The Brunnier Art Museum’s new series takes visitors back to ancient times


Isis Figure, c. 1400 BCE, Egyptian. Wood, bronze and gilt. Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. 5.1.1

Margaret Troup

Alongside the Brunnier Art Museum’s “Contemplate Japan” series is their exhibit “A New World: 600 BCE – 600 CE.”

While the returning “Contemplate Japan” series holds Japanese artifacts from 1800 to modern times, “A New World: 600 BCE – 600 CE” takes visitors back to ancient times, allowing them to view relics from China, Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Americas and the East.

This series will hold antiques from people who walked the Earth over 14 centuries ago. It is a common misconception that ancient civilizations consisted of scattered villages. In reality, incredibly large cities, which held over 1 million people in population, were common during these times. 

The surviving artifacts from such cities tell historians the hundreds or thousands of years of history that have yet to be discovered. Technologies and arts from these time periods were burgeoning, as “A New World: 600 BCE – 600 CE” acts as a peek into illustrious times gone by.

Serving as an attempt to expand modern audiences’ horizons as to what life was like in ancient civilizations, “A New World: 600 BCE – 600 CE” will remain a permanent addition to the Brunnier Art Museum. This series was curated by the 2019-20 Fellow Sarah Bartlett, a senior in anthropology, political science and classical studies.  

The Brunnier Art Museum is open from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Monday and Tuesday visits are by appointment only and are limited to groups larger than five people. Facial coverings are required upon entry. Click here to schedule a tour.