“Put no trust in a brother. Acknowledge no one as a friend.”

AKA in millennial terms: Trust no man. Fear every bitch.

The title quote is what Amenemhat I, the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, said from the grave about being murdered in his sleep. Try and figure that one out. If you missed the Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt exhibition that hit the Cleveland Museum of Art between March 13 and June 12, you done fucked up. Tickets were just $15, and with a membership to CMA, the first ticket was free and the next was 50% off. They make it so easy and cheap to get out of the house and learn something. Keep in mind that the actual art museum is still free to attend, too.

More than 90 percent of the 157 objects on view in the current “Pharaoh” show” came from the British Museum in London. The rest were from Cleveland’s own collection. I didn’t know at the time, but I soon learned from my friend that within the last ten years, Egypt has been trying to crack down on art that was obtained illegally and/or given out as gifts, and as a result working to get a lot of these relics shipped back to Egypt. I wasn’t able to find anything to support this claim, but she also said tighter regulations would mean that certain objects found in the exhibit we went to would not be allowed to leave the country as soon as they return to Britain. Either way, when you visit an exhibit like this, you really never know if you’ll be able to see anything like this again.

These objects were so beautiful and so perplexing. Combined with the fact that everything in the exhibit was thousands and thousands of years old and from an ancient civilization that we know so little about… it was really hard to wrap my mind around what we were actually seeing. So I did what any typical white girl would, and took pictures (for Instagram primarily, and also for later reflection).

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[Shabti of Pharaoh Seti I. Dynasty 19, reign of Seti I, c. 1294–1279 BC. Tomb of Seti I, Valley of the Kings, Thebes, Egypt. Blue faience; 22.8 x 9.6 x 9.6 cm. British Museum, EA 22818. © Trustees of the British Museum, London.] — I just liked the color of this dude.

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[Three kneeling figures in poses of jubilation, c. 715–332 BC. Late Period. Egypt. Bronze; h. 24.5–30.5 cm. British Museum, EA 11498, EA 11496, EA 11497. © Trustees of the British Museum, London.] — Yes, this is their jubilant pose

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[Figure of a squatting baboon, c. 1391-1353 BC, carved during the reign of Amenhotep III in red quartzite.] Fun Fact: this little guy, who so strikingly resembles my cat, Charles Barkley, also visited CMA in an exhibit in 1991-1992.

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According to this Beginner’s Guide to Egyptian Art, all of these images, whether statues or relief, were designed to benefit a divine or deceased recipient. They were not meant for public viewing: just to honor or connect with another realm. This may explain why we have such little understanding of the meaning behind most of it, we were never intended to see it in the first place. Even my favorite little baboon is meant to represent a divinity whose identity still has not yet been revealed by scholars. For something we know so little about, their artwork was meticulous and mesmerizing. What these people were capable of 3,000 years ago still baffles me today.

Be sure to check out the upcoming exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art… I promise you will not regret learning a little.

Are you gonna eat that? 💘

Just a friendly reminder that St. Valentine was, in fact, beheaded on February 14th.
Stay heartless, my pretties.

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But seriously, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to take this time to tell you about my favorite painting at the Cleveland Museum of Art. My final semester of college, I had to take an Art History class to graduate (though, my degree was in Finance and Economics… but… I digress…). I was actually really excited about this particular Art History class, because not only was it Monday and Wednesday nights (meaning, no Friday classes for this bitch), but almost every Wednesday we traveled to the art museum to explore and learn about all this nifty little place had to offer. The CMA is one of the most vast and distinguished art museums in the world, and to this day admission remains free, resonating its founding principle of being “for the benefit of all the people forever.” Seriously, if you live in Cleveland or even visit Cleveland, and haven’t been to the Cleveland Museum of Art… what are you waiting for? EXPERIENCE THIS.

Anyway. On to my favorite painting on display here. I present to you, Cupid and Psyche, 1817 by Jacques Louis David:

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It’s just FABULOUS, isn’t it?

So, here’s the story behind this painting (as explained both in my class and what I like to think it means): Cupid is clearly older here than he is depicted in most art, and in his older age I like to think he was kind of a slut. I mean, he is Cupid, after all. He falls for this human Psyche and visits her nightly to… have his way with her in the dark. This way he keeps his anonymity, ’cause, ya know, the wings, and realizing you’re banging Cupid might freak a chick out initially. In the background you can see the sun is starting to rise, and Cupid is trying to sneak out before Psyche wakes up to see him, but she’s lying on his wing, rendering him stuck for the time being. That face gets me every time– it’s described as him “smirking at his sexual conquest,” but I like to think of it as him realizing he’s got himself in a bit of a pickle and finding the humor in it all.

The Cupid and Psyche love story is a reigning theme in Greek mythology, delving into the trials and tribulations of love — Psyche (“soul”) and Cupid (“desire”) are the literal manifestations of this conflict. The couple eventually overcomes and unifies through marriage… but, while most representations of Cupid and Psyche are innocent and poetic, David boldly flaunts the more taboo side of the relationship — the dirrrrty deed. He put a fresh and sort of dark twist on the over done theme of Cupid and Psyche.

And there you have it. Go see this at the museum, a picture does not do it justice.
Happy Valentine’s Day, bitches ❤