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Tutankhamun Treasures

November 3 – December 3, 1961
Main Floor, Rotunda

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 34 small objects from the Cairo Museum were selected from the more than 2,000 found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The exhibition was opened by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Ambassador Dr. Mostafa Kamel, and the Minister of Culture of the United Arab Republic, Dr. Sarwat Okasha.

The dramatic installation was designed by Robert B. Widder, in a series of glass cases arranged in a circle in the Rotunda, the first time that this area had been used for an exhibition. This location helped to ease the flow of visitors. The Gallery was open 4 additional hours each Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., to accommodate the crowds. The purpose of the loan was to stimulate interest in America in the salvage program of monuments threatened by the Aswan Dam project. The exhibition was circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service to 14 other museums during the next 2 years.

15 photographs of monuments and temples on the Nile, which were to be saved before completion of the Aswan Dam, were shown in the cafeteria corridor at the same time.

Attendance: 247,054

Catalog: Tutankhamun Treasures: A Loan Exhibition from the Department of Antiquities of the United Arab Republic, by Rudolf Anthes. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1961.

Brochure: Preliminary brochure with checklist. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1961.

Other Venues: University Museum, Philadelphia, December 15, 1961–January 14, 1962
Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut, February 1–February 28, 1962
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 15–April 15, 1962
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, May 1–May 31, 1962
Oriental Institute, Chicago, June 15–July 15, 1962
Seattle Art Museum, August 1–August 31, 1962
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, September 15–October 14, 1962
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 30–November 30, 1962
Cleveland Museum of Art, December 15, 1962–January 13, 1963
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, February 1–February 28, 1963
City Art Museum of Saint Louis, March 15–April 14, 1963
Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, May 1–May 31, 1963
Dayton Art Institute, Ohio, June 15–July 15, 1963
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, September 15–October 15, 1963