Art Collector Donates Rare Works to Carlos Museum

view of mask face

A gift from Joop Bollen, this mummy mask is a rare example of ancient Egyptian funerary art. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2011.

Collector and friend Joop Bollen has donated several important Egyptian works of art to the Michael C. Carlos Museum, including a Middle Kingdom wooden sarcophagus and a large Nineteenth Dynasty limestone relief slab called a stela.

Bollen, a business leader based in South Dakota, is a longtime collector whose interest in antiquities led him to a close association with Peter Lacovara, senior curator of Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Carlos Museum.

“When you are collecting antiquities, you have to be knowledgeable. Peter’s advice gave me the confidence I needed to be able to identify authentic artifacts,” Bollen says. “When someone gives you good advice and does it in such an altruistic way, it makes you want to do something for them.”

As he builds his collection, Bollen says, he encounters pieces he realizes are destined for a museum. His recent gift of a large Egyptian mummy mask from the Late New Kingdom period is a rare find of ancient Egyptian funerary art.  

“The only other examples in the country are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York,” Lacovara says.

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