Shelf 2: Faces from Life
The Ancient World has left behind many images of gods and heroes, as well as mortals, both adults and children, all in innumerable attitudes and activities. The Holmes Collection shows various representations, from stiff Egyptian underworld guides and afterlife servants (ushabtis) to uninhibited Greco- Roman dancers. Each image tells us part of a story: one face among the many that made a civilization. Here we also find modern attempts to imitate the past, as occasional antiquarian interest became a booming tourist trade. When not enough interesting artifacts could be found, they were manufactured for the tourists. Such objects certainly convey the appearance of the past, while lacking its meaning.