We began working in collaboration with Museum Lighting and Design on the initial design stages of this sixteen month project in November 1999.
With objects weighing in excess of twenty five tons this exhibit contained the largest selection of British Museum's distinguished holdings of Egyptian art that has been seen outside its own galleries. The objects were made up from a variety of mediums including ivory, limestone, granite, gold, bronze, papyrus, and terra cotta. The objects were loaned to eight American museums for three years, but due to the exhibits success it was later extended to twelve to include Canada.
Although the exhibition was temporary in nature, the final design presented each venue with an installation of a permanent visual character, in spite of the vast difference of allocated floor space. A study model was used in conjunction with visual aids, such as life-size object maquettes and display case mock-ups, to enable the client and design team to identify and resolve the visual and structural constraints. Our approach provided the display with the necessary flexibility for each gallery configuration at the eight museums, which varies between 9,000 sq. ft - 30,000 sq. ft.
An environmental condition assessment was carefully considered in close collaboration with the Conservation Department at the British Museum. The selection of materials and construction methods were adopted in keeping with strict conservation requirements and the need for limited handling while installing the objects. The sheer size and weight of some of the stone objects were a considerable challenge when designing display cases that adhered to the structural engineering restrictions, yet also maintained an aesthetic appearance. Certain large objects weighing several tons are displayed on platforms up to 7 feet high in order to suggest a height more in keeping with their original placement during ancient times.