Monday, May 26, 2008

"I Want It All"

I got cheated out of the Memorial day concert. The PBS stations kept announcing all week a special concert featuring Sarah Brightman and others, but instead "Antiques Roadshow" aired. I figured it would air later, but I fell asleep. I woke 11:35pm with a full bladder and sleepily hearing some guy getting grilled. The long faced chap was saying, "The biggest mistake of my life was..." I didn't leave the TV on to learn his terrible mistake.

What a full day! I was at the Met museum from nearly opening to closing. As the hours wore on, I took advantage of thoughtfully placed benches, enjoying the entire room's scenario as I waited for an oddly tingly sensation to leave my feet.

I covered all of the Egyptian, except for the 12th to 17th dynasties. I saw the entrance to the 12th dynasty roped off and thought, "Well, I don't know why they don't want us to enter there, but I suspect I'll find my way out." I'd gotten into a 'study area', figuring the relief featuring Set might be housed there, got one photo of a nice relief featuring Ma'at that I'd photographed three years ago, thinking I'd replace that photo with a better one:

Ma'at, Goddess of truth, balance and justice, as part of the prenomen of Amenhotep III, Neb - Ma'at - Re
Faience architectural decoration from the palace of Amenhotep III at Malkata
18th Dynasty, c. 1417 -1379 B.C.

I was all keen to start examining the other items when I heard a stern voice, "Do you work here?" I figured he'd know if I lied, and in any case, I'd probably have to show proof of employment. I explained how I was seeking that 12th dynasty relief with the god Set. He said the guard for that particular area was off for the day and that's why it was roped off. "Will he be back tomorrow? I do want to see those items before I go back to Yuma!" He assured me he would.

Despite that disappointment, I did uncover many Set sightings, some tiles with Seti I's name and some tiny pieces, rings and such.

I saw Seti I's offering table to Set and Nephthys, but I'll also use Mr. Roblee's photo since his shows more of the topside than mine.

Two faience tiles inlaid with Seti II's throne names, late Dynasty 19, c.1237-1200 B.C.
under 3 inches?

Yes, one of the would be Set sightings was scratched out in antiquity. Sadly, when a god fell into disfavor, the ancients got too busy with their destructive tools. Amun was also badly hit, and I've even seen evidence of a mutilated Ma'at.

Steatite scarab inscribed with the names of Seti I, Dynasty 19, reign of Seti 1 (ca. 1294-1279B.C)
under 2 inches?

Top and bottom (center part restored) of a faience votice was-scepter, excavated at Faras in Nubia, Late period, MMA 41.2.9
(The Brooklyn museum also has a late period was scepter)

Tiny pieces...

Found on a shelf with lots of tiny amulets at the Met museum, details unknown

These amulets at the Met museum were not even an inch long!
I didn't capture info, but I think I found them in the 18th dynasty study room

I took lots of photos, of all sorts of intriguing items, including a statue of Seti I. (Later note, sadly, many photos were terribly blurred and even unrecognizable. But some turned out.)

Then it was time for lunch, 'tilapia fish with two sides'. I didn't really want the second side, but I picked the squash and the zucchini just because it was part of the deal. Carrot juice, a round chocolate cake and water along with the other items made a 21$ dollar bill. Everything was tasty. I didn't begin to touch the zucchini, except for a taste, and certainly had no room for the cake. So I bundled it up and saved it and the water for later.

Where to go next? I'd heard there was a reconstruction of an ancient Roman room from the Brettal lectures. So I went to the Greco-Roman area. Oh, I know Julia, who is a Greco-Roman reconstructionist, would have loved to see these items. So I tried to see them with her eyes and photograph things I know she'd have liked to see. I aimed for the most spectacular items. And there were plenty.

Marble sarcophagus with the Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons
Roman, Late Imperial, Gallienic, ca. A.D. 260270
Overall: 34 x 85 x 36 1/4 in. (86.4 x 215.9 x 92.1 cm)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1955 (55.11.5)
(larger underneath)

Detail of Dionysos

Sexy Dionysos again...

Terracotta bell-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water) MMA07.286.85
Greek, Attic, red-figure, ca 450 B.C.
Attributed to the Methyse Painter
Obverse and reverse,Dionysos, the god of wine, with his followers, satyrs and maenads
(I tried to correct for the reflection problem as best I could...)

Fragment of a gold wreath L.1995.24 Greek, ca. 320-300 B.C.
From a tomb at Zaneskaya Gora in the region of the Crimea on the northern shore of the Black Sea
Lent by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly

"A fragment from this wreath is known to have come from the above-mentioned tomb and is now in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Such wreaths made of sheet gold have been found in burials throughout the Mediterrean area, particularly in tombs of the fourth century B.C."

I tried to get all the Hermes and Dionysos scenes I could. And Griffins. And coins, for Julia loves coins, and there were so many nice coins. And I did find the two room reconstructions, and hope my photos are decent enough to show the general idea. One was in dark tones, and one was in bright tones.

Wall Painting from a Cubiculum Nocturnum (Bedroom)
Roman, Late Republican, ca. 50-40 B.C.
From the villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale
(Larger view underneath)

"The wall paintings in this cubiculum, executed in the fresco technique, are among the most complete and important to have survived from antiquity. They have been cleaned recently, and old fills have been replaced. The room has been reconstructed here to give an impression of its original appearance...."

By the time I found the two rooms, I was fairly certain I'd seen the entire area.

Perhaps tomorrow, after I find the area with the 12th to 17th dynasties, I will head off to Ancient Near East and Cypriot areas. Julia keeps asking about "Cypriot", and I see they have such an area. And I do want to see the Pre Columbian and revisit the 18th to 19th century European painting and...

We'll see how much I see tomorrow. I'm sure grateful for all of these days to be here and capture the memories and photos.

"I want it all..."

You can imagine in that sketch I have Senwosret III's statue, )okay, that was at Brooklyn museum)(note sem-tawy on throne), the wine mixing vase, Seti II's cartouches, a wall relief of Setne Khaemwaset )this, too, at Brooklyn museum). And note the small round badge, showing paid entrance fee.

(The sem-tawy under linkage is from a pharoah's statue which sits in the Dender temple room.

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