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.
The art of Susan Weeks
Filed under Art and artists, Egyptologists and Egyptology
7 Responses to The art of Susan 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!
It is beautiful work and deserves to be far more widely seen.
Warm greetings from Russia. Was just looking for the opportunity to get in contact with You. (We met in Luxor some times during the years 2014-2017 in Your library and charity mission.) I dearly remember our short encounters and hope that my last two years of absence from Luxor have not erased my image from Your memory.
It is a pleasure to see the pictures made by Your spouse here. Hopefully, there ll be the chance to publish them wider soon.
I would like to ask You about the idea of Yours as for the better and larger place both for the library and the charity mission. Have You succeded in securing the funds yet?… If not I would like to ask Your permission to urgently look for a good interested culture foundation here in Moscow.
As for me, I am pursuing the project if finishing the translation if Jan Assman’s “The Mind of Egypt”, for which I have got the permission of the author and the acceptance of the prospective publisher. I have also constructed a web site with multiple photos of Luxorian gems and landscapes, this might come handy as well for the publicity.
Here is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pass my regards to Ahmed, Your assistant.
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.
Did you ever approach AUC Press?
Wonderful drawings. My mother was also a gifted artist. I am reading a book “The Lost Tomb” she had, which is written by Kent Weeks, Ph.D. It was a wonderful find in her thousands of books. I am on page 27 and thrilled to bits looking up Kent, Susan and others such as David Goodman. Saw this link and love the artwork. Fascinating book and beautiful pictures. Thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing her work. The lovely sketches and watercolors are a treasure for all of us to enjoy. I really hope you can get them published. You can tell her love of the subject through the personal touches in color and line.