Story by Biba Adams | Photos by The Charles H. Wright Museum
The Charles H. Wright Museum is one of the premier Black historical museums in America.
Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has for over half a century been a leading institution dedicated to the African-American experience.
The Wright Museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African-Americans and their African origins.
In 2022, the CHW Museum is set to launch several all new exhibitions that will provide education and insight for visitors all year. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, one of the busiest days of the year for the museum, KING TUTANKHAMUN will return to The Wright.
According to the museum, 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of the boy Pharaoh (King), Tutankhamun. Described as an innocent puppet-ruler, Pharaoh Tut was caught in the middle of a political, spiritual, and artistic revolution, initiated by his father, Pharaoh Akhenaten. Accompanied by an informative catalog, KING TUTANKHAMUN: Wonderful Things from the Pharaoh’s Tomb, vividly brings to life Egypt’s 18th Dynasty.
Tutankhamun, commonly referred to as King Tut took the throne at eight or nine years old. During his reign he made endowments to priests and grew the cults of Amun and Ptah. He also built diplomatic relationships with other kingdoms that had long been neglected. His legacy has long been celebrated after being discovered in 1922 filled with unique artifacts.
“As my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold – everywhere the glint of gold…when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?,’ it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things,’ said Howard Carter, the archaeologist credited with the discovery of Tut’s tomb.
His belongings travel in exhibition more than any other pharaoh and now they are on their way back to Detroit.
The exhibition is presented by Citizens Bank and the Rocket Community Fund. Inside, it is divided into five sections—An introduction to Ancient Egypt, The Archeological Discovery, The Private Pharaoh, The Public Pharaoh, and The Royal Burial – this installation features more than 120 replicas of Pharaoh Tut’s sacred and personal possessions.
Inside the exciting exhibition are some of the most valued possessions that once belonged to the boy king so many years ago: items such as the golden Canopic Shrine, the Pharaoh’s magnificent chariot, the iconic golden mummy case, his throne, child’s chair, embalming couch, bed, jewelry, spectacular funerary mask, and the bejeweled royal mummy. These objects are examples of the opulent life the young Pharaoh enjoyed in life and in death.
Jonathan Jones, Manager of Youth and Family Programs, said that the exhibit will be great for kids because King Tut is one of the most widely-known figures from Ancient Egypt. Tutankhamun took the throne at such a young age and only served for what most kids would understand as the middle-school and high school years of his life. He hopes to be able to explain to children about how so many children’s stories and fables like King Arthur, for example, are based on Tut.
“He was a reuniter. He established a precedent of peace,” Jones says, “and he was only a tween. He had to step into such a big role at such a young age is phenomenal and is a story that can also resonate with kids.”
Much of the exhibit is interactive, the museum is developing a workbook for children, and there are a lot of Egyptian-inspired items in the Charles H. Wright Museum gift shop.
The exhibit opened on January 17, 2022 and runs through August 22, 2022.