Our summer series of Tea & Talks continue with Dr. Bob Brier (“Mr. Mummy”), recognized as a foremost Egyptologist, who will examine the fascination with the ancient world along the Nile River. He will cover the events that fanned the flames of “Egytomania” during the last two centuries in his visual presentation on Tuesday, June 18 at 4:00 pm. A Victorian tea will follow his talk.
What were these events? There were Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign that led to a new decorative arts trend, the Suez Canal Big Dig and the carting of gigantic obelisks to Paris, London and New York. Brier states perhaps the greatest boost to Egyptomania was Howard Carter’s discovery and opening of Tutankhamen’s intact tomb. Later, in the 1970s, traveling exhibitions of the boy-king’s treasures kept the momentum going.
Brier will also discuss why Victorians were especially interested in ancient Egypt and will present many images of the collectibles that the fasciation inspired, from a beautiful Wedgwood Egyptian tea service to mechanical lead pencils in the shapes of mummies and coffins.
As Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Brier conducts pioneering research in mummification practices and has investigated some of the world’s most famous mummies, including King Tut, Vladimir Lenin, Ramses the Great, Eva Peron and the Medici family of Renaissance Italy.
In 1994, Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver using the exact techniques of the ancient Egyptians. This research was the subject of a National Geographic TV special titled “Mr. Mummy.”
The speaker was the host of several award-winning television specials, including “Pyramids, Mummies & Tombs” and “Mummy Detective.” National Geographic TV presented his research in a documentary called “Secret of the Great Pyramid,” discussing a new theory of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. His research has been featured on such media venues as CNN, 60 Minutes and in the The New York Times. His most recent book is Cleopatra’s Needles: The Lost Obelisks of Egypt. (Bloomsbury, 2016).
The Summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.
Cost to attend the Brier’s talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. For reservations call us at 413-637-3206.