On March 8th, International Woman's Day is celebrating its centenary, and the Petrie Museum is joining in by honouring Victorian writer Amelia Edwards, for without her, there may have never have been a 'Petrie Museum'.
Amelia Edwards was a novelist and travel writer, as well as an Egyptologist. After visiting for the first time in Egypt 1873, she wrote a vivid account of her adventure in A Thousand Miles up the Nile. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the EES) in 1882 to promote the scientific exploration of Egypt and its monuments.
With the help of Flinders Petrie, she started her own private Egyptology teaching collection. “I'm not Egyptologist, I'm not archaeologist, but I want my own bequest, my money to go somewhere, where I could have studied myself,” she said.
When she died in 1892, Amelia Edwards left her large collection to UCL, as at the time, it was the only university to award degrees to women.
There will be a performance in the museum of "Hers was the Earth . . . " a one-woman show written and performed by Kim Hicks about the extaordinary life of Amelia Edwards. Kim Hicks has enjoyed a wide-ranging career working for radio, TV, in film and on stage. She was inspired to bring Amelia Edwards back to life in celebration of her 175th birthday. The occasion will be marked by the installation of her bust and an image of her study (courtesy of Somerville College, Oxford), at the entrance to the museum.
Tickets are £10 for Friends, UCL staff and students £5
'International Women’s Day – the Petrie Museum honours Amelia Edwards' starts at 6 pm, on Tuesday March 8th 2011. Tickets are £10 for Friends and £12 for non-Friends. To book, and for more information, see the Petrie Museum website, or mail the PMF's secretary at janpicton [at] ijnet.demon.co.uk.