Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Martyl Langsdorf and the Precinct of Mut

In 1987 the artist Martyl Langsdorf exhibited some paintings at the Oriental Institute in an exhibit entitled "Site Drawings by Martyl: The Precinct of Mut at Luxor" based on her experiences as a member of the Brooklyn Museum team on a season of excavation at the Precinct of Mut in Luxor.

From the  1986-1987 Annual Report, acting curator Raymond D. Tindel reports:
The second of these exhibits, "Site Drawings by Martyl:
The Precinct of Mut at Luxor," June I-July 26, 1987, presented
the work of the prominent Chicago artist Martyl.
She had been invited by The Brooklyn Museum to record
her impressions of their excavations at the Mut Temple,
and this experience inspired the works on display. The exhibit
was celebrated with an opening reception and an intimate
dinner in the galleries for supporters. We are
pleased to express our appreciation to The Brooklyn Museum
for having organized the exhibition, and to Allied
Signal Engineered Materials Research Center, AT&T, Illinois
Bell, William Drake, the Institute of Museum Services,
Kraft, Inc., and Diane Legge Lohan for their local sponsorship
of the exhibition. We especially want to thank the
Playboy Foundation for their assistance in producing the
poster for this exhibition.
 There was also a review of the exhibit in Saudi Aramco World, September/October 1988

Two recent articles (here, and here) in the Chicago Reader, and one in in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (here), discuss her career, and make particular note of the fact that she designed the famed "Doomsday Clock:, the icon of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
To complete the circle of connections, Ruth Adams, wife of former faculty member Robert McC. Adams, former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, former Faculty member and Director of the Oriental Institute, and Provost of the University of Chicago, was editor of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 1961 to 1968 and from 1978 to 1983.

Martyl Langsdorfs original Doomsday Clock design.
  • Martyl Langsdorf's original Doomsday Clock design.

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