Archaeological context, design and architecture: tensions in museum displays of Egypt
- Neal Spencer, British Museum
- Monday 5 November 2018
- Van Steenis
2333 CC Leiden
- Main hall
Focusing on the British Museum as a case study, this lecture will explore the tensions underlying how Egypt has been displayed in museums during the 20th and 21stcenturies. While a broad move from taxonomic towards contextual displays, typically with considerably fewer objects, can be traced, the role of curators, trustees, designers and architects in this shift will be considered.
Furthermore, I will reveal how the great museum buildings of the 19th century continually, through their architecture, limited how the objects, cultures and places of Egypt have been shown to visitors – and how curators sought to mitigate the effects of this imposing physical environment.
The paper will conclude with thoughts on how we might best engage with present-day visitors, who may be seeking an experience significantly different from what the Egyptologist/curator imagines when conceiving a new gallery or exhibition.
The lecture is followed by a reception.