Sunday, July 16, 2006

My visit to Frist

My wife and I took a trip to Nashville today to go to the farmer's market. I needed to check out some tomatoes and onions. Canning season is here and the desire to produce copious amounts of tomato byproducts is overwhelming.

On I-440 I saw a billboard for the Frist Museum and a show they have running. The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt. When I saw that I knew I had to go. I traveled once from Kansas City, Kansas to Memphis just for the Ramses Exhibit so this local one was a shoe in for me to visit.
The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt features the largest selection of antiquities ever loaned by Egypt for exhibition in North America. The exhibition includes over 107 magnificent works, ranging from monumental stone sculptures of Egyptian royalty and deities to such luxurious tomb furnishings as gold jewelry, ornate coffins, a model of the river ship of the pharaoh Amenhotep II, and a sarcophagus painted with scenes of the afterlife. Also on view will be a full-scale reconstruction of the tomb of Thutmose III, as well as an educational exhibition on the ancient practice of mummification, which will include both human and animal mummies.

From the earliest times, Egyptians believed in a tremendously rich afterlife and devoted significant worldly resources to the quest for immortality. Complex religious beliefs were developed to explain and achieve everlasting life. This exhibition focuses on the understanding of the afterlife among Egyptians living approximately 3,000 years ago, in the period of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BCE) through the Late Period (664-332 BCE). This period marked the beginning of an era of great wealth, power, and stability. This time was also marked by a burst of cultural activity, much of which was devoted to the quest for eternal life.

On loan from the Egyptian government, objects in The Quest for Immortality are in the collections of The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, The Luxor Museum of Ancient Egypt, and the sites of Tanis and Deir el - Bahri.
All I have to say is the building is lovely. A fine example of true architecture that is not being produced today. The building alone is worth the trip. Sadly the exhibit was not in my view.

I enjoyed what I did see...through the crowds. The recording that they had people listen to were a part of the problem. You could punch in a number on an MP3 looking device and a recording would play describing certain items on note. The problem is that this had the habit of getting people that came in about the same time to group around certain items. Free flowing traffic for the most part, but the recording did create problems in certain areas.

I was also a bit disappointed in the descriptions on the signs of individual items. Brief descriptions, or Just a date and name. A missed opportunity to enlighten people on historical facts.

They trumpet the exhibit as one of the largest ever from the Egyptian museum, yet when I got to the end I left with a "Is that all there was?" feeling. I did not feel I received anything close to the 34$ we spent to get in.

Not all was bad. The short film near the center of the show is worth viewing, then a walk to the tomb replica so you can see how they viewed their afterlife. They also had some small gold items from tombs that were exquisite in their loveliness.

Upstairs from the egyptian exhibit is a show on famous pictures.
The Pulitzer Prize Photographs
Capture the Moment
The largest and most comprehensive display of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever exhibited in the United States, this exhibition features more than 120 images drawn from each year’s winning entries since the prize was established in 1941.

The Pulitzer Prize Photographs: Capture the Moment was developed by the Newseum, the interactive museum of news, in association with Business of Entertainment, Inc. NYC, Cyma Rubin Curator. The Newseum, which is moving to Washington, DC, is funded by The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.
This saved the trip as there were several breathtaking images.

Maybe it was the heat or the stars were lined up wrong, but my Frist trip was lacking.

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