Everyone knows the Nefertiti Bust – the incredibly beautiful sculpture of the most famous Queen of Egypt, found in Thutmose’s workshop by archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt.
In the centuries that have passed since the bust was made, there has been so much speculation about what the ancient Egyptians actually looked like, especially guesses as to their racial heritage. Doubtless modern ideas of race were not valid categories in such ancient times, when populations were so different than they are now, but still, I’ve thought a lot about the debate as to whether the ancient Egyptians were African, Arab, or some other racial and ethnic designation we don’t have a name for today.
Either way, I thought it would be fun to re-create a bust similar to Nefertiti in style, but with more Afrocentric features. But I ended up getting so wrapped up in the process, that I never completed the headdress or color! Luckily, a buyer liked her just as she was, and I was able to cast a copy of the head for them.
What should I do with the original? Should I complete her and turn her into a Queen? Or just seal and paint her as she is?