26-28 Oct 2019: ANEE member hosts intensive course by internationally renowned expert in Egyptian Art History

A group of 16 students, researchers, and friends of Egyptology met Prof. Regine Schulz, director of the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim, in the Theology Faculty Hall for a 3-day highly intensive course on “An introduction to ancient Egyptian art”.

What was the course about?

Squeezed into three very full days, the participants of the course received a 14 weeks course lecture into the development of ancient Egyptian art and into the methodological challenges and tools to access the fascinating world of ancient Egyptian visual display. Major topics covered were:

  • an introduction to Egyptian art history and art theory
  • the search for the artist and artistic agency within the strongly canonical visual display of ancient Egypt
  • related to this issue: the special category of Egyptian figured ostraca
  • the typological and stylistic development of Egyptian sculpture in the round
  • contrasting to this: the special category of action figures
  • the typological and stylistic development of Egyptian wall painting and reliefs including a highlight feature on facial designs
  • an introduction into the so-called minor arts with focus on scarabs and amulets
  • and an insight into the most recent exhibition designs on Egypt created by the Hildesheim team for international display.

Who is the teacher?

Prof. Regine Schulz is one of the few Egyptologists worldwide specialising in Egyptian art history and art theory. She has been trained in Berlin and started her scientific career at the Institute of Egyptology and Coptology in Munich, then one of the few international centres focusing on ancient Egyptian art history and theory. I met her there for the first time in my student years, when I moved from Tübingen to Munich in 2000 for one semester to study ancient Egyptian art and architecture (and Coptic) with her and her colleagues. A major stage in Regine Schulz’ career has been her long stay at Baltimore, where she was curator for ancient art at the Walters Arts Museum and associate professor at the John Hopkins University: Department of Near Eastern Studies. She returned to Germany in 2011 to take up the directorship of the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim.

Who made the course happen?

The course was a joint venture in many ways. It was triggered by Elisa Rautioaho and Hanna Sola, two students who currently study for an Egyptology degree at HY (discontinued MA program). The course was hosted by Melanie Wasmuth, vice-leader of ANEE team 2 and chair of the HY Egyptology Study Group. It was funded jointly by the Faculty of Arts and the Finnish Egyptological Society, while the Faculty of Theology provided the venue. It was given by Prof. Regine Schulz, who came to Hildesheim for this intensive visit from Helsinki and shared her decades long experience as researcher, teacher, and curator. And last, but not least, it was made possible by a group of highly interested and motivated participants drawing from the pool of HY university students and researchers, students from the Open University and Helsinki Summer University, and from life-long friends of Egypt and its ancient culture.

How does the course relate to ANEE?

Content-wise, the intensive course on ancient Egyptian art did not relate directly to the core questions of ANEE and its primary focus on Mesopotamia and the southern Levant in the 1st millennium BCE. However, it is part of the teaching philosophy of ANEE and its founders: the current and future degree courses on the Ancient Near East explicitly encompass ancient South-West Asia and Egypt.