Visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

I had a full day before the DITA Europe conference started, so I met with the Schengili ladies at my hotel and we headed off together to the Kunsthistorisches Museum down by Museum Platz. (A central place for museums! Heaven!) 😉

The chief goal of visiting this museum was to visit its Ancient Egyptian collection, primarily to get a good look at and photograph one of the rare Reserve Heads from the Old Kingdom in its collection. Teresa and her daughters were very good-natured for putting up with me and my interest in this area, and am hoping I made it up to them somewhat by explaining what I knew about the context for the objects that we saw.

The first thing that greets the visitor to the wing of the museum is the mock-Ancient Egyptian facade done in marble by the entranceway, with a distainful looking Pharoah looking down upon would-be visitors to “his” gallery; definitely not the beatific look of a typical Thutmosid bust. He is flanked by a couple of snakes, though he has no Royal Uraeus on his head-dress — so definitely a Viennese confection. I was also told that the wording for the gallery above him is in an old form of German, which somehow seemed to fit with the grand imperial-era look of the museum itself. The entrance is flanked on one side by a life-sized figure of the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet, presumably one of the several hundred fashioned for the funerary complex of Amenhotep III, and consequently nearly ubiquitous in Ancient Egyptian collections world-wide (there were two more such statues inside the gallery).

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