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[Northwestern] The Art and Science of Mummy Portraits

January 13 - April 22

Paint the Eyes Softer: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt”, ​presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art and McCormick School of Engineering, opens on January 13th and continues through April 22nd.

The exhibition brings to Northwestern a series of mummy portraits produced in Egypt during the Roman period, a complete intact portrait mummy and other archeological finds from the Fayum region.

The groundbreaking installation is co-curated by Marc Walton, research professor of materials science and engineering at McCormick and senior scientist at NU-ACCESS; Taco Terpstra, assistant professor of classics and history in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and Essi Rönkkö, Block Museum curatorial associate.

Northwestern students enrolled in an advanced undergraduate seminar in fall 2017 worked with Terpstra and Walton to conduct hands-on work in a laboratory environment collecting scientific data on the mummy portraits and the Hibbard mummy. Their research results are summarized in the exhibition and provide new insights into the economic, historical and social context for art-making in the Fayum region and Roman Egypt.

The Block Museum is always free and open to all.