Blog Post 1 Joseph Wright

The article that I chose to examine was a New York Times article entitled “What Women Could Do In Ancient Egypt” a review of Egyptian Art published by Holland Cotter in 1997 originally. The article by begins by discussing the exhibit entitled “Queen Neferiti and the Royal Women” and was a visiting exhibit to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I originally chose this article as I was influenced by a discussion of gender roles that had been discussed in a few of my other classes this semester and I found it would be an enlightening experience if I had examined the role of women in perhaps the most famous ancient civilization of all time. I wished to see how this once great civilization was treating its population and determining how it might influence us today.
The article discusses that the role of women in Ancient Egypt extends more beyond the two most famous depictions of the Egyptian female in popular culture: the Cleopatra and the Fan girl. They explain that it is not a few simple roles that women filled but many roles that were high status include property owners and decision makers. The article however, does not stray away from the point that men were viewed as the dominant figure is most artwork, standing a head taller than the female in most depictions where they are together. Men are often depicted as named figures, while almost none of the women are named.
In most depictions that were seen women were seen as inferior to men, at least among the common people. In the elite of society however they were able to acquire wealth through work and were able to own land. There even existed a few female pharaohs, the most famous being the woman known as Hatshepsut, who reigned from 1486 to 1468 BCE. Ultimately the most common depiction that existed in the artwork of women was that of one that has persisted through the millennia, the role of motherhood. The article makes special note to examine that Queen Nefertiti and her young daughter are in a very famous pose both kissing the ankh, which is the symbol of life in a way showing that from females stems life.
Ultimately I enjoyed this article, It was brief and art focused but did provide me with the opportunity to examine a few of the images associated with Egyptian femininity and how it relates to the discussions in class and our modern viewpoints.