The art of Susan Weeks

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Poking around in the archives of the American University in Cairo the other week I came across a box labeled “Susan Weeks”. Susan was the wife of Egyptologist Kent Weeks, rediscoverer of the KV 5 tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Susan worked with Kent as part of the Theban Mapping Project, for which she was ceramics expert, registrar, headquarters supervisor, project archivist and chief architect until her tragically premature death in December 2009. The box contained some of her pencil and ink sketches and watercolours. If you’ve ever seen a copy of Kent’s book The Lost Tomb, then you will have seen Susan’s sketches, one of which heads each chapter. Unfortunately, the reproductions in the book are not very good – not in the paperback, anyway – so to see the original pieces is a thrill. Plus the book is in black and white and doesn’t have any colour pieces. Below is a selection of some of the work from the archive, only two of which feature in the book. It’s just a small sampling, pieces I particularly liked, and there is much, much more. It’s a shame the work is so little seen. Maybe one day we’ll get to see it published in a book.

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4 Comments

Filed under Art and artists, Egyptologists and Egyptology

4 Responses to The art of Susan Weeks

  1. Kent Weeks

    I am delighted to see your article on Susan’s art! She was incredibly talented, illustrating many archaeological books and reports (and not just in Egyptology; she did the extensive art work for K-C Chang’s Archaeology of China, too, and made extensive studies of Bedouin silver jewelry). Thank you so much for calling attention to my dear wife’s record of an Egypt that is sadly disappearing. What a great artistic legacy she left us!

  2. Emily

    Thank you so much, Mr. Humphreys, for acknowledging the special talents of my mother, Susan Weeks. She was indeed an extraordinarily sincere and sensitive artist, and far too modest about her work to bring to it the attention it deserved. In addition to her ethnographic, archaeological, and architectural studies, she had the intention of one day publishing a children’s book about the donkeys of Egypt – a subject dear to her heart. I hope one day to identify a publisher who might publish this work, and perhaps others of her drawings and paintings as well. In the meantime, I will take great joy in knowing that her art has not been forgotten, and that it continues to have an impact on the people who discover it, as did you.

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