Tut, tut, New York, get ready to catch King Tut fever: Not one, but two exhibitions celebrating the legendary Egyptian boy king have landed in New York.
In midtown’s Discovery Times Square Exposition Center (Discovery TSX; 226 West 44th Street; 888-988-8692), “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” has just opened, and will be in the city through the beginning of next January before returning to Egypt. The exhibition includes both treasures unearthed from his tomb as well as scientific findings about King Tut.
The crown that was on his head in the tomb, along with a gold coffinette, are on display. King Tut died when he was 19 in about 1324 BC: the latest scientific evidence shows that the cause may have been malaria combined with a degenerative bone disease. An entire gallery is devoted to scientific studies, including DNA information, surrounding his life and death.
Two family days are coming up: Sunday, May 9, and Sunday, June 13—they will include special tours and a mummy-wrapping activity.
Over at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street; 212 879-5500; through September 6), “Tutankhamun’s Funeral” is on display; it looks at the funeral rites and materials associated with Tut’s burial. The exhibition serves as a nice complement to the one at Times Square. Materials that were used at his burial and funeral rites—including bowls, linen sheets and bandages, jars and floral collars–are on view at the exhibition, as are archival photographs that provide background. A sculpted head of the boy king is also on view, as are facsimile paintings showing funerary rites.
Get wrapped up in Tut and go!
If you have, know, or have spoken to a preteen over the last year, you have probably seen them clutching one of the “Percy Jackson” books. Now, the first movie based on the series (five books in all) by Rick Riordan finally opens today in New York (and across the country).
The series highlights a group of kids who are demigods: Each one has a parent who is an Olympic God: Greek mythology made modern.
Plot? Young Percy, who’s the son of Poseidon, is wrongly accused of stealing a powerful lightning bolt from the gods and must set about to clear his name, all while dealing with adolescent issues. Oh yes, his mom gets kidnapped and taken to Hades, his two best friends (a satyr; the daughter of Athena) have issues of their own, and so on.
What makes the movie especially intriguing for New Yorkers, however, is that much of it is set here, and much of it was filmed here.
Pivotal scenes take place in and around The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the museum will actually be running family workshops inspired by the book in March and April. (Semi-spoiler alerts approaching: the Greek galleries play an important role, and much filming took place in front of the building last summer.)
Another important landmark in the book: The Empire State Building, or, to be more specific, the top of the Empire state Building and beyond…)
Central Park also plays a role, as does the Upper East Side.
So when you’ve seen the movie, check out the actual landmarks that inspired the scenes–and get ready for Percy Jackson fever to take over.
Art has its perils—at least if you were a visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street) on Friday.
A visitor–Overenthusiastic? Awkward? Cursed?–lost her balance and fell into the Picasso painting “The Actor,” valued at $80 million.
The visitor tore a six-inch gash in the lower right-hand corner of the painting, unusual in part for its large size—6 feet by 4 feet. The work is also important in that it signaled a move from Picasso’s “Blue Period,” in which he used mainly shades of blue, to a rose period. Picasso painted “The Actor” in the winter of 1904-05. It was donated to the Met in 1952 by automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy, and has hung in a second-floor gallery since then. The painting shows a stick-thin figure in a pink stage costume, and is displayed with some of Picasso’s other early works.
The woman who damaged the painting was participating in an adult education class in the afternoon, and somehow stumbled and fell.
A Museum statement says that the damage can be fully repaired, and that the hole was not made in a focal point of the painting.
The painting, which was removed from the gallery, will supposedly be repaired in time to be displayed in an exhibit of 250 Picasso works entitled “Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art” that opens April 27 and runs through August 1.
Considering the sheer numbers of people that move through the Museum each day, if not each hour, it’s actually a wonder that more accidents don’t happen more often.
Today marks both World Aids Day and its corollary, A Day Without Art, and events around New York are being held to honor the victims of AIDS.
Many museums are removing or covering works of art with black cloths to bring attention to the many artists who have died of AIDS. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, a work of art in each collection will be either removed or covered with a cloth; no work of the day will be presented on the website, and the flags outside the museum will be flown at half-staff. A list in the Great Hall, right inside the Museum’s entrance, will show visitors all the works removed from view, and explanatory labels will be included where the works usually sit. (Other museums around the city, and in fact, the country, are following suit.)
Other events around the city include a 24-hour reading of names of those who have died of AIDS; it takes place at City Hall Park (near 260 Broadway) through the day and into tomorrow. Everyone is welcome to stop by and participate.
And tonight, a candlelight vigil will beheld uptown in the Community Garden on East 103rd and Park Avenue; across the park, another vigil will take place at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 164 West 100th Street at 6:00 PM.
Let others fight their way through the madding crowds at stores today—you take the more peaceful path and shuffle off to see one–or several—well-known Christmas trees now alight across New York.
For starters, there’s the wonderfully quirky Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West and 77th Street). This year’s theme, Origami A-Z, features folded paper letters that alphabetically correspond to an animal. (Yup, the aardvark is there, and so is the Tasmanian wolf. More than 500 volunteers, including students from Goddard Riverside’s Head Start program, made the ornaments. Call (212) 769-5100 for more details.
Over on the east side, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Neapolitan Baroque crèche and tree are now open to the public. The 18th-century nativity scene features beautifully clothed attendant figures and angels hovering above the crèche, as well as recorded holiday music and periodic tree-lighting ceremonies. Get as close as you can (without pitching headfirst into the tree). The details on the costumes are exquisite. (Call 212 879-5500).
And for a tree that’s really away from the midtown frenzy, The South Street Seaport Tree Lighting ceremony is today (Pier 17; Fulton and South Streets). The tree lighting occurs at 6 pm, but festive events will be held throughout the day. At 3 and 5 PM, for instance, the Neptune High School Marching Band will perform. (Check out southstreetseaport.com for more info.)