This sumptuously illustrated book is a wonderful introduction to the enormous and varied legacy of ancient Egypt. Created to accompany one of the greatest loan exhibitions ever to have been mounted from the collections of the British Museum, Eternal Egypt illustrates the development and achievements of ancient Egyptian art over a period of more than 3,000 years. Almost all of the artifacts have been drawn from the Museum's permanent exhibitions; many are among the finest examples of their kind to have survived from antiquity. Handsomely produced, this book reveals these objects—including sculpture, relief, papyri, hieroglyphic writing, jewelry, painting, cosmetic objects, and items of funerary equipment—as a means of extraordinary artistic expression rather than simply as historical documents. The book and the exhibit, which will travel to eight U.S. cities over the course of three years, provide a remarkable opportunity to explore the creative genius of one of the world's most extraordinary civilizations.
Eternal Egypt features the unique and innovative aspects of art from each period, as well as characteristic styles, forms, and genres. Edna Russmann, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Egyptian art and curator of the exhibition, offers a wide-ranging and authoritative introductory essay that covers archaism, portraiture, and stylistic innovation in Egyptian art. The text also relates the history of the British Museum collection of Egyptian antiquities, showing how these exquisite art works came together. Each piece in the exhibition is given a separate explanatory entry in the book. With its superb color photographs and accessible yet informative text, Eternal Egypt marks a substantial step forward in scholarly understanding of its subject, embodying the results of the very latest research and containing many new and original insights and observations. It will be a must read for anyone with a passion for ancient Egypt.
Published in association with the American Federation of Arts by arrangement with the British Museum Press
Edna R. Russmann is Curator of the Egyptian collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and guest curator of the exhibition.