Thursday, June 21, 2012

Conservation of an extraordinary Old Kingdom plaster mummy mask

Brooklyn Museum (Yekaterina Barbash)

With photographs.

Every museum strives to enrich its collection even further, but acquiring new objects is not always possible. Luckily, our storerooms have much to offer and with new research and conservation we are able to supplement the galleries with interesting and beautiful objects that have never been on display before. Recently, we had the opportunity to conserve an extraordinary plaster mummy mask from the Old Kingdom and we are especially excited about being able to share this mask with you because it is so rare. The fragility of the material, plaster, is probably the reason for the scarcity of such masks today.

Such masks appear to have been created by coating the linen wrappings on the head of a mummy with plaster. So, while it’s not a “death mask” in the modern Western sense of the term, it was meant to portray the deceased. 

No comments: