Telluride Inside… and Out, Denver: The King (Tut) is in the House

Telluride Inside… and Out, Denver: The King (Tut) is in the House

by Tracy Shaffer

What do you do when you discover royalty has just taken up residence in the neighborhood? Throw a party of course! It was all feathers and fringe as the Flappers and Pharaohs funder took hold of the Denver Art Museum Friday to honor the arrival of Tutankhamun.The band played The Duke, festive femmes, legs akimbo, danced the Charleston, (candy) cigarette girls and bare-chested Nubian slaves roamed while Roaring 20s clad guests raised a glass to the Boy King in Denver's own angular wonder, the Hamilton Building.

After a welcome by DAM Director, Christoph Heinrich,  world-renowned archeologist and Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities,  Zahi Hawass, engaged the crowd with tales of Tut and rhapsody on a life of constant discovery. Now, onward to the gallery as we 550 were the first to preview the pithy exhibit.

Having missed the Treasures of Tutankhamun tour of the late 70s, the only context for comparison is not Tut specific but from my countless hours in the Egyptology wing at the Metropolitan. Entering the DAM exhibit, you wait dramatically outside a closed door while Harrison Ford sets the back drop. Doors open to the Hollywood mural entrance into Egypt and the Hall of the Great Pharaohs introducing us to the monuments of these ancient rock stars and the highlights of their heyday. There is a moment of inspired display as one approaches the red granite statue of Hatshepsut. Kneeling on a pedestal in the center of the room, this glorious beauty is placed eye-to-piercing-eye with the viewer. I stared and she stared back, holding my gaze for an eternity. When I broke the gaze to read her bio, I saw she'd been a queen who assumed exalted pharaoh status and is the symbol of endurance.

Rounding through the galleries there are a few eye-popping surprises and though the exhibit seems a bit slight it's well balanced between information and artifact. Beautifully lit, the interplay of ancient stone, calcite, granite and gold is captivating and the overall experience is quite sensual.

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs runs June 29, 2010 through January 9, 2011 at Denver Art Museum. 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy Denver CO

Tracy Shaffer with Natalie Rekstad-Lynn, Founder/Curator, and Carmel Koeltzow, Director of Salon du Musee, Event Sponsor.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.