Culture Vultures: Pyramids, the arts season kicks off, and Re-Thinking Soup | Culture Vultures | Chicago Reader

Culture Vultures: Pyramids, the arts season kicks off, and Re-Thinking Soup 

In-the-know Chicagoans tell the Reader what they're watching, reading, and seeing

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

before-the-pyramids_magnum.jpg

J.E. Luebering

Director, Core Reference Group, Encyclopaedia Britannica, visited:

"Before the Pyramids" at the Oriental Institute: Like Hyde Park generally, the Oriental Institute is a sleepy place during the summer; on the day I visited, the front-desk attendant was drowsing over his portable DVD player. But "Before the Pyramids" rewards wakefulness. It's a tidy exhibit in the museum's small temporary-exhibits space that's been running since March, which means I'm a bit late. Shame on me. Two big-deal objects are on loan from the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford: the Battlefield Palette, deemed "one of the masterpieces of Predynastic art" by its accompanying text, and a statue of King Khasekhem, identified as "the earliest known inscribed royal statue from Egypt." The remainder of the objects are the museum's stock in trade: pottery, fragments of writing, tools, religious offerings, all dated from roughly 4000 to 2600 BCE. Scattered throughout are flashes of imagination, in the form of everyday objects that incorporate animals: a tilapia-shaped disk used to grind cosmetics, a bird-shaped stone jar, another disk that melds bits of a bull and a fish. Perhaps they're ancient kitsch, but they're a welcome distraction from the era's dull mass-produced pottery.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories