Ancient Mesopotamia is known for the domestication of animals, the first forms of writing in cuneiform, agriculture, and powerful spiritual beliefs that led to a wealth of artistic production. Do you believe in magic?
Over 80 magnificent artifacts from the ancient world — including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome — are featured in “Magic in the Ancient World” at the Penn Museum in Pennsylvania. Opened on April 16 and on view through April 30, the exhibition explores how ancient cultures used a variety of objects and artworks to “fulfill desires through supernatural means,” as the museum writes.
Many of the cultures explored in the exhibition addressed some of life’s biggest questions through religion and magic. Whether it was natural disasters, law codes, dreams, disease, or war, each used a unique combination of science and religion to find answers. Drawing parallels with our own contemporary culture, the exhibition invites viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and magical solutions to modern problems.
To learn more, visit the Penn Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

Previous articleFrom Floris to Rubens
Next articleStrong Sales at Christie’s
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here