We were really impressed with the quality and the rarity of theÂ objects in this amazing exhibit. My insider tip: This is aÂ must see if you are in the Tampa Bay Area. Jaded by my trips to the MET in NYC, this exhibit farÂ exceeded my expectations in quality, beauty and educational presentation.Â
It is one of the most dramatic shows ever presented at the MFA. The 100 works demonstrate the genius of ancient craftsmen, and the magical or spiritual qualities of the objects are revealed at every turn.
I felt lucky to have an opportunity to see thisÂ extraordinary exhibit.Â Â
One thing I noticed immediately wasÂ the fine conditionÂ of the objects. No collection of shards and shreds here, this exhibit is in a class all by itself.
Practically none of the objectsÂ evenÂ had to be restored.
Here is aÂ photo of the entrance to the museum,
taken the day of our visit on New Years Eve,
showing the banners for the Ancient Egypt exhibit.
Ancient Egypt – Art and Magic
Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL
The artifacts in this show span from 5500 BC,
covering 30 dynasties,
up toÂ 30 BC.
“ThisÂ is the American premiere of one of the most distinguished private collections of antiquities, established by Jean Claude Gandur, Geneva, Switzerland. Internationally respected Egyptologist Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi is the guest curator.”
Treasures from the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art brings to life one of the world’s greatest civilizations.
The exhibition features mummy cases, tomb and temple reliefs, papyrus fragments, alabaster vessels, and rare objects ornamented by precious stones.”
I particularly likedÂ how the displays were groupedÂ and appreciated the detailed information on the walls of each of the five galleries. ItÂ providedÂ excellent reference points and insight into the lives and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.
The collection ofÂ alabaster vesselsÂ looks like fine contemporary art.Â Both large and small items were used for perfumes and cosmetics, preparation and storage.
Gods and Goddesses
Ancient Egyptian art centers on transformation, renewal, and eternal life. These objects were invested with visual and symbolic power. TheÂ natural world was not something apart for the Egyptians, and neither were the deities, who could take the form of animals and natural forces such as the sun.
My favoriteÂ is the gallery dedicated toÂ the sculptures of theÂ EgyptianÂ gods and goddesses.
Eye candy of the highest caliber. The statues allÂ look new.Â I couldn’t get over their excellent condition and marvelled at the many different materials.
The show spotlights the spiritual qualities of the works, as well as their technical mastery.
Funerary relief – gates within gates
Book of the Dead
I’ve always been fascinated by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This show has an entireÂ galleryÂ dedicated to artifactsÂ connected with the Book of the Dead. The gold jewelryÂ is mesmerizing in it’s beauty and detail.
One of the beautiful gold necklaces has charms used for magic spellsÂ as described in the book.
ThereÂ are papyrus of the Book of the Dead itself and well, you just have to see it for yourself.
Of course there were mummy cases – you justÂ can’t do Egypt without mummies:)
The largest works in the exhibition are mummy cases, one is covered in colorful images like a brilliant painting.Â
This is the banner depicting one of the mummy cases.
I plan to go back for a second look, it was truly too much to take in all at once.
Other highlights include a limestone sphinx, a magnificent red granite torso of Rameses the Great,
a relief from a temple erected during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti.
All I can tell you is to make plans to see this landmark exhibition, it is truly a must see if you are visiting the Tampa Bay Area.
This show is on view at the
Â Florida Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida
Dec 19, 2011 to April 29, 2012.
The Museum of Fine Art – MFA -
in St. Petersburg, Florida
is a real gem.
From their beautiful sculpture garden to their permanent collection of masterpieces from Monet to Gauguin, Renoir, Morisot, Cezanne, Rodin and O’Keefe it is always worth a visit.
The Museum has an interactive gallery – free with museum admission – hands on activity for all ages.
The Cafe is open for lunch in the beautiful conservatory from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.
Website:Â Â www.fine-arts.org
Location: 255 Beach Dr. NE,Â St. Petersburg, FL
Ticket prices:Â adults, $17; seniors, 65 and older, $15; military with ID, $15; college students with current ID, $10; ages 7 to 18, $10; children 6 and younger, free.
We asked about a AAA discount and yes, they gave us two bucks off per ticket – sweet:)
Hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-5 p.m.
TIP:Â don’t miss the photography exhibitionÂ in the upstairs gallery.
Forever in a Moment
Photographs of Egypt
created during the 19th century. A period of great archaeological exploration and worldwide fascination with ancient culture.
Thank you for coming along
Â for the tour!
Jan 9, 2012 Â© Rose Hill
All Rights Reserved
All images Â© Rose Hill
I hope you will have the opportunity
Â to view this amazing exhibit!
This is a snapshot taken yesterday from across the street.