Finally got around to seeing the Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit that’s been showing at San Francisco’s De Young Museum since June. But as Steve Martin said: “If I’d known/They’d line up just to see him/I’d have taken all my money/And bought me a museum.” And yes, the lines have been long. Judging by the roped off entrances that wind around and around, the lines are still just as long. But here’s the trick. Be the first one on a weekday with your nose pressed up to the glass BEFORE opening. Better yet, be a member and you get let in a half hour before general admission. We had most of the exhibit to ourselves and even a fairly uncrowded stroll through the Tut gift shops (there seem to be three!) before all hell broke loose in the form of dozens of school buses showing up and disgorging class trips. By that time, we’d Tut Shopped until we’d nearly dropped and were reviving ourselves in the excellent De Young cafe.
I’m not going to tell you about the show, other than to say, “Go”. Apparently, the exhibit is bigger and includes artifacts not seen in the 70s tour (except for the death mask and sarcophagus which the Egyptian government won’t let out of the country any more.)
But I’ll urge you to do what we did and spend, spend, spend at the gift shops. Apparently, income from these sales are key for the De Young’s operating budget. And what’s wrong with a little commercialism for a good cause? Don’t want to give anything away, but everyone on my Christmas gift list, be expecting Tut memorabilia. And since I’m just days away from my trip to Vegas and stay at the Luxor, I’m now loaded up on faux Egyptian wearable items!
The exhibit moves on to Denver in March and then to New York. So, if you don’t see it here, see it there. It’s supposed to be in Toronto as well, but since that exhibit is scheduled now, while the best stuff is in San Francisco, it may be just a companion show. As in, not as good.
And because, it’s the immediate association when someone says “King Tut”, how about a little vintage Steve Martin:
The King Tut skit first aired on NBC’s Saturday Night Live