Here’s NY Times with a visit to Boston:
I think I first got hooked on museums the way many kids do, through the thrills and chills of Egyptian art.
Why? For one thing, the Museum of Fine Arts had a ton of it, the largest collection outside Cairo. In 1905 the museum had teamed up with Harvard on archaeological digs in Giza, after striking a divide-the-spoils deal with Egypt: half of what was excavated would stay in that country, the rest would go to Boston.
Treasures came, and they look as magnetic now, and in some of the same ways, as they did when I was 10. Of all ancient art Egyptian feels particularly modern, even futuristic, or so I thought. With their neat figures and confident smiles, the Old Kingdom ruler Mycerinus and his queen, in a renowned carved portrait, looked like friends of my parents arriving for cocktails, straight from a spaceship.
The doll-size wooden models of everyday scenes stockpiled in tombs made it seem as if, for the Egyptians, eternity was an endless game of playing house. (You’ll find nearly a hundred of these miniature sculptures, all belonging to the museum and all on view for the first time, in a special show called “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 B.C.”)
And then there were mummies, laid out, just as I remembered, in a cryptlike space. They’re probably the real reason for preteen Egyptomania. They aren’t art, they aren’t objects: they’re bodies, and for many children they give a riveting first brush with the physical fact of death. They did that for me, and it took years before I could get beyond it to see Egyptian art as, above all, about the irrepressible hunger for life.
The Egyptian galleries were an immersive environment, but they weren’t the only ones. There was also the chapel-like enclosure for the display of 12th-century frescoes from the apse of a Catalonian church.
– from NYTimes