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Ancient Bronzes in the Dumbarton Oaks Collections

April 25, 2017–February 8, 2018 | The selection of objects highlights the craft of bronze metallurgy and the use and meaning of ancient works in bronze.

Mildred and Robert Bliss collected a sizable number of bronze objects from a wide variety of periods and cultures, ranging from the prehistoric Chinese, the Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Byzantine worlds to the fifteenth-century Inka Empire.

The manufacture of copper and its alloys, such as bronze, was well known in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the fifth and fourth millennia BC. The temporary display and juxtaposing of bronze sculptures that span more than 1500 years aims to draw attention to the highly specialized techniques applied by the makers of metal sculpture. It invites to ask questions of craftsmanship, use, and the meaning of these works in bronze.