Monday, November 23, 2009

Exhibition: 100th Anniversary Celebration of Albany Mummies

Times Union (Paul Grondahl)

With photos.

The ancient Egyptian mummies, which alternately have fascinated and freaked out generations of school children and adults alike, will be feted Sunday on their 100th anniversary at the Albany Institute of History & Art.

Purchased in 1909 in Cairo by an Institute trustee and displayed at the Albany museum since then, the 3,000-year-old mummies have long been the most popular attractions among thousands of paintings and cultural objects on exhibit.

Of the 10,000 or visitors who come through the doors on Washington Avenue each year, most are drawn immediately to the third floor's ancient Egypt exhibit, where the very old bones are a timeless attraction for patrons of all ages.

"What we hear over and over from visitors is, 'I remember seeing the mummies as a kid,'" said Tammis Groft, deputy director for collections and exhibitions. "We've had people in their 80s come from across the country just to see the mummies they remembered as kids."

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