Exhibition Information

MASTERS OF FIREMasters of Fire

Copper Age Art from Israel

February 13, 2014 - June 8, 2014

This exhibition is now closed.
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In 1961 Israeli archaeologists discovered over 400 copper objects at Naḥal Mishmar in what was to become known as the Cave of the Treasure. These copper objects were so spectacular that they define an era in Southern Levantine history now known as the Copper Age (4500–3600 bce). Masters of Fire: Copper Age Art from Israel explores this “metallurgical revolution” and the accompanying social and cultural changes through a series of unprecedented loans from one of the greatest hoards of antiquity. It also presents the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of other archaeological discoveries from this period—anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ossuaries, technically elaborate wool and linen textiles, and exceptionally rendered figurines. When viewed together, these objects reveal a dynamic world whose technological advancements revolutionized art and society.


Masters of Fire: Copper Age Art from Israel has been organized by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and the Israel Antiquities Authority in collaboration with the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and has been made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation. Major funding provided by the David Berg Foundation and Michael and Judy Steinhardt. Additional funding provided by the Selz Foundation, Jonathan and Jeanette Rosen, Frederick and Diana Elghanayan, the Achelis Foundation, and Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.