The King Tutorial Live Presentation

November 21, 2009: Barry Cauchon

Canopic stopper from King Tut's tomb

I want to tell folks in the Toronto, Southern Ontario and Western Tier of Upper State New York that the King Tut exhibit has opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. It will run from now until April 18, 2010 and is called Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. This is the 2nd of two exhibits currently on tour in North America. The other one is currently on display in San Francisco.

The exhibit features over 130 artifacts from ancient Egyptian history of which fifty come from the tomb of King Tut. The exhibit is excellent in content but heavy in written presentation. Attendees could be overwhelmed by the amount of information presented to them in the dimly lit and potentially crowded conditions of the exhibit. That is why I started giving live presentations to schools and groups. The presentation is called The King Tutorial and it is a primer for anyone planning to attend the show.

To learn more about this program, please visit my website at

I would love to come and present to your school or group and help you get the most out of your visit to the King Tut exhibit.




June 17, 2009: Barry Cauchon

Hi all: In 2004-2005, I was the Sr. Project Manager for the current King Tut exhibit (which I affectionately call Tut 1). And although I am no longer working on that project, I do keep up with the folks involved and see how things are going from time to time. So I thought I’d give you an update on what is happening. The two King Tut tours are on the move once again.

Tut 1 called Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will open on June 27, 2009 in San Francisco at the de Young Museum. The exhibit  is currently scheduled to run until March 28, 2010.  The city is abuzz with excitement about having the exhibit back in town. The de Young Museum was one of seven museums in the United States that hosted the original King Tut exhibit back in the 1970s. 


Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs first opened in Basel, Switzerland in 2004, followed by a run in Bonn, Germany. The tour was then taken over by a group from the United States (Arts and Exhibitions International, AEG Live and the National Geographic Society) and opened its first show n Los Angeles in June, 2005. The following cities have hosted the exhibit:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • London, England
  • Dallas, TX
  • and now is headed to San Francisco

Tut 2 called Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohswill open on June 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Childrens’ Museum of Indianapolis. It is currently scheduled to run until October 25, 2009. From there, the tour will continue to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and run from November 24, 2009 to April 18, 2010.


This tour began in Vienna, Austria at the Volkerkunde Museum Vienna and was on display from March 9, 2008 to September 28, 2008. It was exhibited under the name Tutankhamun and the World of the Pharaohs. After that, the show traveled to the United States and now is named Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. The exhibit has, or will visit the following cities:

  • Vienna, Austria (ended)
  • Atlanta, GA (ended)
  • Indianapolis, IN (opening June 27, 2009)
  • Toronto, ON, Canada (opening November 24, 2009).

Both Tut 1 and Tut 2 each have over 130 objects from a variety of Egyptian sites including 50 of which come from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

What these exhibits ARE NOT displaying

Two of the biggest misconceptions about these two exhibits are that the following artifacts are included and on display:

  • King Tut’s mummy
  • Golden Mask

This is absolutely not the case. Regrettably, neither of these artifacts are included in the current tours. In fact, Tutankhamun’s mummy has never even left its tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt since its discovery in 1922. And although thousands of people visit the tomb annually, the mummy was never on public display there until November of 2007. It was then that King Tut’s mummy was put in a special climate-controlled display case inside the tomb where visitors are now able to view it.

Picture 475

Zahi Hawass, Egypt's Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) stands over the mummy of Tutankhamun now on display in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.

The Golden Mask is also not on tour with these two exhibits. It remains on display at The Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However the mask was part of the original exhibit Treasures of Tutankhamun that toured in the 1970s. Many people remember that blockbuster exhibit because of the Golden Mask and they assumed that it would tour again with these new shows. Unfortunately the Egyptian government stated that it would never again allow the mask to leave Egypt as it is considered a national treasure and must remain safely in Egypt.

The icon often used in the current advertisements for these new exhibits confused many people because it looks like the Golden Mask but in fact is a “golden canopic coffinette”. The coffinettes (4 in total) were used to hold one of Tutankhamun’s internal organs after the embalming process was completed. They are amazing in detail to see in person. They have similar features to the Golden Mask but are tiny in comparison. The head and shoulders of the Golden Mask is 54cm high (21-1/4″)  while the height of an entire canopic coffinette only measures 39cm high (15-3/8″). Each exhibit has one of these coffinettes on display.

Golden Mask

King Tut's Golden Mask is not on tour and remains in The Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Canopic coffinette. Each touring exhibit features one of these wonderfully intricate artifacts which are only 15-3/8" tall.

Canopic coffinette. Each touring exhibit features one of these wonderfully intricate artifacts which are only 15-3/8" tall.

To buy tickets to the exhibits, go to



September 15, 2008: Barry Cauchon

Hi all: With so many fantastic exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, it’s sometimes hard to keep on top of what is going on out there. The article below covers an event that occurred late last year. It did not happen in a museum or a gallery but rather in a tomb. If you missed this one now’s a good time to catch up.


King Tut's mummy on public display in the Valley of the Kings.

King Tut's mummy on public display at the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

In the 85 years since the tomb of King Tut was discovered, the body has never gone on public display. Although all the treasures from the tomb have been removed, the mummy itself has been kept in it’s original sarcophagus in the burial chamber. In late 2007, the boy king was finally brought out of hiding and put on public display for all to see.


On November 4, 1922, Howard Carter and his team were excavating the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt. The plan was to excavate the ground beneath some ancient huts, found near the base of the tomb. While digging the ground beneath these huts they came upon the first of twelve steps that would eventually lead into the undiscovered tomb of King Tut.

Unlike most of other tombs in the Valley, which had been robbed of all their treasures, the tomb of Tutankhamun was almost completely intact. Evidence showed that it had only been broken into twice in it’s 3300 year existence. Very little had been removed (although definitely some treasures were taken). However, the golden treasures within the burial chamber, such as the Golden Mask and other jewelry which covered the body, could not be reached by tomb raiders due to the construction of the burial tomb itself. Carter was ecstatic when he reached the walls of the chamber and discovered that the seals had not been broken meaning the mummy and it’s contents were still 100% inside. This proved to be true.


Carter and his financial backers had far more interest in the golden treasure rather than the mummy itself. When they first started examining the contents of the sarcophagus, they noted that the entire mummy was encased in a hardened resin which had been poured over the body during embalming. To remove the jewelry and other treasures buried with the body, they had to dismember it. The mummy was cut in half at the pelvis and then separated into 18 pieces.

If this initial damage was not bad enough, years of tourists entering the tomb created high levels of trapped humidity and heat. This created an ideal environment for mummy-damaging bacteria and mold to grow.

1968 & 1978 X-RAYS

The mummy has been X-rayed twice. Once in 1968 and again in 1978. Other than these two events, the mummy had remained undisturbed until 2005. It is estimated that only about 60 people have viewed the body since the time of it’s discovery.

2005 – CT SCAN

Move ahead in time to 2005. As part of an initiative to bring King Tut back into the public eye, and to prepare for the upcoming US tour of the Tutankhamun exhibit, the Egyptian government and National Geographic planned to take a CT scan of the mummy to determine if the king had been murdered or not. The scanner was brought to the tomb and the body scanned. During the operation, the Egyptian specialists noticed that Tutankhamun’s mummy had decayed far faster than anyone had expected. At the rate it was deteriorating, they believed it would be completely consumed within the next 50 years.

The Egyptian government not only wanted to save the mummy from further damage but also wished to find a better way to bring in the critical tourist dollars. So they decided to put the mummy on public display, within an environmentally controlled showcase, inside the tomb.


On November 4, 2007, exactly 85 years to the day that Carter’s men found the first step, a team of Egyptian specialists from several institutions removed the body of Tutankhamun from his sarcophagus and carefully transferred him to his new home in an adjacent antechamber.

The mummy was placed inside a high-tech display glass case made by Glasbau Hahn of Frankfurt, Germany. I had the pleasure of working for Glasbau Hahn for twelve months in 2005-6 and they are one of the leaders in museum showcase fabrication in the world. This showcase is airtight, with humidity and temperature control. It is also filled with a nitrogen-rich mixture that is lethal to bacteria and mold. These features will protect the mummy from further decay and allow the public to get it’s first look at the boy king since his discovery so many years ago.

If you get over to Egypt and get a chance to visit the tomb of King Tut, please let us know what you thought.



Published in: on Monday, September 15, 2008 at '12:55 pm'  Comments (22)  
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May 31, 2008 – by Barry Cauchon 

Having been the original Senior Project Manager for the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, the renowned King Tut touring exhibit, I’d like to do a follow up on where the exhibit presently is and headed next. The collection has been shown in Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadephia and is presently at the O2 in London, England until August 31, 2008. From there, it will travel back to the United States where it opens for a six month run at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. Showdates are from October 3, 2008 to May 17, 2009.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of this exhibit, the producers and their partners created a second Tut exhibit. This one is presently showing in Vienna, Austria at the Volkerkunde Museum Vienna under the name of “Tutankhamun and the World of the Pharaohs” and runs until Sept. 28, 2008. The exhibit features 50 artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb as well as more than 70 artifacts representing other pharaohs and notables.

From Vienna, the exhibit will travel next to the Atlantic Civic Center in Atlanta, Georgia where it will be shown under the banner “Tutankhamun: The Golden King & The Great Pharaohs”. Showdates are from November 15, 2008 to May 22, 2009.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is slotted next on the tour from June 2009 to October 2009.

It’s going to be a busy year for King Tut!


Perot family member give $50 million to planned Dallas science museum

By MICHAEL GRANBERRY / The Dallas Morning News

Friday, May 30, 2008 Summary: The children of Ross Perot, Sr. and his wife Margot have donated $50 million in their honor to the building ofthe Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, Texas. For the full story, go to:

More to come later.