Yesterday I attended the memorial service in Knutsford for Bob Partridge, a well-known figure in Egyptology, particularly in Manchester where
he ran the hugely successful Manchester Ancient Egypt Society and edited Ancient Egypt magazine. MAES has hosted some of the most famous names in Egyptology for talks in Manchester, and through the Society and Bob’s work the support for Egyptology in Manchester has grown and grown. The Manchester Museum’s Egypt collection has benefited over the years from the interest and support of members of MAES and of Bob himself – most recently the Society raised money to contribute to the redisplay of Asru in the new Ancient Worlds galleries, for which the Museum is immensely grateful.
I returned from London on Friday after teaching a week-long Bloomsbury Summer School course on Perceptions of Egypt, which explored the roots of our ideas about Egypt, and the nature of ancient Egypt’s continued popularity. The course was attended by people from the USA, Spain and the UK, all of whom contributed to the extended discussions we had on everything from aliens building the pyramids to mummy films and Egypt as an African culture. We ended the course with a walk looking at ancient and Art Deco Egypt in London – the photo below shows the group in front of one of the sphinxes at Cleopatra’s Needle on the Victoria Embankment.
I am now back at the Museum where we are focusing on the development of digital content for the Ancient Worlds galleries. The photographer, Paul Cliff, and his assistant, Victoria, began work yesterday and are producing beautiful images to be used in various ways in association with the new galleries. The Egypt galleries have been partially emptied to allow the photography to take place and to begin the conservation of objects for Unearthed!, the temporary Egypt exhibition featuring Terry Deary of Horrible Histories fame, opening in September 2011, and for Ancient Worlds, opening towards the end of next year.