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Loyola University Museum of Art


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The Eternal Light of Egypt: The Photography of Sarite Sanders

Exclusive Access to Egyptian Monuments Produces Breathtaking
Journey for Museum Visitors

CHICAGO, January 27, 2009 – The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) has been selected as the first United States venue to host The Eternal Light of Egypt: The Photography of Sarite Sanders, a photographic exhibition of ancient Egyptian monuments by American photographer Sarite Sanders. Forty-one black-and-white images will be exhibited from January 31 to May 10, 2009. The works have been selected from among the 130 in Sanders' book of the same title, which was published at the end of 2008 by Thames and Hudson Ltd.


The Eternal Light of Egypt takes viewers on an exclusive tour, allowing them to travel the length of the Nile, from Ramesses II's temple at Abu Simbel, deep in ancient Nubia (modern Sudan), to the great pyramids near Cairo at the mouth of the river's Mediterranean delta. Sanders, who has worked as an official photographer on several groundbreaking archaeological excavations, was granted unprecedented access to monuments by the Egyptian government. The result is this impressive collection of photographs of well-known monuments shot at angles and with proximity the public could not enjoy as visitors to the actual sites.

"Sanders' photographs are hauntingly beautiful. Light appears to emanate from sculptures millennia old. Fresh, crisp details contrast with mysterious shadows," says LUMA's curator, Jonathan Canning, in admiration of Sanders' photography.

Sanders' photographic journey is the culmination of a three-decade-long fascination and intimate association with ancient Egypt. Motivated by a deep respect for the beliefs of ancient Egyptians, Sanders has sought to reanimate temples and sculptures with the spirit of the gods and pharaohs that once inhabited them.

In ancient times, sunlight was the animating power. For this reason, Sanders photographed with black and white infra-red film, which responds to infra-red light invisible to the human eye. Levels of infra-red light are particularly high at dawn, the moment when the sunlight of Re, the Egyptian sun god, first reanimates the world after the death of night. In Sanders' dawn photographs, illuminated areas become vibrantly luminous while the shaded areas remain dark and mysterious. Sanders thus captures the moment when the spirits of gods and pharaohs reanimate their monuments and sculptures.

Public Program:

Meet the Artist
Saturday, January 31, at 11 a.m.

Simpson Lecture Hall, LUMA

The photographs of Sarite Sanders are the product of a 30-year fascination with ancient Egypt. Come and benefit from her long association with leading Egyptologists and her privileged access to those monuments as she leads a walk-through of the exhibition, The Eternal Light of Egypt.

The Eternal Light of Egypt: The Photography of Sarite Sanders is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!