The future of gallery teaching

This morning, I was in the NCMA’s Egyptian galleries teaching a class of students at Havelock High School (which is about 2 and half hours east of Raleigh)… using our very nifty SECU mobile distance learning cart.  The class had already 3D-printed a replica of the Amulet of Isis and Horus (which we scanned back in February) but they could see the original in the vitrine next to me as I talked about it.

We also chatted about Nehebkau (another amulet) and one of the school groups visiting the galleries with their art teacher stopped to listen to me… and then photobombed the lesson when they realised I was actually talking to other high school kids. It was hilarious… everyone was waving at each other… and Emily and I were laughing. Yes, ancient Egypt is that fun!

Thanks, Emily, for taking the pictures and manning the cart!

Art in Bloom 2016 (Egypt)

With this second post about floral arrangements found in the ancient galleries, I’d like to present the two that were located in the Egyptian section.  I’m also including another floral design inspired by something Egyptian that is found elsewhere in the Museum.

Inspired by the Amulet of Isis and Horus
By Cydney Davis-English

At first, this arrangement didn’t really grab me–probably because I couldn’t see a connection to the actual work of art. However, after reading the description offered by the florist, my opinion somewhat changed. I truly appreciated her effort to rehabilitate the name of this Egyptian deity…. Let’s face it, when we hear the name ‘Isis’ in the media these days, the great Egyptian goddess is not what comes to mind. Unfortunately.

Inspired by the Face from a Wooden Coffin
By Sherri Suttle

In terms of flowers, this is not really what I would associate with an Egyptian coffin. I think it might be because the colours are so dark. They are usually so much more vibrant than that…  The design is not bad per se, but it doesn’t feel very Egyptian to me.  However, the ‘Kiss of Death ginger’ sparked a conversation between me and my friend Corey and complete strangers.  None of us knew what the heck ‘Kiss of Death ginger’ was!  It’s that think that looks like a pine cone.  We actually had to Google it. In a way, the name of that plant (if not the plant itself) was fitting for a coffin!
And now the Egyptianizing surprise I mentioned above. This can be found in the European galleries…

Inspired by the Banquet of Cleopatra and Antony
By Julie Vaughan

My first view of this particular floral arrangement was the back of it (photo on the left).  And I did not like it!  However, as I went around to see the front I realised the back was much better… because I really, really did not like the recto (photo on the right).  I have come to realise that I don’t particularly like when flowers with short stems are crammed together like sardines.  What I did find amusing, though, is that when you look at the verso of the arrangement, you see another picture of Cleopatra. Take a look a the picture on the left and you’ll see in the background our friend Cleo about to dunk a pearl in her cup of vinegar. (Yes, we have two paintings of Cleopatra in that one gallery of the Museum.)

Egyptology, distance learning and Walter Magazine

A short article appeared in Walter Magazine about a distance learning project I have been working on at the Museum with my colleague Emily K. in the Education department.  Emily is the one developing the programme and my role is to provide content for these fantastic learning opportunities… the Egyptian collection has great material!

Emily and I had been discussing for a while, but it all really started in February when we went to the Hunt Library at NC State University. Tom, our chief art handler, joined us to pack and safely manipulate the objects for us and my car served as the artefact-mobile to get us to the university, where we met up with Adam Rogers to have two faïence amulets 3D scanned. We had great fun and it was a learning experience even for us! (Thank you, Adam!) I’m including some photos of the scanning session below, but read the article to find out what we do with these scans of the Amulet of Nehebkau and the Amulet of Isis and Horus!