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Understanding Egyptian Collections

Innovative display and research projects in musuems

1-2 September 2014, Ashmolean Museum

Monday, September 1, 2014 - 09:00

The Conservation Department at the Ashmolean Museum, in partnership with Oxford ASPIRE and ICON, is hosting a two day international conference on the care and display of Egyptian collections to be held at the Ashmolean Museum on 1-2 September 2014.

Convened by Mark Norman, Head of Conservation at the Ashmolean Museum, the conference will focus on innovative ways of conserving, displaying, understanding and interpreting Egyptian collections. Day 1 will explore the redevelopment of the Ashmolean’s Egyptian displays which reopened in November 2011, while day 2 will feature papers from both the UK and the international community.

Bookings are now open through the Oxford University shop. There are four ticket types, please select the one that is correct for you:

  • Delegate rate, full conference: £150
  • Delegate rate, single day: £100
  • Delegate rate, student (full conference): £90
  • Speaker rate: £75

Bookings will close at 5pm on 15 August 2014. If you have any questions about the booking process please contact | 01865 613784.

Accomodation is not included in the booking fee. It may be possible to secure rooms in one of the Oxford Colleges, or further information about accomodation in Oxford is available here.


Day 1, 1 September 2014
Session One

09.30-10.15  Registration

10.15-10.40  Dispaying the Difference: The new galleries for Ancient Egypt and the Sudan at the Ashmolean, Liam McNamara, Assistant Keeper for Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Ashmolean Museum

10.40-11.00  The Redevelopment of the Ashmolean’s Egypt and Nubia Galleries – designing and building the new galleries, Stuart Cade, Partner in Charge, Rick Mather Architects

11.00-11.20  Questions & Discussion

11.20-11.40  Morning Break


Session Two

11.40-12.05  Egypt and the Ashmolean – 5 millennia of collections care, Mark Norman, Head of Conservation, Ashmolean Museum

12.05-12.30  Vertically Challenging: the investigation and conservation of a deteriorated coffin for vertical display, Bronwen Roberts, Conservator, British Museum; Nicky Lobaton, Objects Conservator, Ashmolean Museum

12.30-12.50  Raising the Dead: bringing design concepts to display, Daniel Bone, Deputy Head of Conservation, Ashmolean museum; Sue Barker, Preventative Conservator, Ashmolean Museum

12.50-13.10  Questions & Discussion

13.10-14.00  Lunch

Session Three

14.00-14.20  Keynote: Egyptology Beyond the Institutional Divide, Richard B. Parkinson, Professor of Egyptology and Director of the Griffith Institute, University of Oxford

14.20-14.45  Seeing Mummy Portraits: preparation for display in 2011 and recent collaborative investigation, Jevon Thistlewood, Paintings Conservator, Ashmolean Museum

14.45-15.10  The APPEAR Collaboration: a comparative study of ancient mummy portraits, Maria Svoboda, Associate Conservator of the Antiquities Department, J. Paul Getty Museum, California

15.10-15.30  The Stair of Glory: The Meet-and-Greet Gallery – a unique dramatic gallery at the Grand Egyptian Museum, Mohamed Gamal Rashed, Curator, Museum Display and Research Director, The Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt

15.30-15.50  Questions & Discussion

15.50-16.10  Afternoon Break


Session Four


Visit the Egypt Galleries with colleagues on hand to discuss the redisplay project and the new displays

Exclusive visit to the Ashmolean’s temporary Exhibition “Discovering Tutankhamun”

18.00-19.00  Reception – Rooftop Restaurant & Balcony


Day 2, 2 September 2014

Session Five

09.00-09.30  Registration

09.30-09.55  Evolving Attitudes: past and present treatment of Egyptian Collections of the Oriental Institute, Alison Whyte, Associate Conservator, Oriental Institute; Co-Authors: Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer, PhD Candidate in Egyptology, University of Chicago; Emily Teeter, Egyptologist and Special Exhibitions Coordinator, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

09.55-10.20  Mummy case saved by LEGO: a collaborative approach to conservation of an Ancient Egyptian cartonnage, Sophie Rowe, Conservator; Julie Dawson, Senior Assistant Keeper, Conservation, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

10.20-10.40  The importance of technical analysis and research for the conservation and display of archaeological garments, Anne Kwaspen, Conservator of the Archaeological Textile Collection, Katoen Natie

10.40-11.00  Questions & Discussion

11.00-11.30  Morning Break


Session Six

11.30-11.55  Problems and possibilities for the Petrie Museum’s pottery display, Susanna Pancaldo, Senior Conservator, UCL Museums and Collections; Co-Author: Dr Alice Stevenson, Curator, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL

11.55-12.20  Innovations for the display of Dynastic textiles using existing designs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emilia Cortes, Conservator, Metropolitan Museum of Art

12.20-12.40  King Menkaure in Motion: the metamorphosis of a Monolithic royal sculpture from the Old Kingdom, Susanne Gänsicke, Conservator; Matthew Siegal, Chair of Conservation and Collections Management, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

12.40-13.00  Questions & Discussion

13.00-14.00  Lunch


Session Seven

14.00-14.25  On not exhibiting a corpse: the Mummy Chamber, Brooklyn Museum, Lisa Bruno, Head Objects Conservator, Brooklyn Museum

14.25-14.50  Colour on the edge: a study of pigments used at the edge of the Egyptian Empire, Kate Fulcher, PhD Student, University College London

14.50-15.10  Reflecting on Egyptian Pigments: the use of Fibre Optic Reflectance Spectroscopy (FORS) for pigment analysis at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Jennifer Marchant, Antiquities Conservator; Abigail Granville, Pigment Analyst, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

15.10-15.30  Questions & Discussion

15.30-16.00  Afternoon Break


Session Eight

16.00-16.25  A case for keeping: the life and afterlife of ritual metal statuary in Ancient Egypt, Deborah Schorsch, Conservator, Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation, Metropolitan Museum of Art

16.25-16.50  Bringing it all together in the Artifact Lab: Conservation, research, display, interpretation, Molly Gleeson, Rockwell Project Conservator, Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania

16.50-17.10  Ancient Worlds: Open Data, Mobile Web, Haptics, Digital Touch, Stephen Devine, Digital Communications Officer; Sam Sportun, Collection Care Manager/Senior Conservator, Manchester Museum

17.10-17.30 Questions & Discussion

17.30-17.45  Final Remarks & Farewell

Digital Posters

There will be a number of Digital Poster presenters at the conference. Their posters will be shown on screens throughout the conference, and presenters will be equipped with iPads to talk other delegates through their posters during all break sessions.

Conservation Coordination! Team Communication in Coffin Treatments, Sophie Alcock, Susan Sanford, Jerrod Seifert & Oliver Silverstein, Cardiff University

Norwich Castle Museum Shroud, Faye Kalloniatis, Norwich Castle; Deborah Phipps, British Museum

Diagramming the Past: Imaging and Understanding a 21st Dynasty Mummy Board and a Ptolemaic Coffin, Casey Mallinckrodt, Museums of New Mexico; Elsbeth Geldhof, Blue Tortoise Conservation, Essex

Developing a New Egyptology Gallery at Bolton Museum: A Conservation Perspective, Lizzie Miller, Bolton Museum

Egyptian Coffin Lid, Marco Rican, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

The Documentation and Analysis of Tool Marks on Ancient Egyptian Stone Sculpture: Methodology and Initial Observations, Anna Serotta, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Conservation science in situ: Mortars and Plasters of Ancient Egyptian wall paintings and Architecture analysed on archaeological sites in Egypt, Alexandra Winkels, Freelance Conservator, Germany 

Photogrammetry Applications in Museums: Documentation of Metal tools from the Roman Period, Egyptian Museum of Cairo, Eman Zidan, Conservator, Egyptian Museum of Cairo; Co-Author: Mohamed Nabil, Head of Scientific Development and the Center of Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT)

Ashmolean Museum
Mark Norman

If you have any questions about the conference please contact | 01865 613784.

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