Saturday, May 16, 2009

Native Art, a Sex Change, and the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall

This afternoon my husband and I went downtown to the local art museum to see an exhibition of Inuit Art.  Since the art museum doesn't allow photography, I left my camera at home.

The art museum lies across the street from a historical building built, in Gothic Revival style, on a bluff.  As we walked up to the museum we could see a large truck parked opposite - the truck that carries the Moving Wall, which was set up on the grounds of the building, and perfectly positioned so that someone who actually had her camera with her could have grabbed the perfect shot of the replica wall with the building behind it.  Somebody who did not have her camera with her told herself what an idiot she was to leave it home.

The Inuit exhibit was worth the trip and the extremely low admission charge.  There were block prints, textiles, and carvings, with the carvings predominating.  My favorite was the dancing bear, depicted in the poster above, but a close second was a standing muskox, who was, as the placard said, "relieving himself".  A string of small pebbles attached to his butt made that quite clear.  It was priceless.

After the Inuit Exhibit we revisited the museum's permanent Egyptian exhibit, complete with mummy.  We'd seen the mummy three or four times before, and practically knew the description by heart: a young woman with curly hair, unusual for that time period.

So imagine my surprise to walk up to the mummy and read that it was a young man with curly hair.  Could I really have misremembered that badly?

As it turns out, I didn't misremember.  Two years ago, a CAT scan was done of the mummy and it was determined that she was in fact a he.  The cause of death appeared to have been due to crushing injuries to the chest.  You would think you could at least trust dead people not to make dramatic changes in their lives, but apparently not.

After the museum, we of course went to visit the Wall, and give a small donation.  We had been to see the real one in Washington, DC, but the traveling one is moving in its own way.  On our way past, I remembered the words from the Egyptian ceremony for the dead, "You will live againyou will live again forever! Beholdyou are young again forever!" 

 May it be true for them.

1 comment:

  1. Loving your sex change story. I will certainly need to revisit the exhibit myself, and see the Inuit exhibit, I didn't realize the exhibit had changed. Thank you for sharing!