Howard Carter: Famous Archaeologist, Not-So-Famous Painter
Didn’t know he was an artist too? "Tut tut!"
- By K. Annabelle Smith
- Smithsonian.com, May 09, 2012
It isn’t often that we hear anything about English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter other than this groundbreaking discovery of King Tut's chamber on November 4, 1922. But as we celebrate Carter’s 138th birthday, we also look to his lesser-known talent as an artist.
((c) Griffith Insititute, University of Oxford)
In between excavation seasons, Carter had to find creative ways to earn a living. Museums would commission him to find and acquire objects for their collections and he would also produce romantic images of Egypt that he would sell to tourists visiting the ruins.
“We’re talking about a time before photography—Carter would create something that people could take back with them,” she says.
Watercolors like this one of an African Sacred Ibis, however, would not have been sold commercially. Depictions of this bird frequently occur both as hieroglyphs and in Egyptian art.