Category: malcolmj - Part 10

B&W It Like Burton: Shooting King Tut The Expert’s Way

Various exhibitions featuring the photography of Harry Burton the man responsible for shooting the iconic photographs of the investigation of the tomb of King Tut in the 1920s are currently making their way around the US and Europe (or some of them are about to at least).

Theres a small showing at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, the Semmel Replicas Exhibition is in Munich (it will also visit Barcelona, Hamburg, Budapest and Warsaw) and AEI King Tut exhibitions are upcoming in Indianapolis and San Francisco.

In case anyone is looking for advice on how to shoot Tut-related relics in the Burton-style, weve received some handy tips from Ted Forbes, the multimedia producer at Dallas Museum of Art, who was responsible for some of the fine Burton-esque shots show here when his workplace recently hosted a Tut exhibition.

Its all black and white film shot on 35mm, writes Forbes. I used a Canon A-1 and a Nikon F3. I had an 85mm lens on the Canon and a 50mm on the Nikon.

I went with 35mm because I had to be quick, he continues. No flash, I shot on Ilford Delta 400 developed in XTol I believe. Since it was pretty dark, I went with the 400 speed film and large apertures on the lenses (1.2 and 1.4 respectively). I only had an hour or so in the exhibit. Burton shot large format 4×5 and 8×10 I believe, but I think he got more than an hour.

Simple as that. Read more about Harry Burton and his work here.

Exhibition photographs (top and bottom) by Ted Forbes. All rights reserved.

Escape From The Mummy’s Tomb

Any amateur archeologists with too much time on their hands who are finding Where On Google Earth tough, such as me, might find Escape from the Mummys Tomb on the World Museum in Liverpools website slightly closer to their level.

You get to guide a small, bug-eyed adventurer around the tomb of Beni Hasan in Egypt searching for ancient treasures (theres a rampaging mummy on the prowl, obviously, so look out) then place them in an appropriate display case in the museum.

While fully aware that this is aimed at younger visitors, Im not too proud to confess that I only got about 3% of the quiz questions correct. At the end you get to create and send your own postcard with a ranking on it, like this.

Has Nefertiti Gone Bust?

Shes an enduring symbol of feminine beauty, and one of the most iconic and replicated images of ancient Egypt. But is Queen Nefertitis bust discovered in the ruins of Amarna by Ludwig Borchardt in 1912 actually a fake?

Apparently so, according to leading Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin. He claims that the painted limestone and plaster sculpture is not the original, carved in the workshop of the Egyptian artist Thutmose 3,400 years ago, but actually a copy, created a century back by an artist commissioned by Borchardt.

The historian alleges that when the copy went on display in December 1912, it was much admired as an original work by German prince Johann Georg. Borchardt, who couldnt sum up the courage to ridicule his guests, failed to correct them, and the lie has stood for a 100 years, during which time Nefertiti has been on display in Berlins Altes Museum.

By way of evidence, Stierlin highlights the fact that the bust has no left eye, an insult for an ancient Egyptian who believed the statue was the person, plus the fact that the shoulders are cut vertically while Egyptians usually cut shoulders horizontally. He also points out that Nefertitis facial features are accentuated in a manner resembling an Art Nouveau style.

Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, the director of Berlins Egyptian Museum Dietrich Wildung dismissed the allegations. A beautiful woman and a putative scandal, he commented. That always sells.

The claims are made in Stierlins new book Le Buste de Nefertiti une Imposture de l’Egyptologie? (The Bust of Nefertiti an Egyptology Fraud?). The bust, which attracts half a million visitors annually, will become a major showpiece at Berlins reborn Neues Museum when it opens in October 2009.

Image of bust of Nefertiti (top) by Carlo Struglia.