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The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb Opens Oct. 29, 2010 at Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo: Discover an ancient civilizations fascinating approach to life and the afterlife at The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb, a new exhibition opening Oct. 29, 2010, at the Toledo Museum of Art. The installation of more than 150 objects spanning 3,000 years of history will be on temporary view in a specially designed Lower Level Egyptian Gallery in the Main Museum.

TMAs popular mummies return to public view for this exploration of ancient Egyptian beliefs about life and the afterlife. Believing that if they lived good lives they would live again in a better world after death, Egyptians spent great effort to ensure the preservation of both body and spirit.

Tombs were built as houses of eternity, places for living after death with the aid of ritual prayers, food and drink, and all the good things of life. The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb introduces visitors to the conversations between the living and the dead that formed a fundamental part of life in Egypt for thousands of years. Specially built chapels and tomb-like spaces display artifacts from the funeral ceremonies and final resting places of both royal and non-royal Egyptians.

Visitors will meet a series of individual Egyptians and learn about them from the evidence of their tombs, mummies, inscribed biographies and personal possessions. Among them are: court official Akhet-hotep, overseer of the palace of King Sneuferu; Raramu, priest of the mortuary cult of King Khufu, and his wife Ankhet; Zezen-nakht, hereditary prince and overseer of the army of the Ninth Nome; the royal physician Amunhotep, chief physician and royal scribe of King Rameses II; Henut-wedjebu, singer in the temple of Amun, and her husband Hatiay, granary overseer of the temple of Aten; and Tamesia, daughter of Tashenanoup, who was buried by her mother.

The Museums two mummies (gifts in 1906 from the Museums founders Mr. and Mrs. Edward Drummond Libbey) will be on view, along with results of forensic and radiological studies that reveal much about the appearance, ages, gender, lifestyles and deaths of the young priest and the old man.

Elegantly carved and painted sculptures, the coffin of the lady Ankh-Tesh, a boat model, canopic jars, shabtis, and beautiful yet heart-rending grave gifts are displayed in the dramatic series of galleries. Objects from the Museums own antiquities collection, enhanced by beautiful and significant loans from
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Indiana University Art Museum, The Field Museum and the Oriental Museum Institute of the University of Chicago, among others, reveal the secrets of the tomb.

Exhibition curator Sandra E. Knudsen, associate curator of ancient art at the Museum, worked closely with Claude Fixler, installation coordinator, in planning construction of gallery spaces specifically for this temporary installation. A team of TMA colleagues prepared educational materials related to the exhibit for visitors, parents and K-12 schools.

The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb is made possible by members of the Toledo Museum of Art. The installation is also supported in part by Taylor Cadillac, Buckeye CableSystem and the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund programs at the Museum through a sustainable grant program that
encourages cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Admission to the exhibition is free for TMA members; admission for others is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children. Reduced ticket prices are available to school groups who book tours in advance.

Admission to the Museum is free. The Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays. Friday evening hours are made possible by Fifth Third Bank.

The Museum is located at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue, just west of the downtown business district and one block off I-75 with exit designations posted.  For general information, visitors can call 419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, or visit www.toledomuseum.org.


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