You’ve probably already noticed that Melbourne is currently in the grip of Tutankhamun fever, with the blockbuster exhibition on show at the Melbourne Museum. You can explore the extraordinary history and culture of Ancient Egypt here at the State Library as well, with items such as these:
Zahi Hawass, as well as being the Minister of Antiquities in the Egyptian Government, has been one of the great popularisers of Egyptology for many years, with a string of publications, television shows and media events to his name. This well illustrated book is the official companion to the exhibition and discusses not just the artifacts but the place of the young boy-king within the period of the 18th Dynasty.
It’s difficult to conceive, in any real sense, the timeline of a civilisation that began over 7000 years ago and remains vibrant and evolving to this very day. This work examines the art of Egypt from 4000 BC to around the time of its occupation by Rome c.200 AD.
I suppose with that much cultural history (baggage?) it’s easy to forget that modern day Egypt has a thriving contemporary art scene. Liliane Karnouk’s fascinating survey reveals the external influences that shaped the visual arts in Egypt throughout the twentieth century, as well as demonstrating the ways in which its own past iconography continues to influence and inform its modern practitioners.
If you need a helping hand in deciphering some of the fascinating images that define the art of ancient Egypt, a visual guide such as this can be extremely useful.
Akhenaten and Tutankhamun : revolution and restoration by David P. Silverman, Josef W. Wegner, Jennifer Houser Wegner
Looking at the life of Tutankhamun in the context of his times, this study places him side-by-side with his predecessor and father, Akhenaten, who radically attempted to alter the entire belief system of Egypt. It was left to Tutankhamun and others to undo these changes and return the kingdom to its more traditional beliefs and values.