The history of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Ancient Nubia collection goes back to the early days of the museum, when ROM co-founder Charles T. Currelly purchased a collection of ceramic vessels in the early 20th century, that included some C-Group and Meroitic pottery. In 1992, the museum was the first in North America to open a Nubian gallery, which it remodelled extensively in 2011 to emphasise the strengths of the museum’s work at Meroë in modern Sudan led by ROM curator Krzysztof Grzymski. This week, the Nile Scribes picked our top 5 objects on display in the ROM’s Nubian Gallery to share with our readers.
The Nile Scribes feel privileged to live in Toronto, Canada, home to the country’s largest collection of Egyptian antiquities. The Egyptian collection housed in the Royal Ontario Museum owes its breadth largely to Charles Trick Currelly, who acquired the majority of the objects and was among the founders of the museum. He also served as its director between 1914 and 1946. We regularly visit the Egyptian galleries on the third floor of the museum and have chosen ten of our favourite objects in the collection to share with our readers.
Museum Station, located on the eastern part of Toronto’s Bloor Street Cultural Corridor, conceals Egyptianising treasures from the eyes of passers-by on the street above. Its design for most of its life was like any other Toronto subway station – bland colours and a band running along the top with the name of the station. As the name indicates, the station was built to allow transit-takers to visit either the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics or the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Today, visitors using the station can marvel at columns decorated in the traditions of Canada’s First Nations as well as those of Ancient China, Egypt, Greece, and Mexico.
Just across from the Royal Ontario Museum, now on a busy, downtown street corner, sits a Neoclassical building from the early twentieth century. The building, constructed during 1908-1912, was built as an addition to the University of Toronto (UofT) campus. Appropriately, the UofT Department of Classics and Centre for Medieval Studies call this building their home. Yet, inside, visitors can gaze upon a set of beautifully ornate and intricate stained glass windows in Egyptomanian themes.