Education comes in many forms. While classroom education is important, so too is experiential learning, museum exploration and self-discovery. Many universities and institutions understand this and cultivate learning in various forms. Princeton University, for instance, has an art museum that formed in 1882. Their museum, and Department of Art and Archaeology, positioned them at the time on the cutting edge of scholarship in an era when the history of art was a new discipline. Every acquisition that they make today, such as the recent one from Phoenix Ancient Art, is newsworthy and representative of their belief in the arts.
The Museum, led today by director James Steward, is one of the nation’s most prestigious art museums. It includes more than 92,000 pieces and moves chronologically from ancient to contemporary art with concentrations on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia, the United States, and Latin America.
The galleries are continually refreshed with new acquisitions. One recent acquisition is a bust of a woman that dates from the 25th Dynasty (750-656 BC). The antique came from Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam. The way that this woman is holding her breast in her hand shows that she was an Egyptian goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. As explained on the Princeton University website, “The sculpture of Isis adds a new dimension to the Art Museum’s small but important collection of Egyptian art at a time when the study of ancient Egypt is occupying an increasingly prominent place in the curriculum.”