By Emily Sallade
Elm Staff Writer
What will you be leaving behind when you die? The Ancient Egyptians, whose civilization was one of the greatest of the ancient world, left behind many amazing things that have caught people’s attention throughout the world with their beauty and mystery.
The Washington College community is lucky enough to have a beautiful exhibit with some of these priceless artifacts right within walk¬ing distance. The exhibit is entitled, “For Now and Forever: Funerary Artifacts of Ancient Egypt.”
The exhibit’s curator is Fatma Ismail, a lecturer in Art at WC. Ismail is also teaching the course,“Reading Egyptian Temples: Stone Wall as Mythology, Theology and Ideology.”
The exhibit, located in Kohl Gallery in the Gibson Center for the Arts, does not contain the artifacts people have come to associate with ancient Egyptian burials. There are no mummies or elaborate masks made of gold or jewels on display. Rather, these funerary artifacts have a quieter beauty, and they speak volumes about Ancient Egyptian culture, their unique religious beliefs and funeral practices.
These artifacts came from a private collector from Baltimore with the exception of one artifact from the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum.
The exhibit itself is three-dimensional, with the walls used to describe the different artifacts in the exhibit, as well as their cultural significance.
The exhibit was designed by Alex Castro, an artist, an architect, a designer and a lecturer in art here at WC.
“The exhibition was a very difficult one to mount in that nothing of this magnitude has been attempted before,” said Castro.
“Second Nature,” the first exhibition in Kohl Gallery, was difficult for many logistical reasons as well as its being the first use of the space, but its installation was not particularly problematic in that it was an exhibition of paintings.”
“When you exhibit three dimensional work, the installation becomes more complex. The procuring of cases and the design of each was critical. The scaling of the exhibit space to work with the size of the objects, which were not large, was another difficulty. But I feel we learned a lot and that the result showed what we can do in the future with this wonderful space,” said Castro.
The exhibit opened on September 9 and will stay open until October 22.
There is still time for the Washington College community to take advantage of this exhibit and the valuable learning experience it is.
“My hopes are that the community will enjoy the gallery as a place that will continue to surprise and inform, a place that will become known as the small gallery with an expansive presence,” said Castro. “The desire of all involved is that it be a gallery that looks to the remarkable beauty and artistry of the past as well as to the innovative spirit of today.”
The exhibit is open every day of the week, excluding Monday and Tuesday.