary and visual representations of a life well lived. This exhibition highlights The Met’s holdings of late antique textiles, decorative arts, jewelry, and sculpture—all highly prized by elite patrons of the Byzantine Empire’s southern provinces in Africa.

The Good Life is now open and will run until May 7, 2023. For more information on this exhibition, visit its webpage here.


Published by ameliahyde

Amelia Roché Hyde holds an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she studied cross-cultural artistic traditions of medieval Spain, taking an in-depth look at the context and role of Spanish ivories within sacred spaces. Her favorite medieval art objects are ones that are meant to be handled and touched, and she has researched ivories, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The British Museum. Amelia is the Research Assistant at The Met Cloisters.

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