The story of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s most mysterious pharaoh, is told in a traveling exhibition opening at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in March 2006.

The exhibition is specifically organized around the enigmas of Hatshepsut’s reign: her assumption of authority in a patriarchal society, the frequent depiction of her as a male ruler, the destruction of her monuments and her omission from later king lists—issues that have fueled scholarly debate since the 19th century.

Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh brings together 270 works of art and the most recent scholarship to examine these and other issues. Jointly organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the exhibition draws mainly on the Metropolitan Museum’s extensive holdings of objects excavated by the museum’s Egyptian expedition in the 1920s and 1930s. These masterpieces are supplemented by loans from other American and European museums, as well as by loans from Cairo.

The curators of the exhibition are Catharine H. Roehrig, a curator in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; René e Dreyfus, curator of ancient art and interpretation with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Cathleen A. Keller, a professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The exhibition opened at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, where it ran until February 2006, and it will reopen at New York’s Metropolitan Museum on March 21, running until July 9, 2006. From August to December 2006, the exhibition will be on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.