Fearless Voyagers: Women Who Challenged the Middle East, 1870–1940

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:00pm - 4:00pm

This exhibition follows European women who traveled thousands of miles alone and explored North Africa and the Middle East during an era when women were often forced into passive, subordinate roles. While documenting lesser-known areas of the globe, these women forged new identities for themselves while pushing the boundaries of gender, embracing new political and religious perspectives, and finding the courage to persevere. Opening reception: November 14, 3–6pm. Gallery hours, spring 2013: Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon-4pm (open until 7pm February 7, March 7 and April 4).

Free.

Directions: Humanities Building, University Museum

Website: Museum Studies Program

Sponsor: Museum Studies Program

Phone: 415-405-0599

E-mail: museumst@sfsu.edu

From foreign diplomats and British spies to intrepid adventurers, these women were anything but ordinary. Each woman had different motivations behind her journey, but they all faced overwhelming obstacles along the way. Some were forced to disguise their gender and ethnic identity, while others tackled the grueling elements of the deserts and mountains from Algeria to Afghanistan.

This exhibit tells the stories of these eight women and features objects they would have needed, worn or encountered in their travels. Highlights include 1930s photogravures of the women’s destinations, clothing they would have worn, and necessities for camel transportation.

Also on display are South Italian (Gnathia) ceramics from fourth century B.C.E., recently donated to the University Museum, and significant antiquities from the Sutro Egyptian Collection, purchased by former San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro in 1884. The treasures of the collection on display include the 3000-year-old mummy Nes-Per-N-Nub with a rare triple-nesting sarcophagus set as well as jewelry and items of daily life that accompanied Egyptians to the afterlife.

As a fundraiser for the museum, items are for sale including books on Middle Eastern studies, archaeology, gender studies and women's History, safari gear, textiles from Turkey, vintage clothing from the late 19th century and jewelery. All items have been donated by museum staff.