Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

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

Introduction by Dr. Renee Dreyfus, Curator in Charge of Ancient Art and interpretation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and curator of the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the de Young through Sunday, 28 March. The burial of King Tutankhamun has continued to amaze. When confronted with such a huge amount of high quality, high cost burial goods, one of the first questions asked is: Why was there such intense and systematic preparation for the burial of the Egyptian king and elite? Why did the ancient Egyptians participate in so much conspicuous consumption—all for death? Why did they bury so much gold in a hole in the ground, never to be seen again? In fact, intense preparation for burial could mirror human preparation for one's inevitable death, in a way that Americans might find wholly unfamiliar. This lecture will address how Egyptian materialism encapsulates preparation for death, on a spiritual and on a very practical level. It will also confront the topic of race in ancient Egypt. Was King Tut black, white, or neither? And why do we care so much in the United States about his racial identity?

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.



Why We Care about King Tut: Gold, Death, and Race

Koret Auditorium, de Young

Dr. Kara Cooney

Free to the public


Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events


The Saga of Queen Zenobia and the Oasis City of Palmyra


A New Look at Ancient Nubia: Magic and Mystery on the Nile


On the Road from Persepolis


Deciphering Demons: Underworld Figures in Egypt and Etruria

Thank you for helping us acquire our first Egyptian royal portrait—a carved limestone relief of Ptolemy I Soter

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.

May 7, 2021 - August 29, 2021