King Tut

April 28, 2007

On Friday I went to Philadelphia and saw the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute Science Museum.

I thought that the exhibit was put together very nicely, especially how it started out with generic pharaonic Egyption objects and moved to his kingdom and then into his burial chamber. The museum also did a good job spacing objects apart and mounting them in ways to provide 360 degree access. They also wrote the object’s description high at the top of display cases, on all sides, so that viewers could read about the object far away, and then view the actual object up close in the limited amount of time they got to stand next to it. I also think they did a good job of putting the objects at a height that most people could enjoy, and that’s coming from someone who’s on the tall side of life. I also enjoyed how they were able to separate the exhibit from the rest of the museum, which, overrun with kids, was quite noisy, and how the lighting and music complemented the objects on display. They also did a good job providing context for each room for those who might not be familiar with the general history of pharaonic Egypt, the story of King Tut, or the story of how his tomb was found.

It was quite fascinating to be standing inches away from an object that is 3,200 years old and might have been worn or held by King Tut himself. The details on each objects were quite exquisite. In detailing, there wasn’t much difference between an object in that room and one that would be made today. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it for anyone remotely interested in Egyptian history.

My favorite part of the exhibit was not related to the objects, but rather one of the viewers. A mother with a youngish child mentioned to her that there were two more rooms to the exhibit and then asked the kid if she understood that. The kid said, “Yeah, we’re going to go into another room, then into another.” The mother asked the kid where they were going after the second room, and I was expecting something like “the gift shop” or “home”, but when the kid said, “Pizza Hut!”, I had to chuckle.