The King of Egypt
The Pharaoh Lands in Leeds
‘Pharaoh: King of Egypt’ is a touring exhibition from the British Museum, showcasing over 130 objects from their Egyptology collection. The objects explore a variety of different themes around the life and death of the pharaoh, including palace life, regalia, traditions, religion, war and royal tombs. The objects themselves range from fragments of papyrus to large granite statues; and from intricate jewellery to a 7 foot wooden tomb guardian figurine. The content of the exhibition was developed in partnership with the Great North Museum, who also designed much of the set dressing which travels with the objects to each venue.
In 2012, the exhibition travelled to Newcastle, Dorchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol. All venues on the tour were partners with the British Museum as part of the British Museum UK Partnership Scheme, an initiative where the national museum works with museums around the country to share objects and expertise, with a particular focus on getting British Museum objects on display outside of London.
Every venue displayed the exhibition in their own unique way. For Leeds City Museum, this was the first time they had used their grand circular arena for an exhibition. The arena is usually presented as an open space with a map of Leeds on the floor and is used mainly for corporate events. The museum saw joining the exhibition tour as an opportunity to experiment with how this stunning space could be used. Having a blank space to work with, one of the immediate concerns was providing high-quality and secure display cases. In the end, they choose 6 TESS Evolution and 2 Spectrum cases from TESS Demountable to display key objects in the exhibition.
The cases not only make the objects in this exhibition look stunning, but they also provide flexibility for future exhibitions within the Leeds Museums and Galleries service.
Curator of Archaeology at Leeds Museums and Galleries