Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World

Egyptian collection: First floor of the Nancy Brown Negley West Tower

Greek and Roman collections: The Ewing Halsell Wing

Ancient Near Eastern collection: Fourth floor of the Nancy Brown Negley West Tower

The San Antonio Museum of Art houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek and Roman art in the southern United States. 

The Egyptian collection represents nearly 4,000 years of civilization, from the Predynastic through Roman periods. A colossal statue of the goddess Sekhmet greets visitors to the Egyptian galleries. Other highlights of the collection include a remarkable Fourth Dynasty portrait of a woman carved of diorite and a group of twenty-eight relief sculptures from Amarna, the capital city of the Eighteenth Dynasty king Akhenaten. Among important works representing later phases of Egyptian history is a large, exquisitely preserved bronze votive statuette depicting a lion-headed goddess. Intricately carved cylinder seals and a silver bowl from Achaemenid Persia are highlights of the collection of ancient Near Eastern art. 

The centerpiece of the museum’s holdings of Greek art is a substantial collection representing the major developments in Greek vase-painting, with particular concentrations in Attic black- and red-figure and south Italian vessels. The museum's Roman sculpture collection, displayed in the breathtaking Denman Gallery, encompasses portraits, funerary sculpture, and mythological subjects. Especially noteworthy are several statues formerly in the collections of British nobility, including four from the celebrated Lansdowne collection (portraits of the emperors Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, a bust of a woman, and a Cupid and Psyche) and the sleeping Ariadne from Wilton House. Another strength of the collection is a large group of Greek and Roman glass vessels from the eastern Mediterranean.


Platter with a Peacock

Roman, 4th century AD

Platter with a PeacockRoman, 4th century ADGlassh. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); diam. 17 1/4 in. (44 cm) Museum Purchase:...