Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Brooklyn Museum"

Click each photo to see it larger

Wow! Am I ever sore! But it is worth it. The Egyptian collection at the Brooklyn Museum is really quite surprising. They have lots of very nice pieces. I took photos of almost everything. This attracted the attention of a tall, dark and muscular security guard, who spoke with a deep, rich accent: "why are you taking so many pictures? What are you going to do with them?" I explained I study Egyptology, do art inspired by ancient Egypt, and have web sites devoted to this interest. That seemed to satisfy him, although it was pretty clear that it is a rare thing to have such photographing occur.

This statue of Senwosret III particularily impressed me for his look of calm, but assured strength:

Senwosret III, from Hierakonpolis. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret III, circa 18361818 B.C.
Black granite, 21 7/16 in. (54.5 cm) high; base: 7 1/2 x 13 11/16 in. (19 x 34.7 cm)., Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 52.1
(Cartouche detail)

Relief of Khaemwaset, Ramesside Period, Dynasty 19, reign of RamessesII (circa 1279-1213B.C.),
Limestone, From Saqqara, 37.513, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
"He is depicted bearing a libation vessel and sporting the sidelock of a sem-priest, a functionary of Ptah"

'Waset' detail "The was scepter became the emblem of Thebes (the Egyptian name for which was waset)" ('or 'ouset' or 'uast')
(Richard Wilkinson, _Reading Egyptian Art_)
(It's a scepter with Set's head and forked tail, a feather of Ma'at (truth and justice) and some other element I don't recognize)

(Accompanying info says:)
"Khaemwaset, a son of King Ramesses II, became legendary as a sage and a magician. He was the subject of the "Stories of Setne Khaemwaset," which date to the first millennium B.C. and were translated in the nineteenth century. The stories mention a book of powerful magic, written by the god Thoth, which Setne Khaemwaset attempts to retrieve from a deceased priest who has stolen it. The mystical Book of Thoth, the inspiration for the papyrus used to resurrect the mummy in the 1932 motion picture The Mummy, figures in numerous books and films dealing with ancient Egypt."

It's no wondermodern "mystical" magicians give honor to him!

I did see the small stele featuring Set. With a bit of Photoshop effort I managed to salvage my photo.

One nice piece whose photo turned out well is a colorful vase from the 18th dynasty:

Jar with Was-scepters and Ankhs
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amunhotep II - Thutmose IV

Vessels with Blue-Painted Designs
"The most innovative pottery of Dynasty 18 - so-called blue painted ware-began under Thutmose III. The pastel pigment was made from ground up blue frit, a mixture of cobalt and alum. Initially, potters relied on blue paint to accentuate small details, such as the grape cluster hanging from a vine on the wine jar in this case. Over time, though, artists began to use blue paint for more complex designs and figures."

By the time I perused the entire Egyptian holdings (and some impressive Assyrian reliefs), I was ready for lunch. Most people were just getting salads and water. Not me! I had a generous veggie pizza, a big serving of broccoli with chess, a banana, some orange juice and a bottle of water. (The banana and the water were for later. I'm trying to eat lots of potassium rich foods to help my muscles.)

After lunch, it was 2:30pm, and I thought I'd catch what else I could. I did a quick walk through of the Asian art, really lovely pieces, but my feet were sore, so I didn't pause for pictures.

And then I got up to the fifth floor to see the Murakami exhibit. Quite fanciful items, with the Japanese animé themes combined with futuristic themes. I was particularily grateful for a movie room, soft carpet to sit on that had been delightfully given his flower treatment. I liked the movies, especially "Planting the Seeds", which featured two friends, (one with three eyes), and their farming adventures.

He does deal with scary war themes, but in a whimsical way. He has the cutest skulls I've ever seen.

Will he influence my art? Possibly to go free and loose with the imagination, but more precise in the execution.

I talked to Julia and told her my adventures. She's gotten her hair cut shorter and tonight she went to the wine tasting and later got water. She tasted a riesling she thought I might like.

Slowly, I'm starting to recover from my weariness. Maybe I won't be hobbling around tomorrow.

Oh, joints! It's a good thing I make these explorations before I get any older.

Set trying to smell the Murakami flowers...

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