Please note: West Building is now closed through October 7, 2022, to complete an exciting reinstallation of the People’s Collection. During this time enjoy free exhibitions on view in East Building, indoor and outdoor events and programming, and the 164-acre Museum Park. We’re excited to welcome visitors back to a new Museum experience starting October 8, 2022. Learn more about the opening weekend celebration.

Golden Mummies Family Day

Welcome to Golden Mummies Family Day at the North Carolina Museum of Art! We are excited for you to be inspired by the exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt, on view until July 11. Enjoy in-person activities at the Museum and scroll down to discover virtual activities for the whole family.

On-site Activities

– Free admission to Golden Mummies of Egypt. Walk-up tickets only, available at Tickets and Membership (East Building). Capacity is limited.
– Golden Mummies Scavenger Hunt. Available in English and Spanish.
– NCMA To Go Kits: Masked Portraits and Papyrus. First come, first served until kits run out (Museum Plaza). Instructions available in English and Spanish.
– Egyptian-edition Museum Jukebox, Museum Park Theater, 11 am—1 pm. Find the songs in our special Golden Mummies-inspired playlist on Spotify.
– Picnic in the Museum Park from our Golden Mummies Exhibition Caf©. Only on May 22, receive a free chocolate chip cookie with the purchase of an entr©e while supplies last. Order online here and use code COOKIE at checkout or request your free cookie at checkout when visiting the Exhibition Caf© (East Building) or Sip (West Building).

Virtual Activities

Gilded mummies, hybrid gods, and mummy masks are just a few of the objects you’ll encounter in the exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt. Learn and play from home by following along with videos, art-making activities, and more, all for families!

Who Are the Golden Mummies?

At first glance some of the mummies on display in this exhibition might look different from others you’ve seen or read about. The eight mummies you’ll discover come from a period in history when Egypt was under Greek and Roman rule (circa 300 B.C.E.—200 C.E.). Although Egypt was governed by foreigners, mummification continued and new styles of mummy decoration–including painted mummy portraits–came into fashion. Watch this video with Curator of Ancient Art Caroline Rocheleau to learn more!

Create on Your Own: Masked Portraits

Left to right: Egyptian, possibly from Hawara, Portrait of a woman, circa 138—160 C.E., wood, Manchester Museum, © 2020 Manchester Museum / Michael Pollard Photographer; Egyptian, from Hawara, Mummy mask, 332—30 B.C.E., plaster and linen, Manchester Museum, © 2020 Manchester Museum / Michael Pollard Photographer; Egyptian, from Hawara, Portrait of a bearded man, circa 185—195 C.E., wood, Manchester Museum, © 2020 Manchester Museum / Michael Pollard Photographer

Take inspiration from painted mummy portraits to create your own layered work of art! Follow along with this hands-on activity from artist Sarah Whitney to create a portrait that’s both divine and mysterious. Find step-by-step instructions here.

Daily Life in Greco-Roman Egypt

There are also objects from everyday life in Greco-Roman Egypt, such as wooden toys and delicate glass vessels, on display in Golden Mummies of Egypt. Many of these objects were discovered buried with the dead and give ideas about what Egyptians thought reflected wealth or status or would be useful once they reached the afterlife. Look around the space you’re in. What objects do you see? What objects might you preserve for future generations to best tell the story of our time?

Create on Your Own: Papyrus

Left: Greek papyrus with text of a will, H. 21.6 cm, from Oxyrhynchus, acc. no. 7225, © Manchester Museum, University of Manchester / Julia Thorne, Tetisheri; right: image of handmade papyrus

One of the ways we know about cultural values from this time is from writings left behind. Wealthy members of Egyptian society were able to read and write, and many texts that describe aspects of daily life are preserved on papyrus, a type of paper made from reedy plants. Create a version of papyrus from everyday materials in this activity from NCMA intern Kate Poweska. Find the step-by-step instructions here.

Dance Like an Egyptian

Does art make you want to move your body? Then you might enjoy a special dance performance inspired by Golden Mummies of Egypt! This event, “An Homage to Ancient Egypt,” took place at the Museum on April 25, 2021. It featured six dance students from the UNC Charlotte and was choreographed by professor Delia Neil.

What movements most reminded you of a mummy? If you could add a movement to this performance, what would it look like? Try it now!

Play and Learn

Can you test your skills of discovery? Become a digital archaeologist to complete this puzzle of a special mummy portrait from the exhibition.

Read On!

Learn more about Egypt with these book recommendations for young readers.

– How the Sphinx Got to the Museum, written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland (Grades 1—3)
Just how did the mummies arrive at the NCMA? Explore a similar journey of the sphinx of pharaoh Hatshepsut from its creation in ancient Egypt to its display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

– Temple Cat by Andrew Clements (Grades K—3)
In ancient Egypt a worshipped cat grows tired of daily life and wanders out of the temple walls to find true companionship. Watch this read-along video to find out what he encounters!

– Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics by James Rumford (Grades 2—5)
Jean-Fran§ois Champollion’s dream to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs started when he was eleven years old in 1802. During the next 20 years, he traveled far to uncover the key to the writing system and with it the secrets of the past. Listen and read along with this video.

– Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids by Morgan E. Moroney (Grades 2—5)
Learn how beliefs and rituals like pyramid building and the mummification process were integrated into Egyptian culture. Explore the legendary lives of gods and goddesses and their importance in ancient society.

Thank you for joining us for Mummies Family Day! Tell us what you think about our virtual resources by completing this survey.

Learn more about other upcoming events for families!


May 22, 2021


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