Analysis of 15th Century to Modern Displays on Ancient Egypt with Proposals for Future Museum Exhibits

Open Access
Author:
Hetrick, Caitlyn
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Archaeological Science, and Art History
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Claire Milner , Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Erin Hanses, Honors Advisor
  • Dr. Sue Redford , Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Elizabeth Walters, Thesis Supervisor
Keywords:
  • egyptology
  • museum studies
  • museology
  • archaeology
  • egyptomania
  • ancient Egypt
Abstract:
Established as scholarly authorities, museums exhibits are taken by the public to be factual. They assume that the institution is accurately portraying its subject material. Yet how well are modern museums representing ancient Egypt? Through research on Western society’s interaction with Egypt starting in the Renaissance and analysis of modern exhibits concerning ancient Egypt, a different picture begins to emerge. Vestiges of European nationalistic motivations and imperialist policy remain deeply rooted in the academic field of Egyptology, the public perception of the ancient civilization, and museums that influence the public. After examining existing Egyptian exhibitions, I discuss the future of museums, focusing on premier institutions and their capacity as public educators.