Step into the Past; Major New Cummer Exhibit Gives Visitors a Glimpse of Life of Ancient Egyptians

By Wells, Judy | The Florida Times Union, December 17, 2006 | Go to article overview

Step into the Past; Major New Cummer Exhibit Gives Visitors a Glimpse of Life of Ancient Egyptians


Wells, Judy, The Florida Times Union


Byline: JUDY WELLS

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Massive, larger-than-life statues of long-dead pharaohs, exquisite jewelry and lavish amounts of gold, mummies and spooky-looking, animal-headed gods: This is the stuff we expect to find in blockbuster Egyptian exhibitions.

"Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum," which opens at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens on Friday, offers some of that, but more of what we usually miss -- the humanity of those Egyptians. Each of the 85 objects brings us closer to the people behind the monuments.

"Temples and Tombs" will bring benefits to the museum and the city beyond a mere show, just as the only other big Egyptian exhibit to visit Jacksonville did 20 years ago. "Ramesses II, The Pharaoh and His Times" opened the Prime Osborn Convention Center, drawing 400,000 visitors to the city's reincarnated train station and bringing acclaim, new members and name recognition to the Jacksonville Art Museum. "Temples and Tombs" will usher in a new space and new era, this time for the Cummer. The Minerva and Raymond K. Mason Gallery's 4,800 square feet of space brings the museum into the realm of institutions that can accommodate blockbuster exhibits, be they organized and mounted by the world's major depositories or by a regional one such as the Cummer.

Bringing in such an exhibit is a "bit risky" financially for a museum of the Cummer's size, so museum director Maarten van de Guchte and his staff will track attendance and store sales very carefully. If attendance reaches 60,000, they will be quite pleased.

It should. Carolyn Hill, executive director of Temple and Toms' previous stop, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, said during its final weekend there that the exhibit "mesmerized Oklahoma audiences." She said it doubled sales and attendance, which was up to 40,000 people at that point in a city two-thirds Jacksonville's size.

The exhibit will look different at the Cummer than in Oklahoma City, but the objects are the same, conveying what was of primary importance to Egyptians 4,000 and more years ago. The show is divided into four different areas: The King and the Temple, Objects from the Lives of Artists and Nobles, Statues of Egyptians from Temples and Tombs and The Tomb, Death and the Afterlife.

The king, or pharaoh, was society's lynch pin, an omnipotent leader wielding life and death and acting as the sole intermediary between human and divine worlds. The gods maintained cosmic order and the king ensured them sustenance and residences on earth. Eliminate one or the other and chaos ensued because maat -- proper balance -- was key in the cosmos and in everyday life.

Temples represented a physical manifestation of this symbiosis, and each god usually had one or more. The Cummer's exhibit will echo the temples' form, with visitors entering through a pylon, or gateway, into a large space like an open courtyard, then moving through a multi-pillared hypostyle hall. It will darken and narrow into spaces like those in Egypt where only priests and the pharaoh could enter.

Priests managed the temples and daily rituals on behalf of the king and people, and cults frequently developed around the most important or popular gods. As depicted in the exhibit's Ptolemy I Offering to Hathor and Tutankhamun Presenting Offerings, gifts were bestowed, offered to the god and collected in treasuries. Larger temples were like individual cities: Priests and attendants lived there, security forces maintained order, craftsmen created adornments, workers kept stables and gardens and granaries and worshipers were cared for.

Each successive pharaoh continued or added to temple building, sometimes replacing past kings' cartouches, or names, with their own. Ramesses II, aware of this, had his cartouches carved so deeply that no subsequent ruler could usurp them for his own glory.

Visitors to the exhibit will be able to see normal cartouches on a pair of gold earrings, on the statue of Sety II seated, on portraits of Amenhotep III and Tiye and on the Lion of Amenhotep III re-inscribed for Tutankhamun. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Step into the Past; Major New Cummer Exhibit Gives Visitors a Glimpse of Life of Ancient Egyptians
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.