Associate Professor of Art Mark Jones' first-year seminar “Meaning and Method in the Arts” just completed an authentic replica of an ancient Egyptian mural. Using original materials (dry pigments, gum arabic) and techniques, the students created a reproduction of the tomb of Nebamun and his wife Ipuky, the Stewards of the Royal Wife Nebtu.
The original tomb and murals were created during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom circa 1400 B.C.E. in the Valley of the Nobles at Thebes (modern day Luxor, Egypt). There are seven scenes depicted. All of them, with the exception of the second, were replicated by the Jones' first-year seminar students. The second scene, in which Nebamun, Ipuky, and their sons are shown hunting birds in the marshes, was painted by two William Smith students, Christina Condak and Sarah Carter, in 1987 as part of an independent study.
Houghton House is open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The mural is open to the public and can be seen in the basement of Houghton with an accompanying poster, identifying the student artists responsible for the painting and explaining the scenes and their significance. Signs are posted just inside the door to show the way to the mural.
The class has begun work on another project—making rakes, which will be used for creating “Zen Traps” (Zen sand gardens in the sand traps) at the Geneva Country Club.
In recreating art objects as a means of understanding them in a more direct and intuitive fashion, Jones' seminar is attempting to enhance their skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.