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Memories of King Tut: Nieces and Nephews

August 6th, 2009

tut-memories1

Archival image from AGO, Treasures of Tutankhamun, 1979. Visitor’s looking at the “Leopard Skin Stool”.
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

The AGO is preparing to welcome King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs for its exclusive Canadian appearance starting Nov. 24, 2009 (starting Nov. 21 if you’re an AGO member). So we’re inviting AGO members and friends everywhere to share their memories of the 1979 King Tut exhibition – please share your memories in the Comments below.

I just read that everybody’s favourite pharaoh is returning to the AGO and my daughter and I, Egyptophiles both, are just floating with excitement!

While I have delayed buying a membership, Tut with Benefits is the perfect incentive for us. I look forward to taking my nieces and nephews to see the wonders and be amazed just as I was as a child and then again in 1979.

When my daughter was ten, my friend and I completely redecorated her bedroom in “Egyptian Princess” style, complete with gold, lapis and carnelian canopy bed, trompe l’oeil walls and reproduction artifacts.

Congratulations to all of you for this great coup!

Best regards.

How old were you when you visited the exhibition? What did you learn about the boy king and ancient Egypt? What amazed you? And in your view, what makes the wonders of ancient Egypt so alluring today? We’ll all find out come this fall when King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs opens, featuring an almost entirely different selection of treasures and more than twice the number of artifacts as were displayed in the 1979 exhibition. Because this time, Tut is bringing his fellow pharaohs.

You will see more than 100 remarkable pieces from the tomb of King Tut and ancient sites representing some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. While we all wait for their story, share yours today!

  • Rita Cacciotti – Attard

    I was honoured to be chosen one of he Ushabtis for the 1979 viewing of the Treasures of King Tutankhamun. I am excited to see that some of the pieces are returning and will enjoy taking my children to see them

  • http://www.lordoftherings.tc Eya Kotulsky

    In 1979, Ivaan Kotulsky, a brilliant Toronto metal artist and jeweller, created an incredibly beautiful collection of jewellery inspired by Tutankhamun. His work, including scarab rings and other exquisite pieces, was sold at the AGO Gift Shop, and its remarkable beauty has stood the test of time (as has everything related to King Tut!). For thirty years, he kept his ticket to the exhibit in mint condition inside the back cover of his art journal My beloved husband Ivaan’s death last December, which tragically cut short a brilliant and productive life in metal arts, means that he will not be able to see this exhibit in person, but his 1979 Tutankhamun jewellery will be there on display. Don’t miss the opportunity, when you are attending this year’s exhibit, to stop by the AGO shop and see the display of Ivaan’s jewellery. I wonder if the piece of scarab jewellery purchased by Fiona, whose comment appears above, is an Ivaan piece. If so, she owns a real treasure.

  • http://www.lordoftherings.tc Eya Kotulsky

    In 1979, Ivaan Kotulsky, a brilliant Toronto metal artist and jeweller, created an incredibly beautiful collection of jewellery inspired by Tutankhamun. His work, including scarab rings and other exquisite pieces, was sold at the AGO Gift Shop, and its remarkable beauty has stood the test of time (as has everything related to King Tut!). For thirty years, he kept his ticket to the exhibit in mint condition inside the back cover of his art journal My beloved husband Ivaan’s death last December, which tragically cut short a brilliant and productive life in metal arts, means that he will not be able to see this exhibit in person, but his 1979 Tutankhamun jewellery will be there on display. Don’t miss the opportunity, when you are attending this year’s exhibit, to stop by the AGO shop and see the display of Ivaan’s jewellery. I wonder if the piece of scarab jewellery purchased by Fiona, whose comment appears above, is an Ivaan piece. If so, she owns a real treasure.

  • danielle

    that lady looks parilized

  • danielle

    that lady looks parilized

  • http://marjcowan@hotmail.com marjorie dykeman cowan

    Before my husband & i had met we both viewed King Tuts treasures. In 1979 we were 17 years old. My parents who grew up very poor always tried to treat us to wonderful experiences that they could only dream of as childern.Mom booked the train out of London (we lived on a farm)along with a room at the historic Royal York. My younger brother & i still appreciate that trip..it was a visual & educational feast. This Christmas we will gift a trip to see Tut once again with our 27yr.old son,his wife,our 17 yr.old daughter,& her boyfriend.Hopefully my parents now 74 will join us… My treat

  • michelle walker

    wow, I just bought tickets to take my kids to see the King.
    I was 9 when i first saw him, and I still have the button my mom bought me:)
    I’m so excited about this, a must see..
    I remember in class we were doing all sorts of egyptian things, and i still ahve a piece i made from clay, what memories.

  • michelle walker

    wow, I just bought tickets to take my kids to see the King.
    I was 9 when i first saw him, and I still have the button my mom bought me:)
    I’m so excited about this, a must see..
    I remember in class we were doing all sorts of egyptian things, and i still ahve a piece i made from clay, what memories.

  • Yves McCann

    I was there in 1979, we were 2 couples from Quebec City, we drove all the way to Toronto to see the exhibition. The father of my friend bought the tickets for us. What I remember the most is the golden mask, it was the thrill of a lifetime to stand in front of it and I remember also that the pieces were shown in the chronological order that they were discovered. 28 years after I went to Philadelphia with my wife and kids to see this exhibition, its a lot smaller but it was great to see some pieces again.

  • Yves McCann

    I was there in 1979, we were 2 couples from Quebec City, we drove all the way to Toronto to see the exhibition. The father of my friend bought the tickets for us. What I remember the most is the golden mask, it was the thrill of a lifetime to stand in front of it and I remember also that the pieces were shown in the chronological order that they were discovered. 28 years after I went to Philadelphia with my wife and kids to see this exhibition, its a lot smaller but it was great to see some pieces again.

  • mbc

    30 years ago I was going through a difficult adjustment having just moved to Toronto. I was 9 years old at the time and it was a lonely, isolating phase for me. I remember being so consumed with King Tut and ancient Egypt in the months prior to our class trip. It was the most amazing thing in my life at that time. It transported me out of a difficult childhood period into a dreamy, fantastical world of kings, pyramids and divine power. It made quite a strong impression on me and I’m excited to see it again 30 years later.

    Thanks to all who had a hand in bringing this back and for brightening the world of a 9 year old girl.

  • mbc

    30 years ago I was going through a difficult adjustment having just moved to Toronto. I was 9 years old at the time and it was a lonely, isolating phase for me. I remember being so consumed with King Tut and ancient Egypt in the months prior to our class trip. It was the most amazing thing in my life at that time. It transported me out of a difficult childhood period into a dreamy, fantastical world of kings, pyramids and divine power. It made quite a strong impression on me and I’m excited to see it again 30 years later.

    Thanks to all who had a hand in bringing this back and for brightening the world of a 9 year old girl.

  • Sarah

    I remember my parents taking me to see the exhibit when I was 12 years old and being absolutely fasinated by all of it. I still have my souvenir mummy pin that says “Tut Tut” from the original exhibit!
    I am anxious to take my 12 and 13 year old sons to see it this time.

  • Sarah

    I remember my parents taking me to see the exhibit when I was 12 years old and being absolutely fasinated by all of it. I still have my souvenir mummy pin that says “Tut Tut” from the original exhibit!
    I am anxious to take my 12 and 13 year old sons to see it this time.

  • jenn

    I was there on a school trip in 1979 – I had a blast designing a King Tut project report, pictures and all which did not do the show justice, but to this day the viewing triggered my love for art history, historical research and reading. It’s great to see that Tut has returned with even more historical artifacts. Super effort on the part of the AGO – congrats.

  • jenn

    I was there on a school trip in 1979 – I had a blast designing a King Tut project report, pictures and all which did not do the show justice, but to this day the viewing triggered my love for art history, historical research and reading. It’s great to see that Tut has returned with even more historical artifacts. Super effort on the part of the AGO – congrats.

  • Jeanne Hill Flegg

    I went to see the exhibit with my school. I loved it so much and will definetly be there to see it again. My girlfriend and I both bought t-shirts and they said keep your hands off my tuts..hahaha I am going to see if my 20 year old son would love to come and see it with me I hope so he loves all this stuff. Thanks for bringing it back again now a new generation gets to see all these amazing treasures. See you soon can’t wait!!!

  • Jeanne Hill Flegg

    I went to see the exhibit with my school. I loved it so much and will definetly be there to see it again. My girlfriend and I both bought t-shirts and they said keep your hands off my tuts..hahaha I am going to see if my 20 year old son would love to come and see it with me I hope so he loves all this stuff. Thanks for bringing it back again now a new generation gets to see all these amazing treasures. See you soon can’t wait!!!

  • Ruth McKeown

    We dressed up like members of the Tutankhamun household! I got to be Cleopatra. None of the twenty-five of us were history students, that’s for sure. Being fun-loving members of Hart House Chorus at the University of Toronto, we paraded from the campus to the AGO in great anticipation of seeing the “Treasures,” and of being seen. We were met by an Anubis-like security guard, who failed to appreciate our excitement and mirth. We finally talked him into letting us in after even offering to sing some suitably Egyptian-like song. (We would have figured something out.) What a “golden” memory of not only the fantastic show, but the fun of the occasion.

  • Ruth McKeown

    We dressed up like members of the Tutankhamun household! I got to be Cleopatra. None of the twenty-five of us were history students, that’s for sure. Being fun-loving members of Hart House Chorus at the University of Toronto, we paraded from the campus to the AGO in great anticipation of seeing the “Treasures,” and of being seen. We were met by an Anubis-like security guard, who failed to appreciate our excitement and mirth. We finally talked him into letting us in after even offering to sing some suitably Egyptian-like song. (We would have figured something out.) What a “golden” memory of not only the fantastic show, but the fun of the occasion.

  • Viviane Chaperon

    In 1979, you could book your “pakage deal week-end ” at the Eaton’s Travel Agency in Montreal. So my 5 friends and I took the train to Toronto and, of course, to visit the Tutankhamun’s exhibit ! We had so much fun ( we were so young at 25 !)and the exhibit was such a wonder ! I still have the ticket to the exhibit as a souvenir and 30 years later, I’m sure pleased to know that King Tut is back in town !

  • Viviane Chaperon

    In 1979, you could book your “pakage deal week-end ” at the Eaton’s Travel Agency in Montreal. So my 5 friends and I took the train to Toronto and, of course, to visit the Tutankhamun’s exhibit ! We had so much fun ( we were so young at 25 !)and the exhibit was such a wonder ! I still have the ticket to the exhibit as a souvenir and 30 years later, I’m sure pleased to know that King Tut is back in town !

  • Johanne

    30 years ago I was staring at the Gold Mask in AGO! A year later I went to Egypt and the Mask was still on tour ! What a luck to have seen this wounderful piece of art in Toronto !

  • Johanne

    30 years ago I was staring at the Gold Mask in AGO! A year later I went to Egypt and the Mask was still on tour ! What a luck to have seen this wounderful piece of art in Toronto !

  • Jennifer Thompson-Johnson

    Having been an Egyption history fan since I was in high school I was beyond ecstatic back in Grade 11 when I was chosen as one of the two students from my school to go see the King Tut exhibit in Toronto. My classmate Peter and I were entralled by everything, especially the Mask – it was more stunning in real life than in photos. But what impressed me or rather moved me the most was the gilded statue of the goddess Selket as she guarded the Pharoah’s canopic shrine. Her beautiful eyes seemed to implore not to disturb her King’s rest.

    Now 30 years later, we are planning a trip in the new year to take my 17 year old step-daughter who is also an Egyptian history fan! It will be a gift for Christmas but I don’t know who will be more excited!

    I cannot wait!

  • Jennifer Thompson-Johnson

    Having been an Egyption history fan since I was in high school I was beyond ecstatic back in Grade 11 when I was chosen as one of the two students from my school to go see the King Tut exhibit in Toronto. My classmate Peter and I were entralled by everything, especially the Mask – it was more stunning in real life than in photos. But what impressed me or rather moved me the most was the gilded statue of the goddess Selket as she guarded the Pharoah’s canopic shrine. Her beautiful eyes seemed to implore not to disturb her King’s rest.

    Now 30 years later, we are planning a trip in the new year to take my 17 year old step-daughter who is also an Egyptian history fan! It will be a gift for Christmas but I don’t know who will be more excited!

    I cannot wait!

  • Dan

    In 1979 I was 12 years old living in Sudbury over 4 hours north of Toronto.
    The Toronto Star had published articles about the King Tut tour, I even started a scrap book at that time about King Tut and egypt and when the Toronto star published the full page picture of King Tut golden death mask I was in my glory and it hung in my room for several years. Unfortuatly my parents did not have the resources to take me. So I visited the AGO throught articles and visited the valley of the Kings throught documentories, movies and books.

    Today is my 42nd birthday and my wife, my friend, my partner purchase two passes to go and see King Tut…

    I will be driving the 4 hours plus with my 8 year old son.

    Thank you, Art Gallery of Ontario for granting a childhood wish by bringing this exhibition back to Canada.

  • Dan

    In 1979 I was 12 years old living in Sudbury over 4 hours north of Toronto.
    The Toronto Star had published articles about the King Tut tour, I even started a scrap book at that time about King Tut and egypt and when the Toronto star published the full page picture of King Tut golden death mask I was in my glory and it hung in my room for several years. Unfortuatly my parents did not have the resources to take me. So I visited the AGO throught articles and visited the valley of the Kings throught documentories, movies and books.

    Today is my 42nd birthday and my wife, my friend, my partner purchase two passes to go and see King Tut…

    I will be driving the 4 hours plus with my 8 year old son.

    Thank you, Art Gallery of Ontario for granting a childhood wish by bringing this exhibition back to Canada.

  • Sheila

    I visited this exhibition with my parents and my boyfriend when I was 17. I remember being in awe over the beauty of all the displays. I was way behind everyone else going through and they had to keep coming back and telling me to catch up. I also remember that the gift shop had many beautiful items, including chocolates in the shape of the burial mask. I still have a jewelry set that I purchased there with depictions of Nefertiti on them. I’m very hopeful that I will get to see the new exhibit.

  • Sheila

    I visited this exhibition with my parents and my boyfriend when I was 17. I remember being in awe over the beauty of all the displays. I was way behind everyone else going through and they had to keep coming back and telling me to catch up. I also remember that the gift shop had many beautiful items, including chocolates in the shape of the burial mask. I still have a jewelry set that I purchased there with depictions of Nefertiti on them. I’m very hopeful that I will get to see the new exhibit.

  • http://www.learnfree.ca Gayle Remisch

    Substantially the most significant event in my life. I was 14 and I took the train from St. Catharines to Toronto on my own to see the exhibit. I was seriously an Egyptology addict. I was determined to decipher the Hieroglyphs alone. I brought my sketch pad and my “Egyptian Book of the Dead”. With it I intended on locating the hieroglyphs and figuring out what the inscriptions said for myself. I didn’t want to rely on the translations provided.

    As I sat there in front of the animal skin piece on the pole, copying the hieroglyphs meticulously into my sketch pad a gentleman came and sat down beside me. He asked me what I was doing and when I replied and explained, he pointed to the symbols and explained what each one was and it’s significance to the others – their relationship and thus the meaning of the inscription.

    I was stunned and in awe of this man who knew all of this off the top of his head. I wanted to be like him, I wanted to be able to read the hieroglyphics more than anything else in the world. He then introduced himself to me as the professor of Egyptology at the U of T. I wanted him to adopt me right then and there. He did the next best thing. He arranged for me to get a copy of the text book they used at the university “Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar”. We stayed in contact for a little while after I returned home, but lost contact over time.

    Unfortunately as the good book says, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all” and so they did in my life also. Family challenges, health and situations did not allow my passion and goals to be achieved and come to fruition. However, I still remain passionate, and cherish the book and the memories. Whenever I’m able to allow myself the luxury of revisiting them I take out the book and my sketch pad and work through the lessons on my own. In my dreams I’m an Egyptology and Hieroglyphic linguist.

    Thank you for bringing my memories back to life.

  • http://www.learnfree.ca Gayle Remisch

    Substantially the most significant event in my life. I was 14 and I took the train from St. Catharines to Toronto on my own to see the exhibit. I was seriously an Egyptology addict. I was determined to decipher the Hieroglyphs alone. I brought my sketch pad and my “Egyptian Book of the Dead”. With it I intended on locating the hieroglyphs and figuring out what the inscriptions said for myself. I didn’t want to rely on the translations provided.

    As I sat there in front of the animal skin piece on the pole, copying the hieroglyphs meticulously into my sketch pad a gentleman came and sat down beside me. He asked me what I was doing and when I replied and explained, he pointed to the symbols and explained what each one was and it’s significance to the others – their relationship and thus the meaning of the inscription.

    I was stunned and in awe of this man who knew all of this off the top of his head. I wanted to be like him, I wanted to be able to read the hieroglyphics more than anything else in the world. He then introduced himself to me as the professor of Egyptology at the U of T. I wanted him to adopt me right then and there. He did the next best thing. He arranged for me to get a copy of the text book they used at the university “Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar”. We stayed in contact for a little while after I returned home, but lost contact over time.

    Unfortunately as the good book says, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all” and so they did in my life also. Family challenges, health and situations did not allow my passion and goals to be achieved and come to fruition. However, I still remain passionate, and cherish the book and the memories. Whenever I’m able to allow myself the luxury of revisiting them I take out the book and my sketch pad and work through the lessons on my own. In my dreams I’m an Egyptology and Hieroglyphic linguist.

    Thank you for bringing my memories back to life.

  • Susan MacDonald

    I visited the King Tut exhibit when it was in Toronto in 1979. I was 11 years old and had been picked in my class to be part of the field trip downtown. I remember being so excitied that morning that I was up and ready by 5:30 A.M. I remember being in awe of the exhibit. I pictured in my mind the people who had made all that was before me in downtown Toronto; years and worlds away from Egypt. I too was worried about the Curse of Tutankhamun and wondered if I should fully gaze at all before me. I couldn’t help myself. I remember thinking how few people had seen these objects and how special it was to be there. I now live in PEI and I doubt that I will be able to get to Toronto to see it again but who knows stranger things have happened.

  • Susan MacDonald

    I visited the King Tut exhibit when it was in Toronto in 1979. I was 11 years old and had been picked in my class to be part of the field trip downtown. I remember being so excitied that morning that I was up and ready by 5:30 A.M. I remember being in awe of the exhibit. I pictured in my mind the people who had made all that was before me in downtown Toronto; years and worlds away from Egypt. I too was worried about the Curse of Tutankhamun and wondered if I should fully gaze at all before me. I couldn’t help myself. I remember thinking how few people had seen these objects and how special it was to be there. I now live in PEI and I doubt that I will be able to get to Toronto to see it again but who knows stranger things have happened.

  • Frank Dos Santos

    I was at the exhibit 30 years ago when I was only 8 and I still remember it vividly. So now I am bringing my 3 children to see it so they can have a memory that will last a lifetime.

  • Frank Dos Santos

    I was at the exhibit 30 years ago when I was only 8 and I still remember it vividly. So now I am bringing my 3 children to see it so they can have a memory that will last a lifetime.

  • George Countryman

    The over all experience of visiting this exhibit was very poor.

    The exhibits themselves are excellent but the staging of the exhibit and the flow of traffic was atrocious.

    Right from the start it is ill conceived. 50 or so attendees crammed together listening to a superfluous video preamble by Harrison Ford simply served to create a bottle neck wave of jostling viewers and created an atmosphere akin to P. T. Barnum’s museum of oddities.

    Allowing children under the age of 10 in also created an atmosphere of a side show. There is nothing in the exhibit that can appeal to a babe in arms and their fussing and screeching destroys the experience for everyone else.

    I know institutions like the AGO feel the pressure to be all inclusive but to do so at the expense of the rest of the paying attendees is just foolish.

    The Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at the ROM was far far better organized than this mess at the AGO.

    All in all this exhibit’s content was excellent but the AGO simply botched the execution totally.

  • George Countryman

    The over all experience of visiting this exhibit was very poor.

    The exhibits themselves are excellent but the staging of the exhibit and the flow of traffic was atrocious.

    Right from the start it is ill conceived. 50 or so attendees crammed together listening to a superfluous video preamble by Harrison Ford simply served to create a bottle neck wave of jostling viewers and created an atmosphere akin to P. T. Barnum’s museum of oddities.

    Allowing children under the age of 10 in also created an atmosphere of a side show. There is nothing in the exhibit that can appeal to a babe in arms and their fussing and screeching destroys the experience for everyone else.

    I know institutions like the AGO feel the pressure to be all inclusive but to do so at the expense of the rest of the paying attendees is just foolish.

    The Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at the ROM was far far better organized than this mess at the AGO.

    All in all this exhibit’s content was excellent but the AGO simply botched the execution totally.

  • Jeff Hilborn

    I was 16 when my parents, brothers and sister went to see King Tut at the AGO. I was blown away by the experience. The quality of the workmanship of the items on display was an eye-opener for me as I never expected to see such art from a society from so long ago. It opened my eyes to history & art and I’ve loved it ever since.

  • Jeff Hilborn

    I was 16 when my parents, brothers and sister went to see King Tut at the AGO. I was blown away by the experience. The quality of the workmanship of the items on display was an eye-opener for me as I never expected to see such art from a society from so long ago. It opened my eyes to history & art and I’ve loved it ever since.