Art of the ancient world provides an introduction to the styles and subjects found in the art of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. The antiquities collection began with donations from Houston native Annette Finnigan in 1931. An avid traveler, businesswoman, suffragette, and art collector, she donated almost 200 works of ancient art to the Museum during her lifetime.

Since those early days, the collection has grown significantly to include more than 450 artworks and masterpieces, such as a Hellenistic Greek bronze head, an Egyptian coffin, and a Roman statue of Dionysus.

Collecting Areas

Art of the ancient world greets MFAH visitors in the atriums of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. Glowing with natural light, works from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East include a gold myrtle wreath, a lama deity, a magnificent bronze head of a god or hero, and a monumental bronze sculpture of a Roman ruler. Among the objects from ancient Egypt are a spectacular coffin of the priest Pedi-Osiris and a rare sculpture of the god Thoth as an ibis.

The MFAH Collections

To explore all of the Museum’s works of art, search the collection.