Eureka! I found it!

I spent some time today doing online research regarding a sculpture in the holdings of the Museo archeologico nazionale in Naples. Actually, I was trying to determine if the work in question was actually on view in the galleries or in storage. Having the inventory number, I was able to find the sculpture on the museum’s image database; however, it didn’t say where the work was located specifically within the museum. (This something that few museums seem to have on their website, but it is so useful when doing collection research!)

Now with the name of this sculpture in Italian, I tried a image search on Google. I found it on several Italian sites dedicated to the promotion of Italian cultural heritage. I could only surmise that because the work was found on those sites it would be available for visitors to discover. However, those sites gave me the impression that the Farnese collection was exhibited as a group and I knew the statue was in that collection (I’ve never been to Naples, so I have no prior knowledge of this museum’s layout). Since nothing was coming up on that work specifically, I thought I would look up general shots of the museum’s Farnese galleries that people had put online. The Farnese collection is famous and one of the reasons why people visit the museum (another reason is the secret room of erotic art from Pompeii and Herculaneum). Thus there are loads of photos available for leisurely online browsing.

After a while (it didn’t take as long as I thought it would), I came across an image taken from a different angle of one of the presumably more famous works from that collection… and there, small in the background, was the less-famous sculpture for which I had been looking all afternoon!

Online research is a bit like archaeological excavations. You keep digging, taking in all the details and clues, and eventually you do find something.

Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo)


There is a small collection of Egyptian artefacts at the Tokyo National Museum. I stumbled  upon them quite by accident during a three-day of vacation in Tokyo, after couriering a work of art in Japan last summer. I’m sharing this with you today. Just look in the Photo Diary.

Façade of the main building of the Tokyo National Museum.

Façade of the main building of the Tokyo National Museum.

La Vida Aegyptiaca

On this Memorial Day long weekend, I have spent a few minutes writing a post for my blog on the SSEA website, La Vida Aegyptiaca.  If you go read that blog entry, you’ll find out why my Dad took this photo and what has occupied me at work for the last few weeks.

Mum and I posing in front of the Sacred Motherhood title wall

Mum and I posing in front of the Sacred Motherhood title wall (photo taken by Dad).

Eight mummies, eight lives, eight stories

British Museum blog

John H Taylor and Daniel Antoine, curators, British Museum

We may think that we know the ancient Egyptians on account of the abundance of carved and painted images and the many texts on stone and papyrus that have survived, but these sources convey a formal, partial and sanitised view; to a large degree they tell us only what the Egyptians wanted posterity to know.

The first mummy entered the Museum’s collection in 1756, and for the past 200 years none of the mummies have been unwrapped. But modern technology, in the form of the CT (computed tomography) scanner, has transformed the way that we can study them, allowing us to see within the wrappings and the mummified bodies, in a non-invasive and non-destructive manner.

We can now look behind the mask of material culture and encounter the actual people of the ancient Nile Valley through a forensic study of their…

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A quick peek at the Museo Egizio, Turin

I have been somewhat busy this last little while, but nonetheless managed to put together a new page for the Photo Diary.  It’s on the Museo Egizio in Turin (Italy), the world’s second largest collection of Egyptian art and antiquities. Enjoy this brand new page (it wasn’t on my old site.)


The façade of the Museo Egizio

The façade of the Museo Egizio

Sacred Motherhood

My first exhibition opened yesterday at the museum: Sacred Motherhood, Mother-and-Child Representations from the Permanent Collection. It is a small display of 13 works of art from the NCMA’s holdings, from ancient cultures like Egypt and Greece to contemporary art a few years old. One of the works is even an abstract painting! (Its title is the only indication that the subject is a mother-and-child study). I had to dig quite deep to find that one! (Mike, our collection registrar, was of great help.)

Sacred Motherhood does not focus on divine mothers; it simply stresses that motherhood—in its various stages—is worthy of reverence in and of itself. The exhibition explores the meaning of each of the mother-and-child representations by placing it in its historical and cultural context, or placing it within an artist’s framework. It encourages the visitor to look beyond the obvious image of a woman caring for a child.

The exhibition is free and on view until December 7, 2014.