Egypt's Coptic Church is one of the oldest in the world, encompassing two millennia of history, tradition, and culture. The Coptic Museum, founded in Old Cairo in 1908, houses the world's largest and most exquisite collection of Coptic artifacts, representing every historical era, from the earliest Christian period to the nineteenth century. After undergoing extensive renovations and repair, the Coptic Museum is open to the public again, making this richly informative and illustrated book very timely for anyone interested in this rich artistic heritage. Structured as a guide, but fully illustrated with superb color photographs, this book suggests a simple but comprehensive itinerary through one of Egypt's most fascinating museums. Taking readers through the various exhibits, this useful guidebook explains and illuminates the aesthetic and religious importance of each of the museum's works on display, such as icons, stelae, sculptures, wall paintings, wooden altar screens, liturgical implements, and vestments and bible caskets. Textiles, ceramics and documents (including the Nag Hammadi Gnostic library from the fourth century, one of the most important collections of papyri in the world) provide valuable insights into the economic and social life of Egypt's Copts over the last two thousand years.
About the Author
GAWDAT GABRA, a former director of the Coptic Museum, is the author or editor of numerous books related to the literary and material culture of Egyptian Christianity, including Christianity and Monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis (AUC Press 2005) and, most recently, The Treasures of Coptic Art (AUC Press 2006.) MARIANNE EATON-KRAUSS is a specialist on the art and archaeology of pharaonic Egypt. She is the author of The Representations of Statuary in Private Tombs of the Old Kingdom.