Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum will open a new exhibit entitled “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt,” addressing ancient Egyptians’ “cultural reliance on cats (and dogs) in kingship, mythology, and everyday life,” on February 10.
According to an Emory press release, the exhibition will feature more than 90 works of art including sculptures, textiles, luxury items and funerary objects dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period.
Cats were integral ancient Egyptian life and culture, representing strength, stability, and power, according to the release. Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses also often had cat-like features, which Egyptians would represent through amulets.
“Feral and tame, large and small, fierce and nurturing, the cat’s duality paralleled the duality of the ancient Egyptian worldview,” Melinda Hartwig, curator of ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern art, said. “Recognizing that divine felines, for example, could be cuddly like Bastet or fierce like the lioness Sakhmet, will help visitors understand the Egyptians’ concept of duality, and how divine felines were a part of the ancient Egyptian worldview as a whole.”
Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, the exhibition will be on view until Nov. 11.