Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pretty Kitty


This rather handsome kitty is from the collection of the British Museum.
Carved from red granite, this magnificent lion is currently on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art as part of a traveling exhibition called "Temples and Tombs". Running til July 8, this show includes a wide variety of pieces that might just change your mind about what Egyptian Art looks like.
Take this wonderful cat, for instance. Look at that very relaxed pose. If you have ever spent any time around cats you will recognize the posture. Not just the regal air but the way that the right paw rests on the left. Note his right hind foot - pads visible and toes slightly curled.
I'm a great fan of the British Museum . For one thing, thirty years ago, a lovely museum guard found me collapsed in the Attic Pottery Gallery and whisked me off to the first-aid station where, in true British form, the first order of business was to administer a nice hot cup of tea.
Apart from the mummy rooms (I avoid those.) I know the Egyptian collection pretty well but there are a lot of items on display in this show that I don't recall having seen before. That's probably because there's just so danged much to see at the British Museum that you're bound to miss something.
So, if you have a spare afternoon and the price of a special event ticket ($10 for non-members), treat yourself to a few hours at the NC Museum of Art. Sure, the show is a little like a Whitman's Sampler of Egyptian Art but it offers the museum-goer a lot to think about.
To see the British Museum collection online, you simply must check out Compass. It's searchable, has learning activities for children and is an excellent way to waste time.