News

In the Fullness of Time: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from American Collections

From August 31 through January 4, 2003, the Hallie Ford Museum
of Art at Willamette University will present In the Fullness of Time: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from American Collections. Organized by John Olbrantz, director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and consultant James F. Romano, curator of Egyptian, classical, and ancient Middle Eastern art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the exhibition presents a survey of Egyptian art and culture from 4500 BC to the end of the Roman period.

Included in the exhibition are 48 objects on loan from some of the most distinguished Egyptian collections in the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Because very few examples of Egyptian art exist in this region, one of the underlying purposes of the exhibition is to introduce audiences in the West to important yet rarely seen masterpieces of Egyptian art, including superb examples of painting, relief, sculpture, and the personal arts.

Of Egypt's many legacies, none speaks more eloquently to modern audiences than her art. The Egyptian facility with color and line, mastery of obdurate stone, and skill in creating harmonious compositions, enthrall and captivate modern audiences. Yet much of what modern viewers believe about Egyptian art is plagued by misconceptions. How often have we read that Egyptian art is conservative, obsessed with death, or awkward and unskilled in its depiction of the human form?

In the Fullness of Time: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from American Collections seeks to dispel these fallacies. One of the exhibitions principle themes--Egyptian art was a dynamic phenomenon that functioned at a deliberate pace--is illustrated throughout the exhibition. By bringing together exquisite examples of Egyptian art that range from the
Predynastic period to Roman times, the exhibition highlights countless subtle but significant changes in Egyptian form, style, and iconography. Other themes explored in the exhibition include the "African-ness" of Egyptian art, the question of portraiture, the depiction of gender in Egyptian art, and the relationship between writing and the visual arts.

In addition to the 48 objects on display, the exhibition features text panels, annotated labels, photo murals, a map, a chronology, and a full-color exhibition catalogue with an introduction on the history of American Egyptology and an essay on the themes of the exhibition. The exhibition catalogue has been published in cooperation with the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.

In order to broaden the scope of the exhibition, and to place the objects in their proper socio-cultural context, an extensive lecture series has been planned for the months of September and October. Some of the foremost Egyptologists from throughout the United States have been invited to lecture, including James Romano, Kent Weeks, Lanny Bell, and Rita Freed. In addition, a four-part film series has been planned for the months of October and November, and a one-day teacher workshop on Egyptian hieroglyphs has been scheduled for October.

Once the exhibition closes in Salem, it will travel to the Boise Art Museum in Idaho, where it will be shown from March 8-June 29, 2003.

In the Fullness of Time: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from American Collections is supported by a major grant from an anonymous donor, with additional support provided by the Wyss Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Salem (through the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax Funds).

The lecture and film series is supported by a major grant from the Oregon Council for the Humanities, with additional support provided by the Hogue-Sponenburgh Lecture Fund, the Salem Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and an anonymous donor.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free each Tuesday.

For further information, please call 503/370-6855.

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08-14-2002