There is a new and fun post on Circa… written by no less than an ancient Egyptian nobleman who once was a scribe! (Or perhaps not… I might have something to do with this.) Click on the image below to be transported to the NCMA blog and enjoy learning hieroglyphs with Caroline, I mean Fefi.
Screen shot of Fefi’s first post on Circa, the Museum Blog.
My ARCHAEO-Crush for the month of May is a fabulous Greek bronze found in a museum in Rome.
An original Greek bronze sculpture of a boxer at rest.
THE BOXER AT REST Type: artefact (bronze statue, lost-wax process) Civilisation: Ancient Greece Date: Between the 4th and 2nd century BCE (Hellenistic period) ARCHAEO-Crush: Greek bronzes are rare not only because bronze was expensive, but also because it could be melted down and reused. However, the examples that survived the millennia–like the Boxer at Rest–show an exceptional mastery of technique and breath-taking details. The boxer was found in 1885 on the Quirinal, near the baths of Constantine. It is a Hellenistic masterpiece representing a professional athlete. My photo does not do justice to this remarkable work of art. The pugilist is resting after receiving quite a beating: he has broken nose, cauliflower ears and he might have lost some teeth. His face is scarred and bruised, and has bleeding cuts. What is quite amazing is the fact that artist has used red copper inlays to indicate the bloody cuts and there are even a few drops and trickles of blood shown on his right shoulder, forearm, caestus (leather glove) and thigh, as if they have fallen there after he moved his head! You will find an interesting video about the Boxer at Rest on the site of Khan Academy. Bucket list status: I saw this astounding bronze statue during the summer of 2014 while in Rome. It was not on my bucket list because I was not aware of this statue (I came upon it quite by chance), but it is now one of my favourites at the Palazzo Massimo.
Additional info: The work is on view at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (one of the branches of the Museo nazionale romano) and its inventory number is 1055. Should you be in Rome, I would highly recommend visiting the museum just to see this work. The Palazzo Massimo is not far from Termini station, you can walk there.
Last week I attended a conference on the complexities of moving and displaying objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. These world-renowned artefacts, from perhaps the greatest archaeological find in history, have already begun to be moved from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to a new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, which will display objects focusing on the themes of kingship and eternity – including the Tutankhamun tomb group. International participants met between 10-14th May in various venues in Cairo to discuss possible approaches.
Dr Tarek Tawfik, Director of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project, opens the Tutankhamun conference at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC)
The issues posed by the move are manifold. How to conserve often very fragile objects that have rarely – if ever – left their 90 year old display cases? How to transport them safely? How to interpret them in…
Did you know that since 1977 museums are celebrated internationally each year on or around May 18. International Museum Day was declared by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in order to raise awareness in the fact that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” (As quoted from the IMD page on the ICOM website.)
In 2015, the theme of IMD is “museums for a sustainable society.”
After my Sacred Motherhood exhibition closed in early December, I got several requests from docent and visitors alike for a checklist of the artwork so they could create their own tour on this theme. This got me thinking and, after consulting with blog editor Karen K, I created an illustrated and captioned self-guided tour of the permanent galleries using the works of art that were in the exhibition and adding a couple of others.
The slide show post entitled Create Your Own Mother’s Day Tour was posted on Circa, the Museum blog, earlier in the week and I immediately received comments from volunteers and docents saying they were very excited about creating their own tour. In fact, the blog post got picked up by WRAL.com’s Go Ask Mom chronicle as a suggestion of something to do this Mother’s Day weekend. Cool, huh?
Last week, I travelled to Michigan to visit the Egyptian and Classical collections at the Detroit Institute of Art (Dr. Nii Quarcoopome kindly toured me around their lovely Egyptian galleries) and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
A glance at the exhibition on jackal gods in ancient Egypt (now closed).
You might recall a post I reblogged a while back about the exhibition Death Dogs: Jackal Gods of Ancient Egypt. Well, I went to see the exhibition mentioned in that post. It was very lovely and it had super cool banners! Death Dogs is a small permanent collection exhibition with a focus on canine deities in ancient Egypt (beloved by children and Egyptologists all over the world). I’m all for that sort of thematic exhibition. I like to explore new ways to present material with which people may already be familiar… the objects feel new when you display them differently, following a theme. It was nice little show curated by Egyptologist Terry Wilfong.
However, I had another reason to go to Ann Arbor. I have been hearing great things about the university, reading fabulous excavation reports by Egyptologist Janet Richards and the conservators working on site with her at Abydos, and, while attending the Nubian conference in Switzerland back in September, I had met Geoff Emberling, who works there as well. So from Detroit, I drove to Ann Arbor and met with Janet, Suzanne Carrie and Madeleine. Everybody was so nice and I had great time touring with Janet in the galleries as well as in storage, and spending time in the lab with the conservators after lunch.
It was a great trip and it gave me great ideas for future Weinberg lectures!