The Egypt Experience: Secrets of the Tomb at the Toledo Museum of Art

The Toledo Museum of Arts mummies return to public view for this exploration of ancient Egyptian beliefs about life and the afterlife. Opens Oct. 29, 2010.

Believing that if they lived good lives they would pass to a better world after death, Egyptians spent enormous effort to ensure the preservation of both body and spirit. Tombs were built for use as eternal homes, places for living after death with ritual prayers, food and drink, and all the good things of life.

The Egypt Experience introduces visitors to the conversations between the living and the dead that were a fundamental part of life in Egypt for thousands of years.

A series of specially built intimate chapels and tomb-like spaces display artifacts from the funeral rituals and graves of both royal and non-royal Egyptians. Among other storied individuals, visitors will meet the Old Kingdom court official Akhet-hotep, the New Kingdom chief physician Amunhotep, the Roman princess Tamesia and the early Christian deaconess Aplonanne.

TMA’s two mummies (gifts in 1906 from Museum’s founders Mr. and Mrs. Edward Drummond Libbey) will be on view, along with information about their lives and deaths thanks to research by The Toledo Hospital. Carved and painted tomb sculptures, the coffin of the lady Ankh-Tesh, funerary boats and models, canopic jars, shabtis and beautiful yet heart-rending grave gifts also are displayed in the dramatic series of galleries. Objects from the Museum’s permanent antiquities collection area enhanced by beautiful and significant loans from sister museums reveal the secrets of the tomb. Admission is free for TMA members. Admission for nonmembers is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children and $3 for students in school groups. Sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac and Buckeye Cable.

Image: Ancient Egyptian. Raramu. Limestone with paint, Dynasty 6 (2420–2258 B.C.), 2420–2280 BCE. Toledo Museum of Art. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1949.5

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