of the Golden Pharaoh
Our visit to this spectacular exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery
Wednesday 4th March 2020
We departed Stocklund Square later than usual, as our visit to the Saatchi Gallery was arranged for 16.00 hours. This was a boon for those of us travelling up to Cranleigh from the south coast!
The coach trip into London was relatively swift, and so we arrived first at the National Army Museum in Chelsea with time to spare. Although not to everyone’s taste, I found the exhibits most interesting, more so than I had anticipated. I particularly liked the model of the battleground at Waterloo, with its illuminated action scenes available at the touch of a button! Also the examples of tattoos on military personnel.
We took lunch at the Museum, and thereafter were taken on a coach tour of Kensington and Chelsea with our guide showing us architecture inspired by Egyptian art in the 1920s, and residential areas where some of the people involved with Howard Carter, and Carter himself, lived and died.
At about 3.30pm we were dropped off in Kings Road, close to the Saatchi Gallery, and had time for a wander before entering the gallery for the highlight of the day – the Tutankhamun Exhibition, which I found extraordinary. Firstly, the setting and layout were perfect, and even the background music was apt. The exhibits illustrating the life of the young boy king, from the age of 9 to his death at 19, were wonderful. From models of his mummified body, to his archery set, to the Shabi (workers for the afterlife in model form), his bed and chair – all were perfect and each exhibit was well explained, without too much detail. The jewellery was beautifully designed, and would not have looked out of place in one of today’s jewellery shops. The various models were impressive in their detail, and the intricate work involved in their design was outstanding, particularly in view of their age. Explanations of the gods and the afterlife which affected all Egyptians at the time, but Royalty in particular, formed part of the exhibition, and were relatively clear and easy to understand. This in turn had an effect on comprehending why so many artefacts were included in Tutankhamun’s tomb – even food for his travel!
I have to agree with a comment that the exhibition is beautiful. Bearing in mind that the exhibits are unlikely to ever be seen outside Egypt again, it was an unforgettable pleasure to have had this opportunity to view them in an uncluttered environment. Thanks to the Saatchi Gallery – and many thanks as usual to Gwen for arranging this trip.
A group of happy time-travellers ...