San Diego Library and King Tut Exhibit

A first visit to the central library and the King Tut Exhibit in Balboa Park

Event Report 20150318

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The Experience

It was Kathleen's birthday and the Jones family was on-site to visit, so Kathleen wanted to see the King Tut exhibit at Balboa Park.  Mom Jones wanted to see the San Diego Library, so we decided to do both.

The photos below are what we saw.

This photo was taken in 2012 on a separate adventure.  The exterior of the library was still under construction as can be seen by the scaffolding.

Because we parked in the structure underneath the building, I did not get a shot of the outside of the library after construction.  But, the foyer was very large and impressive.  Note the huge concrete columns.

The facility has 9 large floors, this being part of the first floor.  The book stacks were, well, stacks.

The underside of the framework as seen from a 9th story balcony.

The balcony provided a nice view to the south toward the Coronado bridge.

The supports for the framework were quite beefy.

The 8th floor reading room was visible from the balcony.

The balcony also had some "sculptures".

At the San Diego Library, this is called "art".  At the Caid shop, this is called "scrap".

A restricted portion of the 9th floor had a commanding view of Petco Park.

The balcony also had a nice seating area.

Back in the lobby foyer, the scope of the concrete work becomes apparent.

When we finished at the library, we headed to Balboa Park to see the King Tut exhibit at the Natural History Museum.  The approach to the Prado had a nice view of the spring flowers.

The fountain outside the museum was actually flowing.  I am guessing that with the drought, they will be forced to turn it off.

The entryway into the Nat has a nice dinosaur replica, complete with skin.

The mammoth skeleton was accompanied by a nice artist's rendition of what the ancient terrain must have looked like.

On the ground floor was a skeleton of an Allosaurus Fragilis, but the size of the animal suggests that it was many things, but fragile was not one of them.

The main gallery had a whale suspended over the first floor.

We finally got to the Tut exhibit and found out that camera flashes were not permitted.  I brought a flash for my new Sony A7M2, but expected that I would not be able to use it (hope springs eternal....).  So, in anticipation of going with available light, I brought a manual focus Voightlander 35mm f/1.2 lens.  The available lighting gave an odd color cast to things that I was unable to reverse, but tint notwithstanding, the camera did well.  This statue shows the young king Tutankhamun sometime around the time of his death and is reputed to be life-size.

The Tut exhibit is very impressive despite the objects being replicas (the original solid gold artifacts are in the Cairo Museum).  This was the outermost of 3 gold coffins.

This coffin was found inside the coffin above and is gold inlaid with precious stones.

The inner gold coffin was very ornate and covered with symbology.

Inside the innermost coffin was another gold mask covering the wrapped body of Tut.

A replica of the inner mask with stone inlays.

The burial chamber contained many elegant artifacts carved out of stone.

This cabinet held the canopic jars that held the embalmed internal organs of the king.

More interesting funerary objects.

The king's solid gold throne.

A side view of the throne.

The tomb contained many gold statues.

A golden shield inlaid with ebony.

Some of the statuary was very intricate and detailed.  Notice the expression on the woman in the background.

A golden chariot that was to transport the king to the afterlife.

A golden shield inlaid with ebony.

The amount of time, money and effort that was lavished on the dead in ancient Egypt boggles the mind.  It clearly points to a society that was sufficiently rich in resources to allow slack time for the development of arts and the science of embalming.  Very impressive.  Some day, political situation allowing, it would be nice to visit Egypt.  Meanwhile, we'll watch them fight among themselves.

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