Editor's note: This exhibition is organized by Arts and Exhibitions International, AEG Exhibitions and the National Geographic Society, in association with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Northern Trust is the proud cultural partner of the exhibition and American Airlines is the official airline. The Houston presentation of Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is made possible by Apache.
As classrooms go, it doesn’t get much more impressive than The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Its galleries are history lessons created at the hands of the world’s most accomplished artists. The MFAH is an educational hub, offering resources for teachers as well as homeschooling families.
For the thousands of students who pass through its doors and down its halls every year, the MFAH is a one-stop education destination. History, science, language arts, politics, analytical thinking and of, course, art, are among the subjects awaiting students at the MFAH. The curriculum is broken down so teachers and home-schooling parents can focus on one specific topic or item and maximize its educational value.
Dr. Victoria Ramirez, W.T., and Louise J. Moran, MFAH education director, look to the state-mandated curriculum requirements when developing materials.
“We want to empower teachers and home-school parents,” Ramirez says. “They can share new ideas and experience something more meaningful.”
The materials relate to specific age groups and shed light on topics that go beyond the classroom. Between 10 and 15 objects are chosen to give children a deeper understanding of the collection.
“With Tut, we chose items that students can really think about, rather than rollerskate through,” Ramirez says. “We look at materials like gold and ask about its use and importance. Why is it so special? Or we look at things that are heavy in symbolism and ask how an artist uses symbolism to convey an idea.”
Rameriz points out concepts such as item function and religious beliefs as key to curriculum development and encourages teachers and parents to explore the wealth of material available at the Kinder Foundation Education Center, found on lower level of the Caroline Wiess Law building.
The abundant supply of materials are free and include the Art-To-Go lending library, which features items that slide seamlessly into the K-12 curriculum. DVDs, music CDs, children’s books, study guides, poster sets, and collection-based interpretive materials are among the offerings, and all the museum asks is to request materials at least two weeks in advance of the date needed. The standard loan period is three weeks, and resource loans may be renewed.
“A lot of the time parents can use the materials to provide extra information, point out details and little facts about an object so the students can think about things in a new way,” Ramirez says. For those wanting to make the most of their time at the museum, Ramirez suggests going after 2 p.m. or even heading out in the evening.
“The Kinder Education Center is an excellent resource to guide families and teachers,” Ramirez says.
Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs runs October 16, 2011 to April 15, 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Caroline Wiess Law Building at 1001 Bissonnet. For more information, call 713.639.7300 or visit mfah.org.
For tickets, call the King Tut Ticket Hotline at 1-888-931-4TUT (4888)
Tut Exhibition Entry Times are:
Monday-Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Opens at 9 a.m., closes at 5 p.m.)
Thursday- Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Opens at 9:30 a.m., closes at 9 p.m.)
Sunday: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Opens at 12:15 p.m., closes at 7 p.m.)