SOURCE: Washington State History Museum

Washington State History Museum

January 24, 2011 12:00 ET

Far From Dead: Washington State History Museum Enthusiastically Opens Wrapped!: The Search for the Essential Mummy

Special Exhibit Preview on Jan. 29 Invites Public to Show Support for State Museum Under Threat of Closure; Exhibit Unwraps Ancient Egyptian Mysteries Through Forensic Portraits, Coffin Paintings and the Story of Local Mummy Ankh-Wennefer

TACOMA, WA--(Marketwire - January 24, 2011) - The mystery of mummies will finally be laid to rest as the Washington State History Museum launches "Wrapped!: The Search for the Essential Mummy" on Jan. 30, yet the museum's future itself still remains unknown. The immortality-themed exhibit arrives at an interesting time for the museum, as recently proposed state budget cuts have the cultural hub facing the prospect of its own closure. A special Member Day on Jan. 29 will give concerned citizens the chance to purchase an annual membership, or a premium "Member for a Day" pass, and enjoy exclusive early access to the exhibit, as well as special one-time-only exhibit programming and events, including photo opportunities with a real camel.

"We appreciate the outcry of support from our community amid the budget talks in Olympia to close the Washington State History Museum," remarked Dave Nicandri, Director of the Washington State Historical Society that runs the popular museum. "Everyone is asking 'what can I do to help?' Purchasing a membership is the best thing anyone can do, either through our regular annual membership or our special Member for a Day. It is a positive way to show support and provide crucial funds to the museum, while also experiencing an incredible exhibit. We remain very optimistic about the museum's future and its important place in our state's history and culture."

Current museum members or those who purchase annual memberships ($35 and up) between now through Jan. 29 will have access to the sneak preview day for no additional charge. The Member for a Day option is only available on Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in which the public can purchase a pass on site to preview the exhibit before it officially opens to the public the next day. Member for a Day passes are $20 for adults and $10 for children and include special presentations and family activities.

"Wrapped!: The Search for the Essential Mummy," is a limited-run exhibit on view from Jan. 30 to Sept. 11. The traveling exhibit marries the mystery of ancient Egypt with modern technology, including elaborate sarcophagi, ancient amulets, animal mummies and forensic portraits of ancient Egyptians. The portraits were created through cutting edge technology that allows for the creation of digital imaging to be done of mummy remains without unwrapping them, a process critical to maintaining the dignity of the deceased. The series of forensic portraits gives visitors an opportunity to see what mummified individuals may have looked life in real life.

The Washington State History Museum worked with MultiCare Imaging at Tacoma General Hospital and the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium to have scans made of Ankh-Wennefer, the mummy purchased by colorful local businessman Allen C. Mason in 1891 and donated to the History Museum in 1898.

"We are extremely excited to showcase the story of Allen C. Mason, a well-known businessman in Tacoma in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and his worldly adventures. The show will feature his never-before-exhibited personal photos, letters and passport to ancient sites," said Nicandri. "All of these items together offer a rare insight into a 19th century globetrotter right from Puget Sound, rounded out by hundreds of other artifacts on loan from public and private collections that recount centuries of fascination with ancient Egypt."

One-day-only events on Member Preview Day include "The Mummies of Akhmim Egypt" and "Creating Forensic Reconstructions Using Scanning Technology" presentations, kids' activities, gallery talks and a one of a kind photo opportunity with a live camel! For a complete details visit the museum's website.

"Wrapped!: The Search for the Essential Mummy" exhibit hours are Wednesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with extended hours and free admission every third Thursday, 2 - 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. General admission: $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, age 60 and above; $6 for students and military with valid ID; children, age 5 and below, and members are always free.

About the Washington State History Museum
The Washington State History Museum, flagship of the Washington State Historical Society, is located at 1911 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, just off 1-5. The Washington State History Museum presents exhibits, programs, and events that bring to life the stories of Washington's history. The Washington State Historical Society has been dedicated to collecting, preserving, and vividly presenting Washington's rich and varied history since 1891. For more information, please call 1-888-BE-THERE or visit our Web site,

Editor's Note: High-res images and media preview appointments are available. Contact Jamie Hinz at Duo PR, or 206-957-8305 to coordinate.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Jamie Hinz
    Duo PR, for the Washington State History Museum