Aruz, Joan

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Research Topic: Marks of Distinction: Seals and Cultural Exchange between the Aegean and the Orient ca. 2600-1360 B.C.

Dr. Aruz is a Curator in Charge of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has worked for the last twenty-seven years. During that time she has focused attention on cultures in contact in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East and has mounted a number of special exhibitions around this theme. Among them are Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus (2003) and Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. (2008), both with extensive catalogues. Like her most recent exhibition, Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age (2014) and its catalogue, these works focus on cross-cultural encounters and their impact on the visual arts. Dr. Aruz pursued her doctoral studies at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and an adaptation of her 1986 dissertation was published in 2008 as Marks of Distinction: Seals and Cultural Exchange Between the Aegean and the Orient (ca. 2600–1360 B.C.). She has written many articles on both stamp and cylinder seals and their significance for understanding the complexities of intercultural exchange.