Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Egyptian Gems at the Freer

Read Express

WHEN CHARLES LANG FREER was scouring the shops of Cairo's antiquities dealers a century ago, two falcon sculptures, pictured above, caught his eye. The "two great stone Hawks," he wrote at the time, "would nobly defend my little group of Egyptian art when permanently housed."

While amassing 1,400 items might seem a gigantic feat, Freer's Egyptian collection is fairly modest, with some of the best on display in a tiny room on the east side of the Smithsonian museum that bears the art collector's name. While most internationally regarded museums with Egyptian collections will show off a giant sarcophagus or two, or a golden funerary mask, the Freer has a fascinating showcase of small glass objects, including vessels, beads and amulets, which you could easily miss when strolling through its galleries. But if the Freer's Egyptian gems catch your eye, you could easily spend an hour surveying the array of diminutive but fascinating objects.

See the above page for more. The Freer Sackler Collection can be found online:
There are some gorgeous photographs on this page - click the thumbnail to see the full-sized image.

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