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Arkansas Arts Center to Present the Exhibition World of the Pharaohs: The Treasures of Egypt Revealed
General view of the Giza pyramids, looking northeast from South of Menkaure Pyramid (rephotograph of A448/5883) Photographer: Mohammedani Ibrahim. October 27, 1937. Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition. Photo: © [date of publication] Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

LITTLE ROCK, AR.- World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt Revealed, will be on view September 25, 2009, to July 5, 2010, at the Arkansas Arts Center.

World of the Pharaohs explores the long-vanished world of ancient Egypt through art and artifacts that span over 3,000 years of dynastic history. More than 200 magnificent objects, including mummies, a majestic colossus of Ramses the Great, Egyptian art, jewelry, statues, sculptures and funerary artifacts, illustrate the life and art of ancient Egypt.

“World of the Pharaohs will be the biggest exhibition ever in Arkansas and the first exhibition of Egyptian art to come to Arkansas,” said Arkansas Arts Center Executive Director Nan Plummer. “The Arkansas Arts Center is committed to bringing the best art to our state. The art and objects of ancient Egyptian culture are fascinating to humans all over the world. We are very pleased to offer this extraordinary exhibition,” she said.

World of the Pharaohs: The Treasures of Egypt Revealed explores the long-vanished world of ancient Egypt. The exhibition features more than 200 magnificent objects, spanning 3,000 years of dynastic history, including a majestic colossus of Ramesses II, beautiful amulets, exquisite jewelry, splendid furnishings, elegant stone vessels, graceful statues, intricate art and funerary artifacts. The objects were selected for the exhibition to dramatically exemplify the rich and diverse characteristics of one of the world’s great civilizations.

The exhibition is particularly strong in excavated material from the Pyramid Age, also called the Old Kingdom (2675-2130 B.C.), widely regarded as Egypt's finest hour. Artifacts include a royal decree carved in limestone (Decree of Neferirkare), the false door of Inty, a Priestess of Inty and a relief scene from the tomb of Qar and Idu. Funerary objects are also well-represented. Among them are a Ptolemaic sarcophagus lid, a selection of stelae and several shawabits of officials.

World of the Pharaohs: The Treasures of Egypt Revealed is presented by the Arkansas Arts Center and organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Today, it is best known for the works excavated from 1905-1947 by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition directed by George Andrew Reisner (1867-1942). Reisner is recognized as a pioneering force in the application of scientific methodology in archaeology. Under his supervision, these excavations provided the MFA with the best collection, outside Egypt, of art from the Old Kingdom.

Ancient Egypt and its art continue to inspire people all over the world. Plummer said that the exhibition will draw visitors from the six-state region, making Little Rock a travel destination.

She said, “The Arkansas Arts Center is the only museum in Arkansas that can host an exhibition of this size and magnitude. We are excited to host this major event that will put Arkansas on the map of the art world in a whole new way.”

Arkansas Arts Center | World of the Pharaohs | Nan Plummer | Egypt | Old Kingdom |

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