SF: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs

July 15, 2009


The de Young Museum in San Francisco currently has an exhibition showing various items from King Tut’s tomb. It features artifacts from King Tut’s tomb as well as his ancestors (Note: there seem to be more of his ancestors items then of his on display). The museum advises that the self guided tour takes about 90 minutes. My mom and I finished in 45. There is an audio tour for $7 that you can follow, although we did just fine reading the signage for free.

General admission on weekdays for adults is $27.50 and $32.50 on weekends. For what it was, I felt the tickets were a little steep but you also get to view the rest of the museum. One of the most impressive pieces Tjuya’s gilded coffin (thought to be Tut’s grandmother). It was huge! And gold! There was also a fairly large head from a broken statue of Akhenaton (Tut’s father). The rest of the items were smaller, everyday objects like jars for ungents and oils (I was excited to see these after studying about the role of fragrance in ancient Egypt for my Fragrance Foundation certification). I was blown away by the amount of gold used, but then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less for a king and royal family.

I wouldn’t recommend going to the city just  for the exhibit. Plan a day around the city to make the most of your time. By purchasing a ticket, you will receive a Pharaoh’s Gold Card, which offers discounts and perks for various businesses around the city. There are quite a few restaurants that offer 10% off or a complimentary dessert with purchase of entree. There’s also tons to do in SF, and if you don’t want to venture too far from the museum, there are several things to do and see within the park: Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Arboretum, and California Academy of Sciences, to name a few. Sutro Heights, the beach, and the zoo are also close to the park.

Read on below for information about handicap access at the museum and the exhibit.

My “mummy” (haha) and I opted to find street parking within Golden Gate Park instead of pay for garage parking. She’s disabled and gets to park in handicapped spots, which there were not many of. There were a few regular 4 hour parking spots available so if you arrive early you might be able to find something fairly close. We had a bit of a walk, which wasn’t a problem for us as it was a nice day. There are plenty of ramps, the sidewalk is smooth, and we had no problem pushing her wheelchair through the park.

The museum is very much handicapped accessible and we had no problem getting through doorways, elevators, or the regular museum collection. The tut exhibit, however was a slightly different story. It’s a small space with a large crowd. Plus, people are rude. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people literally walked over my mother or cut in front of us and stood right in front of her so she couldn’t see! It’s best to go on a weekday and you can also phone the museum ahead of time to inquire which days are the least crowded.

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