“The Morgan Library & Museum proudly presents She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C. opening October 14, 2022, and running through February 19, 2023. The exhibition brings together for the first time a comprehensive selection of artworks that capture the rich and shifting expressions of women’s lives in ancient Mesopotamia during the late fourth and third millennia BC. It centers on the high priestess and poet Enheduanna (ca. 2300 BC), the world’s first author known by name, who wielded considerable religious and political power. Displaying a spectacular collection of her texts alongside other works made circa 3400–2000 BC, She Who Wrote celebrates Enheduanna’s poetry and her legacy as an author, priestess, and woman while bearing testament to women’s diverse roles in religious, social, economic, and political contexts—as goddesses, priestesses, worshippers, mothers, workers, and rulers.” — The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan’s Director, Colin B. Bailey, said, “After unavoidable delays due to the pandemic, we are delighted to be cooperating with colleagues from museums around the world, who have remained steadfast in their commitment to assist the Morgan in presenting this groundbreaking exhibition. Enheduanna’s legacy is multifaceted, and the Morgan is honored to present her story to a new generation of visitors.”
The exhibition is curated by Sidney Babcock, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Curator and Department Head of Ancient Western Asian Seals and Tablets at the Morgan and co-curated by Erhan Tamur, Curatorial Research Associate for the Department.
Babcock said, “Enheduanna is nothing less than the first known author in history. That she is not better known is something this exhibition hopes to remedy. The images of women from this period, presented here for the first time as a group, have often been overlooked. It is time to take a closer look at the extraordinary artistry of these images, as well as the way in which they reflect the contributions of women at the beginning of history. Preparing for this exhibition during the pandemic has been a challenge. I am deeply grateful to my colleagues at the Morgan and at the many national and international lending institutions for their enthusiastic support for this groundbreaking effort.”
Images courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum.