Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs
Denver Art Museum
July 1, 2010 – January 2, 2011

Tutankhamun shabti


Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, a touring exhibition featuring more than 100 treasures from the tomb of the celebrated pharaoh King Tut and additional ancient sites, will make its sole Rocky Mountain West appearance at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), opening to the public July 1, 2010 and continuing through January 2, 2011. The exhibition is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“This exquisite exhibition is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors from Denver and around the region to experience the art of ancient Egypt right here in the Mile High City,” said Lewis Sharp, director of the Denver Art Museum. “Our recently expanded campus provides us with the space and infrastructure to serve the community with a full scope of exhibition opportunities, and we are excited to be hosting Tutankhamun.”

Tickets will go on sale in spring 2010, and ticket pricing will be announced at that time. Museum members will receive notification about priority booking and discounted tickets, and will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for this groundbreaking exhibition. For more information on becoming a DAM member, please visit www.denverartmuseum.org/get involved/membership or call 720-865-5000.

Interested non-members may pre-register online or by phone for the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public. To do that, visit www.denverartmuseum.org and click on “upcoming exhibitions” or call 720-865-5000 for pre-registration access.

DAM will host expanded hours during the run of Tutankhamun. A portion of the proceeds from the tour will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt, including the construction of a new grand museum in Cairo.

“Tutankhamun’s magic still captures the hearts of people all over the world, even though more than 85 years have passed since the discovery of his amazing tomb,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities.

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs at the DAM will feature striking objects from some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2,600 B.C. to 660 B.C.). Derived from a variety of contexts, including temples and both royal and private tombs, many of these artifacts have never before visited the United States.

This spectacular collection features the largest image of King Tut ever unearthed – a 10-foot statue of the pharaoh found at the remains of the funerary temple of two of his high officials. The statue still retains much of its original paint. The exhibition follows a storyline that explores the splendor of the pharaohs, their function in both the earthly and divine worlds and what “kingship” meant to the Egyptian people. Visitors will encounter artifacts from some of the most powerful Egyptian rulers, including Khefren, whose great pyramid is the only remaining structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world; Hatshepsut, the queen who became a pharaoh; and Psusennes I, whose magnificent golden death mask will be on display.

The DAM will dedicate two expansive Hamilton Building gallery spaces to the exhibition, the Anschutz Gallery and the Gallagher Family Gallery. The dramatic experience will begin with a short National Geographic video documentary narrated by award-winning actor Harrison Ford, then will lead to spaces exploring the discovery of Tut’s tomb by British explorer Howard Carter in 1922. Guests will encounter legendary artifacts from the burial site’s antechamber, annex, treasury and burial chamber in corresponding galleries, which will include the pharaoh’s golden sandals, jewelry, furniture, weaponry and statuary.

Programming surrounding the exhibition will feature family-friendly activities and spaces to engage visitors of all ages with relevant collections and experiences.

New scientific discoveries that emerged from a landmark Egyptian research and conservation project, partially funded by the National Geographic Society, also will be on view, providing visitors with further insight into Tutankhamun’s legendary life and death. This includes the first 3-D CT scans of the great King’s mummy, captured through the use of a portable CT scanner donated by Siemens Medical Solutions.

The exhibition is anticipated to be a major travel and tourism draw for the city of Denver and the state of Colorado, said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, the private, non-profit trade association responsible for marketing Denver as a convention and leisure destination. “Denver is an unparalleled destination for business or pleasure with vast cultural resources, and Tutankhamun’s arrival in 2010 will undoubtedly be a great draw for the Mile High City,” Scharf said. “VISIT DENVER looks forward to working together with the Denver Art Museum to build excitement for this incredible exhibition.”

In fact, business and leisure tour groups can begin the process of ticketing for Tutankhamun by contacting the DAM at 720-865-5000 to receive priority booking when tickets go on sale.

Corporations, businesses, clubs, groups and individuals also may expand the Tutankhamun experience to include a special event in one of the museum’s unique and unforgettable event spaces, paired with artfully tailored cuisine by Kevin Taylor Catering at the Denver Art Museum. For more information, please contact us at damevents@denverartmuseum.org or 720-865-5171.

Tutankhamun exhibition underwriting opportunities – including sponsoring museum spaces, programs and student scholarships – also are available. For information, please contact Sally Chafee at schafee@denverartmuseum.org or 720-913-0034.

Northern Trust is a proud cultural partner of the tour, and American Airlines is the official airline.
“For 120 years, Northern Trust has recognized the value of providing our communities with enriching cultural and educational experiences, such as this exhibition on invaluable treasures from ancient Egypt,” said Northern Trust President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. “We are privileged to support an event that brings to Denver unique insights into our shared human history.”

“American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing this exhibit to Denver,” said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. “We realize that access to global transportation is an important component of making this exhibit a reality and it is exciting to know that American Airlines will be helping to make it possible for this remarkable exhibit to be seen by visitors in Denver and the entire western region of the country.”

National Geographic Books publishes the companion book to the exhibition, written by Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is one of two National Geographic exhibitions dedicated to the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty. The other exhibition, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, currently is on display in San Francisco.

Denver Art Museum