Queen Nefertari comes to Portland

Multnomah County

Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum through January 16, 2022

Statue of the goddess Mut, New Kingdom, 18th-20th Dynasties, 1539 – 1076 B.C.E., part of Queen Nefertari’s Egypt at the Portland Art Museum through Jan. 16, 2022 (PAM)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There is one thing Queen Nefertari could do 3300 years ago that you probably can’t do today: she could read and write hieroglyphs.

She used those skills to help the pharaoh in diplomatic work. Even though ancient Egypt’s society was rigid in its class levels, women took part in everything — fields, courtrooms, temples, palaces.

Now through January 16, 2022, the Portland Art Museum is hosting an exhibition called Queen Nefertari’s Egypt. The exhibit “explores women’s roles in religion, life in the women’s royal household, and their beauty and adornment rituals,” officials said, including a look into their beauty notions with bronze mirrors, cosmetic powders and ointments.

Her tomb, sometimes called the Sistine Chapel of Egypt, was re-discovered in 1904. The exhibition includes her burial chamber “with brilliantly painted scenes featuring gods and winged goddesses, animals, insects, and hieroglyphs illustrating the intricate process of passing through the underworld to eternal life,” Portland Art Museum officials said in a release.

The exhibit includes 220 works of art that takes a look at royal life and the life of artisans. There are household items, brushes, draftsmen’s sticks, axes, chisels, ancient Egypt sketchpads which combine to provide a look into everyday life more than 3000 years ago.

“We are thrilled to bring to Portland this incredible glimpse into the lives of ancient Egyptians through the exquisite artistry in this exhibition, said Brian Ferriso, the Director and Chief Curator of the Portland Art Museum.

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