Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Exhibition: Pharaoh - King of Egypt

Culture 24 (Nick Owen)

With 2 lovely photographs.

Exhibition: Pharaoh: King of Egypt, Great North Museum: Hancock until September 25 2011

The North East’s premier museum, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle, is hosting the largest ever UK touring exhibition of ancient Egyptian artefacts this summer.

The British Museum touring exhibition Pharaoh: King of Egypt sees the entirety of ancient Egyptian history brought to life in over 130 objects.

A diverse range of artefacts from the British Museum’s world-class collection explores the myths and real life realities of Egyptian Kinship.

Many of the objects display the images of the pharaohs they would have wanted us to see: the all-powerful military leaders descended from Ra, intermediaries between the gods and their people.

Yet, as the exhibition seeks to uncover, the realities of Egyptian Kingship were often very different.

The Guardian
, UK

The exhibition Pharaoh: King of Egypt has just opened at the Great North Museum in Newcastle tomorrow. It's free and on there until September 25th before going on tour to Dorchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol over the next two years.

With over 130 works from the British Museum, many of which have never been seen outside London before – and many of which aren't usually on display even there – the show claims to be the largest ever UK exhibition of ancient Egyptian artefacts on loan from the BM. Neil MacGregor, the BM's eximious director and presenter of Radio 4's "History of the World in One Hundred Objects" , accurately stated that "this exhibition is a fantastic example of collaboration between the British Museum and its partners across the UK." His colleague Dr Neal Spencer, the curator of Egyptology and Sudan at the BM, told me today:

The Act of Parliament establishing the British Museum in 1753 says it is "for all curious people", not just curious people in the capital, and this exhibition is a great way of using our collection and making sure different audiences across the country can see it.

Ancient Egyptian gilded mask Ready for a night on the town - an ancient Egyptian gilded mask. Photograph: British Museum/PA

One of the fascinating aspects of the exhibition is the way that it shows how Egyptians absorbed and assimilated foreign rulers. As Dr Spencer said, "Egypt was under foreign rule for centuries – Nubians, Persians, Libyans, Romans and Macedonians all provided Pharaohs and all of them, in Egypt at least, respected local traditions and gods." Tiberius, the emperor at the time of Christ's crucifixion, is represented here by a round-topped sandstone stela that shows him in classic pharaonic dress with a winged sun-disk kneeling before a couple of gods and with his name translated into hieroglyphs, recording the reconstruction of some flood-damaged temples at Karnak.

1 comment:

AliceG said...

Wish it would come to the USA. Sounds great.