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Fragment of a Chest (Larnax) with Mourning Women

Culture Mycenaean
Title Fragment of a Chest (Larnax) with Mourning Women
Date 1300–1200 BCE
Medium Terracotta and added color
Credit Line Acquired in honor of Herman B. Wells for the 50th anniversary of the Art Museum, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 90.69

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About this Work

This fragment is part of a decorated chest. Large boxes of this type were used for storing treasured household possessions throughout the ancient world and were often made of wood. This chest, however, is made of clay and was intended for use as a burial container. The women depicted on the box enact funerary rituals and touch their heads in a gesture of mourning. This chest was made in Boeotia, a part of Greece that was settled in this period by the Mycenaeans. Interestingly, this kind of chest was also used as a coffin by the Minoans. Artistic and societal links between the two cultures are known, but this chest and others like it may provide further evidence of cultural interactions.

1990, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from Merrin Gallery, New York, NY

?–1990, with Merrin Gallery, New York, NY [1]

before 1959–ca. 1988(?), Collection of Leon and Harriet Pomerance, New York, NY [2]


[1] Edward Merrin (1928–2020) established the gallery in New York (NY) in 1963. Samuel Merrin, Edward's son, joined the gallery 1987 and is currently it's director.

[2] Pomerance provenance reference provided on September 5, 1990 by the Merrin gallery (letter in curatorial file). Leon Pomerance (1907–1988) was a New York businessman; he supported archeology research throughout his life and was a collector of antiquities.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

June 14–October 2, 1966, "Pomerance Collection of Ancient Art", The Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY

December 17, 1959–February 28, 1960, "Ancient Art from New York Private Collections," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

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"Fragment of a Chest (Larnax) with Mourning Women | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.