Texas debut for landmark exhibition Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, with more than 100 objects from the tomb of King Tut and other legendary ancient sites
HOUSTON, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, the acclaimed King Tut exhibition featuring more than 100 ancient artifacts, is now open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) through April 15, 2012. Visitors have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the spectacular treasures, more than half of which come from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and most of which had never been shown in the U.S. prior to this tour. These include the golden sandals that were found on the boy king's mummy, a gold coffinette, golden statues of the gods, his rings, ear ornaments and gold collar (visit www.kingtut.org for information).
"This exhibition is a landmark event for Houston," said Gwendolyn Goffe, MFAH Interim Director. "I am thrilled that the MFAH will bring these extraordinary treasures here, and that Houston is among the few cities that have had the privilege of hosting the most important exhibition of art from ancient Egypt since the original King Tut show toured the world in the 1970s. It's a Who's Who of Egypt's most important ancient rulers."
The King Tut exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society, Arts & Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. The majority of proceeds from the tour support the preservation and conservation of antiquities and monuments in Egypt, including construction of the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
About the Exhibition
Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs features treasures associated with the most important rulers of the 30 dynasties that ruled Egypt over a 2,000 year span. The exhibition explores the splendor of the pharaohs, their function in both the earthly and divine worlds and what "kingship" meant to the Egyptian people. Visitors will encounter master sculptures of powerful Egyptian rulers, including Khafre, builder of the Great Sphinx and one of the pyramids at Giza; Hatshepsut, the queen who became a pharaoh; statues of the warrior pharaohs, Tutmosis and Ramesses the Great; as well as King Tut's father Akhenaten, the pharaoh who changed Egypt's religion to the worship of one omnipotent sun god. The magnificent golden death mask of Psusennes I is also on display, along with the largest likeness of King Tut ever discovered – a 10-foot statue found at the remains of a funerary temple.
The King Tut exhibit was curated by Dr. David Silverman, the noted Egyptologist from the University of Pennsylvania who also served as a curator during the 1970s Tutankhamun tour. Silverman describes the exhibition: "There's mystery. There's excitement. It's exotic and foreign, but it's recognizable."
To promote understanding and put these artworks in context, the exhibition reflects environments that help convey the story of the artifacts, such as the Great Pyramids at Giza and the four rooms of King Tut's tomb.
Tutankhamun will be on view in the 22,000-square-foot Upper Brown Pavilion of the Caroline Wiess Law Building at the MFAH. Its introduction features a National Geographic documentary narrated by award-winning actor Harrison Ford. The final galleries are dedicated to King Tut's tomb where visitors will encounter legendary treasures from its four rooms in corresponding galleries.
New scientific discoveries continue to provide insight into King Tut's legendary life and death. The exhibition features the first CT scans of the young king's mummy, which were obtained as part of a landmark Egyptian research and conservation project, partially funded by the National Geographic Society. The exhibition also includes a replica of King Tut's mummy created as a direct translation of these CT scans. Since the real mummy has never travelled from its royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings, visitors who are not able to travel to Egypt can get a sense of what it looks like.
Northern Trust is a proud cultural partner of the exhibition tour, and American Airlines is the official airline. Apache Corporation, the largest U.S. investor in Egypt and a supporter of its educational and cultural endeavors, is the exclusive sponsor for the exhibition's Houston presentation.
"For more than 120 years, Northern Trust has recognized the value of providing our communities with enriching cultural and educational experiences, such as this exhibition on invaluable treasures from ancient Egypt," said Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. "We are proud to support an event that brings to Houston unique insights into our shared history."
"American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing this exhibition to Houston," said Roger Frizzell, vice president – Corporate Communications, American Airlines. "Access to global transportation has been an important component of making this exhibit a reality and it is exciting to know that American Airlines is helping to make it possible for this remarkable exhibition to be seen by visitors in Houston and throughout the Southwest."
"We at Apache Corporation are proud to be the exclusive Houston sponsor for this extraordinary exhibition," commented Rod Eichler, co-chief operating officer and president, international. "Given Apache's longstanding partnership with the people and government of Egypt, supporting an exhibition that broadens awareness of Egypt's cultural legacy is the perfect fit for us."
National Geographic Books publishes the companion book to the exhibition by Dr. Zahi Hawass. Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is one of two National Geographic exhibitions dedicated to the remarkable treasures of Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty, the other of which showed in Dallas in 2008. The Houston exhibition brings an entirely different collection of artifacts and information to the Southwest.
For more information on the King Tut exhibit tickets and admission, please visit http://www.kingtut.org.
Hotel Package Information
Hotel packages at Hotel Zaza, Renaissance Houston Greenway Plaza Hotel, The Westin Oaks Houston and The Westin Galleria Houston include accommodations, VIP tickets, dining, themed spa offerings and more. For more information, please visit http://www.kingtut.org.
Programs at MFAH
For more information about King Tut programming, please visit http://www.mfah.org/tut/calendar.
SOURCE National Geographic Society