Skip to comments.VANITY -- King Tut Exhibit a waste of time (though not of money)
Posted on 06/27/2005 11:01:22 AM PDT by Jubal Harshaw
Just came back from the King Tut exhibit in LA. I saw the exhibit in '76, and have seen the Tut exhibit in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and have been to the Luxor Museum / Valley of Kings / Valley of Queens / Abu Simbel / etc. My girlfriend never saw any of the Tut exhibits before, so together we represent a wide range of pre-existing knowledge about Tut and about ancient Egypt.
We both thought the LA exhibit, soon touring the USA, was a waste of time. The exhibit included no closely Tut-related paraphernalia bigger than a breadbox. The largest item is the gilded Coffin of Tjuya, which was apparently found in the tomb of a nobleman who might (or might not) have been Tut's great grandfather. Tjuya herself therefore might (or might not) have been Tut's great grandmother. That coffin is large, but it is likely three generations removed from Tut, and, even if related to Tut, is from a then non-royal branch of the family. It's a nice piece, but that's as good as it gets.
The famous gold bust of Tut? Not there. Tut's sarcophagus? Not there. The famous lion bed? Not there. All that's in LA that Tut might actually have owned is jewelry, trinkets, and a few small statues, many broken and not restored. Presumably so that people didn't know what they were missing, the museum didn't even have color photographs of the glorious finds that didn't make it on the tour.
All in all, for us it was a waste of time. The price was OK (~$20.00 each), but it was probably worth ~$10.00 / person. If you have a free afternoon, and want to see a few second-rate Egyptian trinkets that may be related to Tut, then it's a way to kill a few hours.
Tut Light, huh?
Just another failed culture.
Tutmania? Not the Tut, but an incredible simulation.
Wonder why they didn't exhibit all the things they did in the 70's?
That is the only culture in LA right now.
Is it better than going to the Getty and looking at 3 paintings on a huge empty wall?
That is where I saw it, in NO.
...raised in Babylonia...
No. If you can do only one or the other, you are better off going to the Getty than to the Tut exhibit. I say that as someone who'se been to the Getty many many times, and for whom the novelty of the Getty has worn off.
I'm going to a private party there tomorrow night. It'll be fun even if the exhibit sucks.
I believe one of the artifacts broke/cracked during the original tour and they were very afraid of risking anything this time. It was very controversial about whether to even have another tour. I guess, in the true spirit of compromise, a group of 14 moderate Egyptians arranged for this deal....some things got to make the trip, just not anything anyone really wants to see.
If you are still in New Orleans, you might want to check out the Faberge egg collection in the New Orleans Museum in City Park. If you can only do one or the other, and if all other things are equal, I'd go to the Tut exhibit over the Faberge exhibit, but if you have to rearrange your schedule to see Tut, I'd see the Faberge exhibit.
I wonder if any of his black relatives know where these items are :-)
What's the difference between this and 3,000 years from now someone digging up my body and putting it on display in a museum? A bigger tomb?
Watch out. Those private parties with Eqyptian mummies always turn out bad ---
Either the Joker shows up -OR-
Some drunk/security guard/drunk security guard accidently opens up a scarab beetle case, releasing the soul of the pharoah, bent on revenge.
I saw the Ramses the Great exhibit and the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Dallas. My opinion of each was the same as yours.
When we got to Cairo (drove from Israel), the government confiscated our hotel for some reason of another earlier in the day. A replacement was found in downtown Cairo - a beautiful 1/4 star hotel, the Hotel Tonsi. Main course consisted of chicken and stars soup and a forgettable roasted animal offering. The building was not entirely dedicated to human habitation, as we could hear the lowing of cattle and bleating of sheep as the elevator went by the floors where they were quartered.
But the exhibit was huge and saw lots of gold this-that-and-the-other.
On our flight out, we took TWA 847, piloted by Capt. John Testrake. Yep, same flight number and pilot as the one that was hijacked - we missed it by a couple of weeks.
If you are buried with a significant fraction of the wealth of your nation in the form of art, precious metals and jewels, then if 3000 years later the materials you were buried with are one of the largest collection of artifacts from your era, then there would be no significant difference. Otherwise, the difference is huge.
Beat me to it.
Now when he was a young man he never thought he'd see (King Tut)
People stand in line to see the boy king (King Tut)
How'd you get so funky (funky Tut)
Then you'd do the monkey
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia King Tut)
Now if I'd known the line would form to see him (King Tut)
I'd take up all my money and buy me a museum (King Tut)
Buried with a donkey (funky Tut)
He's my favorite honky
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia King Tut)
Dancing by the Nile
Ladies loved the style (waltzing Tut)
Rocking for a mile (walking Tut)
He ate a crockodile
He gave his life for tourism
He's an Egyptian!
They're selling you
Now when I die now don't think I'm a nut
Don't want no fancy funeral just one like old King Tut (King Tut)
He coulda won a grammy (King Tut)
Buried in his jammies
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia
Born in Arizona got a condo made of stone-ah (King Tut)
I posted the pic, you posted the lyrics. We're a team!
Thanks for this post.
What's the best part of the Getty (other than finding it)?
There's a story by (I think) Edgar Allen Poe about a private mummy un-wrapping party that didn't turn out too badly...
Too bad. I went to a museum in London in the early 70's and saw some fabulous things related to Tut and others. Egypt is the only place on the African continent that I would like to go.
I think the best part of the Getty is the building / grounds / setting / view. The building has a fabulous view of LA and of the Pacific, and it's very pleasant to sit and have a snack near the outside fountain and gardens. If you go, don't forget to look for fossils in the marble near the inner fountains and some high-traffic areas.
As for art, the Getty is (deservedly, in my opinion) known for it's collection of Greco-Roman antiquities. It has some very nice pieces, and those galleries are the ones I would see if I had limited time there.
Burning desired to be embalmed alive and wake up in 1,000 years?
Some Word With a Mummy, by E. Allen Poe
Thank you for the heads up. I was going to fly up to Florida in November to catch it, but my plans just changed.
Thanks again for saving me the price of a plane ticket.
I went to Turkey, Texas to see the Bob Wills Museum. They had his actual fiddle. I also visited the grave site of Davy Crockett's second wife at Acton, Texas.
I doubt Hill&Bill looted them; the exhibit never was at the White House.
Well for starters you probably won't have a solid gold death mask and 4 coffins.
The Apostle Paul
That's the one...What a neat website! Thanks.
We saw the Tut exhibit in Chicago. We took our then young kids.
Your mention of flying out of Cairo on the same flight as Testrake reminded me of a flight my husband and I took out of Amsterdam in September 1970. Two flights had been skyjacked from Amsterdam, September 6, just before we flew out and security was extremely tight. They took every thing, including my purse, away from me. I didn't start feeling safe until we passed Ireland.
When we got back to USA some suspicious (blackpanther types to me) paid cash for first class seats on our continuing flight and then paced back and forth before entering the plane. This was from LaGuardia to Birmingham. I just knew we were going to be taken to Cuba.
This wasn't an unreasonable fear since a friend of mine had been highjacked to Cuba on a flight from Minneapolis to Miama by the Black Panthers. She and her baby were there overnight and flown back to US.
Have yous seen Ramses II? Although, I never saw the first Tut (not having been born) I was very impressed with Ramses II that made it to the Museum of Natural History in Denver after an extensive remodeling sometime in the late 80's early 90's. I have heard that the pieces in the Ramses II were much more abundant than the pieces in the original Tut exhibition. Any comment (if you have seen both?)
I still remember the time he tried to destroy Batman using the Egyptian Pebble Torture.
I must have missed that one.
If the funeral mask and Selket are not in this show, I agree that it is decidedly inferior to its predecessor.
Having got to the LACMA exhibit last weekend, it was disappointing in that it's barely tut-related. There's some fantastic pieces on display but as the original post says, the overwhelming majority of the 128 artifacts are *not* Tut related. There are a couple chairs, the thingy that contained his liver, a pair of boats, a knife, a couple necklesses but the rest, including the one large sarcofogace mentioned in the vanity above are not Tut items. Still, there's fantastic workmanship on display and if you haven't had the opportunities bragged about up thread, it's worth a look!
I will say it wasn't worth the special trip made to L.A.
My wife has made it clear we WILL be going.
Don't forget, a few trinkets is still historical. For those of us who can't or won't go to Egypt (since I would like to stay alive and I don't want to lie and say I am Canadian), we'll touch what we can.
It must be nice to have all that kind of exposure. I haven't so I thought more of the exhibit than you and your eager-to-please girlfriend. Still, I do agree it borders on fraudulent given that the actual number of Tut exhibit items are few. But the overall exhibit gives a good look at the workmanship of the ancient culture including a poke in the eye to western abortion-lovers in the form of one of the fetal death masks.
It wasn't worth the special trip north to L.A. but it wasn't a complete waste of time either. My understanding is none of the significant objects you complained about the exhibit lacking travel outside Egypt anymore. How long was your wait in the tent? We had 'anytime' tickets so we had barely a five minute wait.
We saw the Tut exhibit in Chicago with OUR still-young kids...I thought it was breathtaking, very very beautiful.
No hijacking experiences, though, we drove. ;-D
Matter of fact, now that I think about it, we were able to see it the day before it opened to the public, something about my in-laws the museum members or something else nice like that. No crowds, and we could look as long as we wanted...