Petrie Museum installs bust in honour of 19th century Egyptology campaigner Amelia Edwards

By Culture24 Staff | 08 March 2011
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A photo of a white bust of a woman on a black plinth with a large photo of a study on a canvas behind it
© Petrie Museum
By the Petrie Museum’s own admission, the spooky venue could be going under a different name. With a core formed around funds, books and antiquities left by 19th century adventurer Amelia Edwards, this revered chamber of Egyptology has an indisputable unofficial alias as the Edwards Museum.

A black and white photo of a woman in profile
© Petrie Museum
Edwards was consumed by her journeys across Egypt in the 1870s. Her love of the country’s heritage and culture was tinged with a fear for their future, turning the gifted writer into a tireless champion for their preservation. In 1882, she founded the Egypt Exploration Fund.

A photo of a green bust of a woman in profile
© Petrie Museum
When she died in 1892, Edwards left her lucrative collection to University College London, rewarding its status as the only university to award degrees to women at the time.

A photo of a bust of a woman on a plinth in profile in a museum
© Petrie Museum
The bequest shaped the nucleus of the collection at the museum, which has installed a bust of her to coincide with International Women’s Day, set against a backdrop showing an image of her study. A one-woman show on her life, The Extraordinary Life of Amelia Edwards, will also be performed tonight (March 8 2011).

  • Performance takes place 6pm-9pm. Admission £12/£10.
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