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"Discovery of King Tut" Travelling Exhibit

 
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:54 am    Post subject: "Discovery of King Tut" Travelling Exhibit Reply with quote

There is a Travelling Exhibit (I dont know what else to call it) called "The Discovery of King Tut" which is now in the US, and currently visiting Kansas City (its been here since April). It tells the story of the discovery then lets you wander among a selection of reproductions of some of the more spectacular pieces from the tomb.

I went this past weekend, and thought it was quite amazing. I was repeatedly startled that something was much larger or much smaller than I imagined from reading about them. They make a big deal out of everything being a true and faithful reproduction of the originals, I cant vouch for that, but it seems true. For instance, I know the outer shrine had to be reassembled inside the small burial room - and in some cases pieces were just jammed together - so several of the corners of several pieces have nicks and chips in them. They are painted over, so it seems these are there on purpose as opposed to the replicas being nicked. The point is that it tries to repro what Carter found/how he found them, not what it might have looked like when Tut was buried.

It is fairly large exhibit, but the way it is structured helps prevent large mobs from creating bottlenecks. There is an outer area with things like maps of the KV tombs, a 3D model of Tut's tomb, some of Carters watercolors etc. For many of the pieces there is audio commentary provided by a device you carry. Mine was a bit wonky - no matter what exhibit number I keyed in, it first started on #1.

One exhibit has the heads/busts of Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tut, titled "Grandfather, Father and Son" (which annoyed me), this mask/bust of Akhenaten is usually described as life size or a cast, but probably because the people then were smaller/shorter than the modern norm, it appears more like 70-75% scale. If the original was life size, I would judge Akhenaten to have been about the size of a modern 16-18 year old.

Every so often - about 15 mins - a group is let into a room where it starts. First, is a 10 min or so film bio of Carter. The audio is from the devices, I dont know why, perhaps to keep the film audio from projecting into the main exhibit area. The film ends with his famous "wonderful things!" line.

The next station is what they would have seen when they first opened the tomb - the outer area with the several golden animal tables, the white pods, and disassembled chariots. The audio commentary is in synch with some spotlights so when they talk about the "Hippo table" the spot focuses on it. No flash photography allowed, so there is not enough light to get a pic of anything they are not talking about.

The next station is the Treasury. The next is the a movie of opening the burial vault, taking apart the shrines and hoisting out the sarcophagus. At the end, the backdrop lights up with a repro of the large sarcophagus on a hoist. So, all of this is sort of in order of how Carter would have seen it as he delved deeper into the tomb. The next station is the large outer shrine, with the doors open to show each inner shrine (I left the image large, so see the link).

The walls are decorated like the the tomb, with Tut as Osiris, the ceremony etc. After this, they let you loose to browse among exhibits of the more spectacular stuff from the tomb. The exhibits have numbers you use to get the audio commentary. I confess to skipping the audio after about #7 to flit off to where there was not many people so I could get pics or just see better.

Seeing them in color and up close is better than the pics Carter took or even modern color images. I should mention that each exhibit also bears the Carter designations like 256a etc, so I was on the lookout for the globular vase (405) and the wooden box 0001k, but they only have the more spectacular stuff. I would also liked to have seen one of those animal headed tables in the open portion, but no go.

There is a replica of his mummy - little more than a dis-articulated skeleton really, so I can imagine how bad KV55 must be as a result of the additional exposure. They had 2 of the cane shaped staffs with the prisoners on the bend. Being shaped like canes I always thought of them as such, even though they are called staffs. These are nearly 2 feet taller than Tut. The Shabti really amazed me: I pictured them as 6-8 inches tall, but some were quite large, and one was over 18 inches tall; it almost seems like no two are alike, and only a few looked like him. Sadly every pic of them I took - and I circled back to get more - has motion blur.

The largest outer shrine is in the outer "scripted" walkthru portion, but each inner shrine is in the open exhibit portion. That was a lot of gold! The sarcophagus and several inner coffins are there, but laying down so it is hard to get a pic or closely examine/compare the faces. Even though they is not inlaid with actual Turquiose and Lapis Lazuli, the rishi coffins are stunning. The famous mask is mounted so you can see it, and there is another on the faux mummy inside the inner coffin.

The canopic exhibit shows how it was stored. The shrine is there, then the chest with one head lifted to show the inner mini coffin, then there are pics of the viscera.


His famous throne is amazing and beautiful. I had to violate the no-flash rule to get this. The back is very straight so the light above does illuminate it enough. It shows, but it is not dazzling. It is also small: seemingly 3/4 size. There is another chair/throne from early in his reign with his original -Aten name. This one had had lots of turquoise and lapis inlays in rishi fashion, but it had to be ornamental - the seat was filled with little rosette style rivets which would have been very uncomfortable. it was not lit or positioned well enough to see the inscriptions. The audio apparently confused some people into thinking it originally belong to someone else.

Among the things on display are a large senet board, rattlers, a large assortment of the smaller statues that may now be gone forever, a horn/buggle, a lute (?), repros of the boats, a compound bow (the outside is lacquered for the inscriptions) , and several boxes, chests and such you might recognize such as this one which is one of my favorites.. It's just a chest of some sort, but is beautiful in color and 6 inches from you. There is a reassembled chariot (even the axle is decorated), the small coffins for his fetus children and much more.

Then there is samples of the jewelry and amulets with repros of Carters drawing of where they were located on the mummy. This also includes the iron dagger. I never knew that each finger and toe was covered in a gold coverlet - sort of like finger splints - they have these and a pair of gold slippers. These are under glass and the glare makes taking a picture a challenge. But I persevered:

I know the large size messes with the way the text formats, but I couldnt bring myself to resize it.


One of my favorite things was the mummy bands. The placard tells that they had been redecorated to put his name over the original owner's. Wherever his name appears, the lacquer and enamel is a different color than the rest of the glyphs. Of course, you cant read what is under it, but it is gorgeous and obviously re-purposed. They different hue of the laquer (?) is noticeable in the display/repro:



The movie and scripted exhibits at the start are to give the average person the background of who is Carter etc and at the same throttle the flow of people into the open portion to prevent bottlenecks. We ended up getting "lapped" as at least 4 other groups passed thru. The average person doesn't try to get a good look at all the inscriptions, or look for the bows under the feet of statues and so forth though. We ended up browsing for about 5 hours and only left because it was obvious that they were getting ready to close and we were very hungry.

I am not sure where or when it moves on, but if it comes within day-trip distance from you, consider it. I'll add that next door is the Nelson-Atkins which has a small Egyptian section, including one of the Boundary Stella from Akhetaten (real stuff at the Museum, mind you), one of those gorgeous Armana princess pictures (or maybe statues, cant recall) and in the Jewelry section is the sole extant gold bead/spangle with "Neferneferuaten" spelled with the reeds facing the right way (which is to say the 'wrong' way when used in that name).


If you live near Kansas City, it may be worth the trip even if it is just reproductions (plus, we have cookies!). They truly are "Wonderful Things".
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last years this exhibition still travelled through some citys in Europe :

"TUTANKHAMUN - His Tomb and his Treasures"

If I remember correctly, there were two completely identical sets of objects, which were made by artisans in Egypt.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in the outer area, there are pictures of the various things being hand made (by real Egyptians - just not ancient ones). I meant to mention that this exhibit had been thru Europe. KC is the first stop of the US leg of the tour.

I am thinking of sneaking over there on a weekday solely to take pictures because so many of mine ended up with motion blur. Everything is quite breathtaking even as gold colored repros. The mind reels at what a 'full sized' burial would contain and look like.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And also some of the originals go on tour again...

“Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” in Japan for a year (The Cairo Post, Dalia Farouk, 18.08.2014)

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know when the exhibit will tour western states?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which? The one with the replicas is from October 11, 2014 - April 26, 2015 in San Diego (see "The Discovery of King Tut").

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Which? The one with the replicas is from October 11, 2014 - April 26, 2015 in San Diego (see "The Discovery of King Tut").

Greetings, Lutz.


Yet another reason for me to want to visit San Diego.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.tnnegypt.com/egyptology/japan-host-tutankhamun-exhibition/

Looks very interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting overview ...

"Exhibitions of artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun"

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was right, I did see that exhibit in Chicago and San Francisco.
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