British Museum
Thu 26 Jan 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Egyptomania! image

Dan Cruickshank chairs as our speakers give three short talks on Egyptomania and the influence of ancient Egypt on art and architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Egyptologist Dr Benjamin Hinson invites us to reconsider ‘tourist arts’ – art produced locally for consumption by tourists, kickstarted by visitors to Egypt. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 sparked a craze for Egypt in Western popular culture and Egyptian designers began to re-invent traditional crafts for this growing market. Usually consigned to the pile of ‘kitsch’, Hinson considers these objects as a valid expression of the Egyptian revival which show Egyptians engaging with Western preconceptions of Egypt on their own terms.
Dr Anna Ferrari, Curator of Art and Visual Culture at the Science Museum, will discuss 20th century modernist artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore and Egyptian sculptor Mahmoud Mokhtar, who looked to ancient Egypt for inspiration. This talk will explore the different ways in which modernists engaged with ancient Egyptian heritage and ask: is this Egyptomania?