Please visit our exhibitions list to learn more about past, present and future events.
ISAW’s Exhibitions program is driven by its research mission and the fact that it neither has nor plans to acquire an antiquities collection of its own. ISAW exhibits artifacts mainly for their ability to illuminate central questions about ancient cultures, especially issues related to connections between societies, whether religious, economic, political, artistic, or technological. Such investigations typically involve the archaeological contexts of objects.
The Department consists of the Exhibitions Director and Chief Curator, Department Manager, Exhibitions Registrar, Managing Editor, and Assistant Curator. Guest Curators from other institutions may sometimes be asked to curate a specific exhibition. However, Visiting Research Scholars and graduate students who have an interest in object oriented studies and the presentation of artifacts are encouraged to speak with the Associate Director about the possibility of working on an exhibition and its associated public programming. Seminars and individualized guided studies focused around specific exhibitions as well as on museological practices will also be presented by the Associate Director and staff.
The Department intends to organize a major exhibition and focus exhibition each year. The larger exhibition may include international loans of excavated materials and will be accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. It is our intention to tour such an exhibition to at least one other venue to further ISAW’s mission beyond the East 84th Street galleries. The focus exhibitions may highlight one object or a topic that does not necessarily involve object loans. Both types of exhibitions will be complemented by a wide range of public programming, from scholarly conferences and lectures, to broader cultural events that cultivate a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural heritage of the countr(ies) or region(s) with which the Department is working.