Many of the pieces which toured in the original blockbuster Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit beginning in 1976 are represented in this collection. Thank heavens for a second chance. Seeing them once is hardly enough for there are endless details to discover and contemplate.
Some of the pieces predate Tutankhamun, most notably the excellent representations of the Old Kingdom palette of King Narmer and the Menkaure triad. The palette seems about half actual size, but the triad is a miniature of the several feet tall sculpture. They are lovely to behold, but the labeling ought to mention the scale.
Although most of the items are modern facsimilies, three necklaces and earrings are ancient. So you can nourish your awe for real ancient Egyptian artifacts. One faience set dates back to the 18th dynasty, the era when Tut lived, and two others come from the 26th dynasty. They look old and magical—the colors of the faience necklace have dimmed. The new jewelry reproductions can hardly compare to the gold masterpieces of the ancients, but hint at the splendor and intricacy of the king's jewels.
No matter how well reproductions are executed, I still have to marvel at the skill of the original artisans. No replica could simulate every nuance and style of the original mask of Tutankhamun in Cairo or the bust of Nefertiti in Berlin.
The "mummy" on display is a bit fanciful, but may have satisfied some. I found myself looking for the gold finger covers and mentally resculpting his face. The beaten gold vulture pectoral was pretty convincing, nonetheless. And the amuletic jewelry spread all over the body gives an idea how a mummy would be protected by magic, normally hidden in the linen wrappings.
Holy cow! The sacred cow ritual couch did not accompany the first US Tut tour. Its full size is impressive and stands unimpeded by a display case clearly exposing the symbolism, hieroglyphs and sheer size of the piece. Not to mention the Egyptians' limitless imagination for merging their beliefs with their natural world.
Photos of a good selection of the artifacts in this exhibit along with the complete catalog list are shown at a previous venu at kingtutlc.org [Exhibition link]. And here's the Museum of the Rockies site.
This exhibit is well worth experiencing. A comment by Charles Austin Beard fits:
"Something magnificent is taking place here amid the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail."
The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure (King Tut), C. N. Reeves, 1995 Thames & Hudson, NY
Treasures of Tutankhamun, Joan K. Holt & Katherine Stoddert Gilbert, (eds), I.E.S. Edwards, 1976 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tutankhamun, T.G.H. James, 2001 White Star, Metro Books
Tutankhamen: Life and Death of the Boy-King, Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, ©1963, New York Graphic Society 1967