Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on museum visit 1. Museum Visit Number] Mummy Mask of a Lady (Courtesy of Cantor Arts Center Stanford Visit to Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University was a thought provoking and rich experience entailing trip. The 24 galleries of the museum were full of sculptures and portraits. Although, most of them were sculptures gathered from Asia, Africa, Egypt, Europe & America, but collection of arts and craft from Native Americans and other states were also on display. The pieces of art displayed, embraced life in them. The showcases appealed the viewers to see through them a time and civilization, which was thought to have a strange dream like influence on the viewer. The mesmerizing sculptures were a depiction of life different from the modern world. Hence, these sculptures and portraits are the reminder of the people and civilization which was prominent, powerful, victorious and alive, but don’t existent anymore (” Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University”)
The work which intrigued me most was the Mummy Mask of a Lady whose artist was unknown and which belonged to 7th-6th Century BCE. Funeral ceremony in ancient Egypt included sculpted masks tradition, which was made for the deceased person to strengthen his spirit for the afterlife sake. Hence, these burial masks contained specifications in engraved form of a deceased person. Prominent Royal Family Members wore burial masks with specifications of their rank, status, gender, beauty and personality attributes. Thus, youth, beauty and royalty were the evident features of such masks.
Ancient Egyptians believed that spirits can recognize its body through the mask. Moreover, death was a transitional process for them, a journey from one life to the other. Therefore, these masks were considered to be objects which had a power to turn a mortal into divine state.
Masks hold significant position in the prevailing society as well. Thus, these invisible masks are often worn on daily bases, as available in the form of hypocrisy, selfishness, greed, lust and many more. In the prevailing society the aim of these masks, is to attain wealth. However, the ancients wore masks to become immortals. Since, there is a lack of agreement of life after death in the prevailing society therefore, people wore mask to gain material benefits only in this life.
The Mummy Mask of a Lady transcended me into a different dimension of time. A time where funerals took over 70 days, mask of a deceased was a symbol or verification object to enter into another life with an identity. The peculiar features of the mask embossed the status of the deceased, in a life. which was over for him. However, which’s reference was necessary for him to begin another life with a benefit of divinity.
The features of the mask strike me due to its realism. Wide-open eyes expressed vivacity and vigilance, thus. it depicted the readiness of a person entering into another dimension of life. Ancient Egyptians believed that Gods had gold skin. therefore, the face of mask had a base of gold. The Royal members of Ancient Egypt lived a life of luxury and expected the same protocol and even more after their death. They wished to associate to divine form so they tried to resemble to their Gods.
The patterns on printed cloak and gold wig entailed the status of the deceased lady who wore this mask and the blue wigs were painted to resemble the lady with the hair of sun god, another sign of immortality. The enigmatic half smile of the Mummy Mask of a Lady is a divisive feature. it hangs the question of assurance in the middle and one is left puzzled that the believes of the lady who wore this mask, were true or she left this world to see another. which was entirely different from her beliefs .
.”Collections.” .Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. Web. 7 Nov 2012. .
Unknown, . Search Collection- Object details. 2006. Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University Web. 7 Nov 2012. .