Visions of Ancient Egypt

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Visions of Ancient Egypt: Art, Design and the Cultural Imagination

This exhibition examines the enduring appeal of ancient Egypt in art and design, exploring how ancient Egypt has been re-imagined across time to suit different ambitions and to construct changing identities. It uses two important historic events as a point of departure – Jean-François Champollion’s 1822 decipherment of hieroglyphs and Howard Carter’s 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Including paintings, sculpture, photography, fashion and jewellery, this wide-ranging exhibition traces how processes of re-invention, appropriation and subversion have generated multiple visions of Egypt since the Roman period. The Western fascination with ancient Egypt is explored side-by-side with Egypt’s own engagement with its ancient past.

The exhibition features art works from antiquity to the present day and by artists including Joshua Reynolds, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, David Hockney, Chant Avedissian, Chris Ofili and Sara Sallam.

This exhibition is organised by the Sainsbury Centre in association with the Laing Art Gallery.

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