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Bayside, New York
January 6, 2005
Peaceful and artfully set gardens surround the museum and its other buildings; you’ll be able to see them all, including the lovely, colorful geometric fountain whose cascading water breaks the silence. If you look carefully, you will spot a few papyri plants growing on the side, and imagine that they grow exactly the same way along the banks of the Nile.
As we walked inside, there was a children’s class in progress; not too many adults were visiting the museum that day. It is possible to see the exhibits in an orderly fashion if you follow the brochure, which is available at the door:
1. The Afterlife Gallery
2. Tomb Replica
3. Daily Life Gallery
4. Religion and Kingship
5. Akenaten and the Sekhmet Shrine
6. The Rotating Exhibits Gallery
Between five and six, the layout breaks for the museum store. Naturally, we didn’t follow the order, as we never follow any order.
The sheer number of artifacts collected through donations and/or sent by grateful Egyptians during the excavations is phenomenal. The large significant statues and historical finds, such as the Rosetta Stone, are unfortunately all replications of the originals. However, on the positive side, if you can’t make it to London’s British Museum, you can at least visualize the stone right here. The most brilliantly executed is the replica of the tomb: though it looks dark and foreboding at the entrance, be brave and go in. The walls are replete with hieroglyphics and drawings of Egyptian men, women, and animals depicting life as it was then. For a glimpse of this short journey, you can go here and click on the "Tomb Tour." Another fascinating segment for me was the display of women’s kohl for make-up, flax for clothing (linen), and the importance of frankincense and myrrh for temple rituals. Extraordinary and disturbing was the mummified body of Usermontu-Huy, whose knee had been x-rayed to reveal a surgical procedure whereby a pin had been inserted. It can be assumed that this was a king of some sort, as his pose of arms crossed is one of royalty. The photos below really don’t do justice to all there is to see.General admission is $9 with discounts available for members of AAA, AAM, KQED (Bay Area radio station), and the military.
Another fascinating segment for me was the display of women’s kohl for make-up, flax for clothing (linen), and the importance of frankincense and myrrh for temple rituals. Extraordinary and disturbing was the mummified body of Usermontu-Huy, whose knee had been x-rayed to reveal a surgical procedure whereby a pin had been inserted. It can be assumed that this was a king of some sort, as his pose of arms crossed is one of royalty.
The photos below really don’t do justice to all there is to see.
General admission is $9 with discounts available for members of AAA, AAM, KQED (Bay Area radio station), and the military.
From journal Los Tigres del Norte call it home: San José
by Cheryl Morgan
October 30, 2000
In any case, the Rosicrucians appear to have found the USA a more congenial home than Europe and in 1927 they moved their world headquarters to San José. The Order now owns a substantial amount of land in the city and has erected some unusual buildings. One of these houses a museum devoted to ancient Egypt and is open to the public.
Having lived and worked in London for many years and consequently been able to spend a lot of time in the British Museum, I had to work very hard not to find the museum disappointing. Ancient artefacts are hard to come by, and not having had the benefit of a mighty empire to assist in plundering material from around the globe, the Rosicrucians are at something of a disadvantage here. Having said that, they have tried hard. There is some good stuff there, including a particularly impressive mummy of a baboon. They have also included reproductions of a number of impressive pieces of sculpture.
In any case, the value of a museum should be judged, not on the rarity of its collection, but on how well it educates its visitors. I must admit that I had been a little worried that the Rosicrucians might take a mystical rather than a scientific interpretation of Egyptian life. However, if they did so it was low-key and subtle. The museum comes across as scholarly and informative, not as the work of New Age cranks. A museum brochure proudly notes that over 40,000 children a year participate in their educational programme.
To sum up, if you really want to see ancient artefacts, go to London (or perhaps Berlin which has a good reputation but I haven't had the pleasure of visiting). On the other hand, if you are in the Bay Area and want to see something completely different that has nothing to do with computers, the Rosicrucian Museum would make a good break. If nothing else you can wander round their grounds and look at their beautiful buildings.
From journal Halloween in California
November 1, 2006
I would recommend this museum for parents with very small children, but not as an activity for adults or teenagers. It is mainly used for school groups in the San Jose area, and this is what it should be used for. The part that is accessible to the general public, and not school tours is limited. The walk through of the exhibit took less than one hour, including the time spent at the gift shop.
The coolest thing was the real mummy on exhibit, there was some interesting information, but nothing outstanding. The museum is open 7 days a week, standard business hours. They also have a planetarium that I was not able to see. There are limited hours for the planetarium, and limited showings. The tickets are free to get in, but it is only while supplies last. So if there is a school tour they reserve the tickets ahead of time and you cant get in. That's what happened to us. If you want to go, I suggest calling ahead of time to try to find when there are the least amount of school tours planned.
The gift shop is small, they have a penny squishing machine which is always fun but there are not a lot of things for sale. There are a lot of Egyptian themed things in the gift shop, but not like little buyable things kids would want (like cups, or toys). There's a lot of grown up things like bookends or clocks.
There is close parking, which is really good. It's just one street away and if you're lucky you can even find closer metered parking. The outside of the museum is very nice. There are a couple of courtyards to have picnics at. The theme of Egypt is continued throughout the grounds. It was not worth the $9 general admission fee to go inside. At a cheaper rate, yes but not at almost ten bucks. To take young kids on a rainy afternoon though, its not bad.
From journal What to Do While in San Jose