Guide to Ancient Egyptian Art
Copyright Year: 2019
Conditions of Use
The introductory material is nicely presented and informative but the artworks included are sparse, focusing primarily on only two (4th and 18th) of the 33 dynasties recognized in Egyptian history. This perpetuates the popular version of Egyptian... read more
The introductory material is nicely presented and informative but the artworks included are sparse, focusing primarily on only two (4th and 18th) of the 33 dynasties recognized in Egyptian history. This perpetuates the popular version of Egyptian art history that it is either pyramids or King Tut (and his relatives). This text falls short in offering a picture of the diversity and variation in Egyptian (and surrounding) art history. It would be better called a "brief guide."
I see no issues with the accuracy of the information, except that the overall presentation is overly generally and thus lacking specifics that bolster accuracy.
The information is up-to-date and can be updated easily. The format of individual chapters primary focused on single objects also allows for more objects to be added easily in the future.
The text is approachable and appropriate for an undergraduate audience.
The introductory information offers a good starting point for terminology, chronological frameworks, and key research themes.
The object-based chapter approach allow for this.
What is presented is logical but (as noted in a previous comment) the objects chosen are sparse and not fully representative of Egyptian art history.
I found no such issues.
The grammar was appropriate.
I did not encounter any feeling of prejudice or bias in the text. Given that the subject matter is focused on one culture in history, it makes sense that the point of view is primarily limited to their belief and cultural systems. There is some mention of other parallel and geographically related traditions. However, it is important that texts focused on Egyptian art do not perpetuate the falsehood that Egyptian culture was "white" (and continually linked with western traditions because it became influential on Greek and Roman traditions). There is not a recognition here of the participation and contribution of black African populations, such as Nubians and those of the Sudan region of the Nile. The chapter on Queen Tiye does not mention that many scholars believe she was black. There is no mention of the Kingdom of Kush, the Nubian takeovers, or the potential for "Black Pharaohs" in Egyptian history. This is a big shortcoming of this text.
It is important that options like this are provided for students to reduce costs of higher education. I am happy to see that Smart History is offering flexibility for their content. With this product, students can download a pdf and not have to rely entirely on internet access to engage with reading material.
Table of Contents
Part I. A beginner's guide
- 1. Ancient Egypt, an introduction
- 2. Ancient Egyptian art
- 3. Materials and techniques in ancient Egyptian art
Part II. Predynastic and Old Kingdom
- 4. Palette of King Narmer
- 5. An introduction to the Great Pyramids of Giza (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure)
- 6. The Pyramid of Khufu
- 7. The Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Sphinx
- 8. The Pyramid of Menkaure
- 9. King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen
- 10. The Seated Scribe (Saqqara)
Part III. Middle and New Kingdom
- 11. Temple of Amun-Re and the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak
- 12. Mortuary Temple and Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut
- 13. House Altar depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters
- 14. Portrait Head of Queen Tiye
- 15. Thutmose, Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti
- 16. Tutankhamun's tomb (innermost coffin and death mask)
- 17. Last judgement of Hu-Nefer, from his tomb
About the Book
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Ancient Egyptian art.
About the Contributors
Ruth Ezra is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University, where she specializes in the art of late-medieval and Renaissance Europe. Upon completion of her BA at Williams College, she studied in the UK on a Marshall Scholarship, earning an MPhil in history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and an MA in history of art from the Courtauld Institute. A committed educator, Ruth has recently served as a Gallery Lecturer at both the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the National Galleries of Scotland, as well as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard.
Beth Harris is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, she was dean of art and history at Khan Academy and director of digital learning at The Museum of Modern Art, where she started MoMA Courses Online and co-produced educational videos, websites and apps. Before joining MoMA, Beth was Associate Professor of art history and director of distance learning at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she taught both online and in the classroom. She has co-authored, with Dr. Steven Zucker, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics she regularly addresses at conferences around the world. She received her Master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Steven Zucker is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, Steven was dean of art and history at Khan Academy. He was also chair of history of art and design at Pratt Institute where he strengthened enrollment and lead the renewal of curriculum across the Institute. Before that, he was dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY and chair of their art history department. He has taught at The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and at The Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Zucker is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has co-authored, with Dr. Beth Harris, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics he regularly addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Zucker received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.