McMillan Group collaborated with the curator from UPENN and museum directors at each of four tour locations to design this traveling exhibit of "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs." The design of the grand colonnade entrance helped build excitement and met the audiences' high expectations for this significant exhibition.
Collaborating with producers at National Geographic, McMillan Group developed the concept for a high energy introductory video with a surprise reveal ending. The video sets up the context of the exhibition: Tut's
undisturbed tomb, what the boy king was really like and the mystery
surrounding his brief reign.
Each gallery tells a chapter in Tut's story through the exhibition's interior design and lighting that is relevant to the content on display. Here Tut's ancestors were represented as if in a desert sunlit archeological site along the Nile.
McMillan Group designed the exhibition's logo and created the didactic graphics to provide relative information about the collection. This graphic organized Tut’s royal family using the objects on display in context of a family tree.
The intense color and symmetrical design of this gallery represented the radical change in religion of many gods to one god made by Tut’s ruling father, Akhenaten, shown here as the gallery's focal point with himself as the religious leader.
The Afterlife gallery explores the belief in life after death as a stylized representation of Tut’s grandparents' tomb. The projected hieroglyphics of the funerary book, the Amduat, on the upper walls created a more ethereal experience than a literal graphic would have achieved.
When Tut’s tomb was discovered, it had a rare treasure of undisturbed objects displayed here in the gold gallery. This was recreated by an entry that dramatically revealed these objects.
The gallery of Daily Life in Tutankhamun's world included many everyday objects. The design used a warm palette and sunlight effects as well as mural surrounds to depict activities similar to the objects on display to bring the idea to life.
McMillan Group used video throughout the exhibition to illustrate what could not be displayed traditionally. Projected onto the surface depicting Tut’s coffins are a sequence of the 1922 discovery photos, virtually unwrapping the mummy with gold objects on display found in the layers.
The challenge was to design this 15,000 sq. ft. traveling exhibition about Tutankhamun and his ancestors to honor one hundred seventeen invaluable 3,500-year-old objects from the 1922 historical find in Egypt. McMillan Group designed each of the eleven galleries to unfold a different time and place, evoking a feeling and not a literal translation, to visually communicate concepts making the objects more relevant, educational and meaningful to the audience. Our museum design capabilities included: interior architecture, exhibit, archival display cases, video concepts, graphic (including exhibition logo) and lighting design.
“It was crucial that the designer understand and represent the storyline in the way that will be meaningful for the audience. In a short year-long time frame, McMillan Group achieved this monumental task, and in unexpected ways, taking advantage of the whole environment to interpret and explain the main concepts surrounding the mysteries of Tutankhamun’s life.”
David Silverman, Curator for this exhibition and the original blockbuster exhibit in the 1970’s,
professor of Egyptology, Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. Professor and Curator, University of Pennsylvania,
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