A team from the Indianapolis Museum of Art including curator Theodore Celenko, designer Tim Hilldebrand, director of new media Daniel Incandela, and new media project administrator Despi Mayes, Gregory Smith, Technical Designer, and Naeema Jackson, formerly in the Education Department visited me in Brooklyn last week to prepare for the opening of the exhibition, To Live Forever on July 13, 2008 at their museum. At lunch we talked about progress on preparing the labels, the layout of the exhibition, and details of mounts and casework. Then we went to the Egyptian galleries where Daniel and Despi (pictured above) filmed me talking about the exhibition for the web site they are preparing.
Daniel and Despi were also able to film Brooklyn conservators Lisa Bruno and Carolyn Tomkiewicz as they worked on preparing the mummy of Demetris and the painted shroud of Neferhotep for the exhibition. These two objects show two options for portraits that Egyptians had during the period when the Romans ruled the country. A panel painting on wood could be wrapped in the mummy wrappings as in the case of Demetrius’ mummy. Or the portrait could be painted directly on to the linen shroud that covers the mummy as Neferhotep did, eliminating the expense of the wood panel. The exhibition looks at the choices Egyptians had in planning their funerals. The visit was a great success.
Edward Bleiberg is Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum. He joined the museum in 1998 after 13 years teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs and directing the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis. A native of Pittsburgh, he graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School and Haverford College. After graduate work at Yale University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned an MA and Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of books and articles on the ancient Egyptian economy, Egyptian coffins, and the Jewish minority in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Dr. Bleiberg has curated Jewish Life in Ancient Egypt, Tree of Paradise: Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire, and Pharaohs, Queens and Goddesses in Brooklyn. He is currently preparing To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum a traveling exhibition on Egyptian burial customs opening in June, 2008. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.