With King Tut’s road trip hitting no fewer than three North American cities in 2009/10, you’d think the continent was getting its fill of Egyptian treasures. Not so Arkansas’ capital city Little Rock, whose Arkansas Arts Center currently plays host to ‘World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt Revealed‘, a celebration of all things Egyptian.
Beginning September 25 and running until July 5 next year, the show combines ancient artefacts with a packed events calendar, comprising lectures, films and much more.
The 200 treasures on show include a spectacularly wide range of items, including a risque bead dress, funerary stelae and brightly-coloured shabti figures. A colossus of Ramesses II is sure to be popular, as will be the fine array of Egyptian jewellery, and a royal charter, the Decree of Neferirkare, shows how society ran during the empire’s Old Kingdom.
An Impressive Events Program
‘World of the Pharaohs” events program is as formidable as any exhibition anywhere in the world, enlisting some of Egyptology’s top names to shed light on the things that made Egypt great. People visiting on the weekend can enjoy a 30-minute video featuring famed archaeologist Bob Brier, who will be showing how to make a modern mummy.
Salima Ikram, Heritage Key’s favourite animal cult expert (watch the video), will also be visiting on April 27 to talk about the history and purpose of mummification in Egypt. Even the Land of Punt, the ‘god’s place’ Hatshepsut sailed to 3,800 years ago, will get an airing thanks to the expert talents of Boston University’s Kathryn Bard. Other events will touch on the Alexandria Library, pyramids, kings and a lot more.
Arkansas and Ancient Egypt are hardly synonymous. Yet Executive Director Nan Plummer believes the exhibition will put the south-central state firmly on the ancient world map.
“World of the Pharaohs will be the biggest exhibition ever in Arkansas and the first exhibition of Egyptian art to come to Arkansas,” she says. “The art and objects of ancient Egyptian culture are fascinating to humans all over the world. We are very pleased to offer this extraordinary exhibition.
“The Arkansas Arts Center is the only museum in Arkansas that can host an exhibition of this size and magnitude. We are excited to host this major event that will put Arkansas on the map of the art world in a whole new way.”
The exhibition ‘World of the Pharaohs’ runs until July 5 2010. Tickets are priced $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 for college students, $15 for military and $14 for youths. Kids aged five and under get to visit for free.