We are keeping Seneb at the Legion


The Legion of Honor is his home for eternity.

THANK YOU, Ancient Art Council members, donors, supporters, and friends.

Your generous and kind contributions enabled the Ancient Art Department to acquire this exquisite wooden statuette of a scribe from twelfth-dynasty Middle Kingdom Egypt.

Thank you for listening to our appeal and for participating in the Ancient Art Council’s first grassroots fundraising campaign. Because of your enthusiasm, goodwill, and generosity, we have been able to purchase Seneb.

On behalf of the Museums Renée Dreyfus, curator in charge of ancient art, expresses immense and heartfelt gratitude: “I don’t believe that there has ever been an object that has appealed to so many and encouraged them to donate. Seneb speaks to us through the ages.”

Please visit Seneb in the Hall of Antiquities at the Legion of Honor.

We thank the following donors who contributed to Keep Seneb at the Legion:


  • Estate of Virginia B. Landensohn
  • Ms. Lisa Sardegna and Mr. David A. Carrillo


  • Chickering Endowment
  • Michael Taylor Trust
  • Friends of Ian White
  • Martin I. and Margaret J. Zankel and Herbert and Jan West


  • Ancient Art Council
  • Charlotte and Rolf Scherman
  • Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund
  • Dr. and Mrs. Bernard von Bothmer
  • Diane B. Wilsey


  • Teresa Keller Tilden and Douglas Tilden
  • Sheila Wishek, in memory of Cathleen A. Keller


  • Anonymous
  • Ancient Art Trust Fund
  • Eunice Baek and Thomas Garrity
  • Colin B. Bailey and Alan P. Wintermute
  • Richard Benefield and John Kunowski
  • Tim and Peggy Brown
  • Phoebe Cowles
  • Rajnikant and Helen Desai
  • Mrs. George Hopper Fitch
  • Maurice W. Gregg
  • Anthony and Susan Hardy
  • Skot Jonz
  • Peter and Lindsay Joost
  • Arielle Kozloff, in honor of Renée Dreyfus
  • Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael C. Powanda, PhD
  • Françoise and Andrew Skurman
  • Gretchen Turner


  • Matilda Alperton
  • Pierre and Patricia Bikai
  • Joseph and Maureen Blumenthal
  • California Classical Association-North
  • Elisabeth Cornu
  • Patricia Covert
  • Marshall and Joan Foster
  • Jeffrey and Jessica Gaynor
  • Richard and Julia Geist
  • Margaret Gordon
  • Mickey Griffin
  • Ellen Harden
  • Donald and Louise Heyneman, in memory of John Rutherford
  • Alexander and Betty Hollett
  • Andrea Husby
  • Eloise Jonas
  • Paula Katz
  • Jeffery Kessell
  • John Klopacz and Richard Wilson, in memory of John Rutherford
  • Mary Lannin
  • George and Angela Lebedeff
  • Frank and Julie Mann
  • Peter and Helene Marchant
  • Phil and Elaine Pasquini
  • Patricia Perry and Stephen McPhee
  • Louise Renne
  • Megan Rutherford, in memory of John Rutherford
  • Millicent Rutherford, in memory of John Rutherford
  • Xenia Sanders
  • Pauline Schwartz
  • Katharine Snyder and Michael Howard
  • Abraham D. and Marian Scheuer Sofaer
  • Martha M. Steen
  • David Stronach
  • Steven and Susan Sullivan
  • Norma Tomlinson
  • Bruce and Fran Walker
  • Klaus and Ellen Werner
  • Harold and Moreland Whitbeck
  • Dolores Whiteside and Harry Hicks
  • Betty Winkelman
  • Darlis Wood and Andrew Stewart

Donors through Zahi Hawass lecture ticket sales:

  • Mark Applebaum
  • Heide Betz
  • Dennis Bradley
  • Timothy Brown
  • Lucy Buchanan
  • A. J. Cave
  • Phoebe Cowles
  • Marc Cruciger
  • Amy de Rouvray
  • Sandra Deckinger
  • Sigrid Dedo
  • Michael Eisler
  • Judy Ellman
  • Richard Euren
  • George Freeborn
  • Barbara A. Gardner
  • Jeannie Goldman
  • Gillian Hood
  • Mary Jie
  • Giselle Jurkanin
  • Lee Karney
  • Paula Katz
  • Charles Kemppe
  • Dawn Landes
  • Tim Lane
  • Mary Lannin
  • Jane Lurie
  • Holland Lynch
  • Mary Marchetti
  • Pam Martori
  • Myron Marx
  • Lore McGovern
  • Diana McNutt
  • Cynthia Metcalfe
  • Merry Molvik
  • Karen Moore
  • Michael Powanda
  • Margaret Rinkevich
  • Jonathan Seagle
  • Tanya Shepley
  • Matthew Simis
  • Marian Sofaer
  • Krista Swami
  • Stephen Tannas
  • Douglas Tilden
  • Andrea Topper
  • Felicia Tudal
  • Howard Zumsteg

Seneb has been nominated and short listed by Apollo Magazine
for the Apollo Awards 2014: Acquisition of the Year.
He is in very good company.

For details:

Seneb, the Royal Scribe

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, early Dynasty 12, ca. 1938–1850 BC
Painted wood; H 11 in. (27.6 cm)

Detail on Inscription

Inscription: The revered one, the Osiris, the royal scribe [or administrator], Seneb, true of voice [or justified]

Return to the Ancient Art Council Site

About Seneb

Small wooden statue representing the deceased were often placed in tombs from the late Old Kingdom and into the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2400–1800 BC). The shaven-headed Seneb stands in a pose reminiscent of Old Kingdom sculpture; after periods of disunity and chaos Egyptians would adopt past artistic styles to affirm the legitimacy of the current ruling elite and symbolically re-establish past glories. Seneb’s statue was carved after the powerful Mentuhotep II (ca. 2055–2004 BC) reunified Egypt following years of political instability. The highly skilled artist used the grain of the wood to accentuate the body’s contours.