I first learned of the exhibition that was to become Cleopatra: from History to Myth in a meeting at the Field Museum with a representative from the diver Franck Goddio. He showed our team some photos taken in the harbor of Alexandria.
Historians had long known that there was much of ancient Alexandria that was under the waters of the modern day harbor, but until 1992 all access to the ruins was blocked by the Egyptian military. Goddio and his team were the first modern-day surveyors of the submerged royal quarters of the Ptolemies–the last dynasty of pharaohs to rule Egypt. What they found there shed a tremendous amount of light on the Ptolemaic Dynasty’s most famous daughter: Cleopatra VII.
Here are some of the photos from the exhibition at the Field Museum. The artifacts were first shown in the Palazzo Ruspoli and hosted by the Fondazione Memmo; from there, they traveled to the British Museum and the workplace of the head curator for the exhibition, Susan Walker. Ours was the final stop; we devoted almost 10,000 square feet to the display of over 130 artifacts.
The exhibition was a huge success. The team working on it (graphic designer Dirk Urban, content developer Barbara Ceiga, projection and multimedia specialist Steve Villano, production supervisor Nel Featherling, project manager David Foster) was one of the finest I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.