Saturday, September 19, 2009

MFA Highlights: Arts of Ancient Egypt



Rita Freed   Lawrence M. Berman   Denise M. Doxey
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston
2003
ISBN 0-87846-661-4
 
Recently my nine year old charge Natasha was on her way to Boston with her family so I urged her to visit the Museum of Fine Arts to find Djehutynakht's brick makers and tell me about them unfortunately the brick makers were not on display thankfully Natasha brought this book home which does have that picture.

I am already a fan of the museums bulletins of George Reisner's excavations at the start of the last century through which the museum acquired many of its finest pieces complete with provenances. The book opens up with short history of the founding of Egyptology and Egyptian collections in America including the founding of Boston's collection.

The collection in the museum is one of the largest and finest in the world particularly on it's Old and Middle Kingdom collections though all periods of Egyptian art are well attested by masterpieces in this collections 60 000 pieces. The highlights chosen for the book are among the finest and most famous objects of Pharaonic Egypt including the 2nd Dynasty scepter of King Khasekhemwy which indeed does inspire awe while my friend Natasha really liked the 4th Dynasty beaded dress.

The authors add details from Dr. Reisner's expeditions in relation to acquisition of individual objects including artifacts not represented in the Cairo museum. Highlights was an excellent read with very fine pictures but that does not surprise me considering after all it is the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and one of the worlds great collections.

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