Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs

This afternoon A, Chris, Stephanie, Mike, Brooke and I went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. A and I first saw some of these treasures 31 years ago in Chicago, where 55 objects from the tomb, including Tut’s solid gold funeral mask (The Golden Mask), were on display in America for the first time ever in the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History. That exhibit had originated 5 years earlier, in 1972, at the British Museum in London, to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Tut’s tomb by Howard Carter in November 1922.

1,694,117 people attended the exhibit during it’s 6-month run in London, and subsequently The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York began making arrangements for the exhibit to come to the United States. The American tour began in Chicago in 1977, where it was on display at the Field Museum from April 14 through August 15. The exhibit then traveled to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Met in NY, ending in the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco on September 30, 1979.

The Golden Mask that I remember so well from 31 years ago is not part of the current exhibit. Too fragile to travel, it now resides permanently in The Egyptian Museum in Cairo. No matter. This is a different exhibit altogether, but we were not disappointed. The new exhibit, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, consists of more than 130 artifacts from Tut’s tomb and other ancient Egyptian sites, 118 of which have never been seen before in the US. If you get a chance to see this exhibit, do, although I warn you, seeing these things may make you want to go to Egypt to see the rest. Here are just a few of the incredibly beautiful artifacts that we saw this afternoon. Please note, no photography was allowed in the exhibit, so all of these images were downloaded from the web.

crook and flail
King Tut's Ceremonial Crook & Flail

coffinette for the viscera of Tut-1
Coffinette for the Viscera of Tut - note, this is tiny, perhaps a foot tall

stool imitating leopard skin
Stool Imitating Leopard Skin - This is one of my favorite pieces - the pattern is almost Matisse - so incredibly beautiful

falcon collar
King Tut's Falcon Collar

Funary Mask of Tjuya
Funary Mask of Tjuya

Prestigious Dagger

Tut as King of Upper Egypt
Tut as King of Upper Egypt

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow, Judi, the things I learn from you! I cannot imagine seeing with my own eyes things so very old and rare. Heavens, I got weepy and sll sentimental like looking at real plantation records in Charleston, SC, can you IMAGNINE what I'd be seeing the actual items of King Tut...boggles the mind.

Thanks for sharing!