Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The Oriental Institute attempts to maintain the diversity of collection of the Egyptian culture with many different categories divided it into three distinct sections"” art and kingship, funeral practices, and daily life. However, using "˜in context' display in which the labels of the objects provides historical backgrounds or commentaries of the objects, the collection gives an impression that the intention of the Oriental Institute was to emphasize the importance of the kings and polytheistic religion in Egyptian culture. One of the problems of using the "˜in context' display is that the labels of the objects lead one's thoughts to a particular point or classification the displayer intended to make. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett commented that, "In context approaches exert strong cognitive control over the objects, asserting the power of classification and arrangement to order large numbers of artifacts from diverse cultural and historical settings and to position them in relation to one another."

By using "˜in context' display, the Egyptian exhibit "˜controls' visitors' cognition to believe the Egyptian culture focuses ultimately on kingship and religion.

        After observing the exhibit without paying much attention to the labels, one could conclude that the display conveys a sense of various aspects of Egyptian culture. The displays include collections of models and objects such as figures of people in daily life, artifacts, writings, jewelries, building tools and many other collections to show the diversity of Egyptian life managing not to focus only one aspect of the culture; the earlier part of the exhibit shows different languages used in different time periods, and several kinds of artifacts categorized in time order; funerary practice section exhibits an example of early burial that did not involve typical Egyptian funerary practice as well as models showing the scenes of preparation of a funeral; figurines of people making pots, playing games, or...