Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

When the Louvre opened its first Assyrian gallery in 1847, the European public discovered a forgotten civilization flourishing in the 1st millennium BC. The empire was previously known only through the Bible, with its monuments, language, and the kings’ names long disappeared. Thus, in the early 1840s, the discoveries of material remains of their culture at Khorsabad and Nineveh in northern Mesopotamia caused a great sensation. Within a decade, the cuneiform inscriptions were deciphered. The history of the decipherment of the Assyrian language was a truly European feat, involving rival as well as courteous collaboration. Its Semitic character caused a controversy, which continued in 1877 when Sumerian, a non-Semitic language, was uncovered in southern Mesopotamia.

About Programs at the Ancient Art Council

Programs are varied and include such activities as lectures by noted archaeologists, museum curators, and ancient art historians; exclusive tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions; fund-raising events; and travel programs to ancient sites and other museums. Members also receive invitations from related organizations to attend lectures ad exhibition openings. Your annual membership dues and contributions will assist in furthering the Ancient Art collection at the Fine Arts Museums.


March 22, 2014, 9:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Discovery of Assyria and Sumer by the West in the 19th century

Florence Gould Theater, Legion of Honor

Presented by Prof. Annie Caubet, Honorary Keeper, Ancient Near East, The Louvre

Admission: AAC members: Free / General: Suggested donation $5


Ancient Art Council supports Antiquities at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.



Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

This exhibition reveals how, before Mount Vesuvius blew up in AD 79 and rocked the Bay of Naples, people in Pompeii and nearby farms and villages were engaged in typical daily activities, many of which revolved around food and drink.

Dates TBD


Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events


Dates TBD

AD 79: When Time Froze in Pompeii


Dates TBD

Rehearsed Reading of Euripides’ "Bacchae"


Dates TBD

Workshop: Cultural Heritage and Antiquities

Please help us keep Ptolemy I Soter—Alexander the Great’s general and the founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty which ended with Cleopatra—in San Francisco.

The Ancient Art Council is seeking your help to acquire this Egyptian limestone relief of a Ptolemaic king in a devotional pose. Any amount will help.