01 Mar 2024

EES Archives on Tour

Read about the Society’s latest archive loan at the Egypt Centre in Swansea.

On Thursday 29 February 2024, the Egypt Exploration Society unveiled its latest archive loan at the Egypt Centre in Swansea. EES.ART.224, the largest original watercolour by Howard Carter, is now on display in the Museum and can be viewed during their opening hours.

EES.ART.224_Egypt Centre_Ken Griffin, Carl Graves

Dr Ken Griffin (Curator, the Egypt Centre) and Dr Carl Graves (Director, the EES) and staff from Swansea University with the watercolour now on display in the Egypt Centre.

Carter painted the scene in 1894 at the age of just 19 when working for the Egypt Exploration Fund (as we were known at the time) at Deir el-Bahari – the famous mortuary temple of Hatshepsut. As well as recording the decorated wall scenes in watercolour, Carter was also responsible for the photography on site, and leading the team reconstructing the temple.

The scene shown in EES.ART.224 presents the Pharaoh Tuthmosis I with his mother, Senseneb. Hatshepsut was keen to display her royal lineage in the temple which helped to justify her rule which was initially shared with her stepson, Tuthmosis III.

Carl Graves_Howard Carter_Lecture_Egypt Centre

Dr Carl Graves (EES Director) delivered a lecture about the life and legacy of Howard Carter during the launch event at the Egypt Centre, Swansea University.

Dr Carl Graves (EES Director) delivered a lecture focusing on the life and legacy of Howard Carter at the launch. He said: “We’re delighted that the Egypt Centre is the first stopping place for our archive masterpiece. As partners hosting the EES Egyptological Congress in 2022, the Egypt Centre and the EES have a long history of working together with many of the artefacts in the museum donated through the work of the Society since 1882. This loan reflects our continued commitment to working together and sharing masterpieces from our collections with UK partners.”

Dr Ken Griffin (Curator at the Egypt Centre) said: “Undoubtedly Howard Carter is one of the most famous names associated with the exploration of ancient Egypt so this is a huge coup for the museum. The painting is rarely displayed anywhere outside the EES' headquarters in London and this is the first time it has been sent on loan to Wales. We are honoured and extremely proud that the Society has recognised our passion and expertise in this field and we now look forward to welcome visitors to see it in all its glory.”

He added that the painting, “will be used in teaching programmes at Swansea University in a range of subjects”.

The painting was so large that it could not be published in full by the original excavation team. It was conserved and reframed in 2022 thanks to generous donations from EES Members, and then later exhibited in the Visions of Ancient Egypt exhibition at the Sainsburys Centre in Norwich and the Laing Gallery in Newcastle. The latest loan, to the Egypt Centre, reflects the ongoing partnership between the EES and the Egypt Centre and the Museum’s continued dedication to using their collections in both teaching and public engagement. We hope that you find chance to visit the painting while on loan!

Read more on the Swansea University website here.

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