The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California was founded in 1915 and features the largest exhibition of ancient Egyptian antiquities on the West Coast of the United States. It is also renowned for the architecture of its building, which was constructed in 1966 in the ancient Egyptian architectural style.
H. Spencer Lewis, founder of the Rosicrucian Order, Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), established the museum in 1928 in San Jose, California. According to the museum, he was inspired by an Egyptian Sekhmet (lion goddess) statue on his table, which later became the first artifact for the museum. Throughout the years, AMORC expanded its collection through private and public donations. More importantly, a large part of its collection came from various excavation trips to Egypt that AMORC had sponsored, including a 1965 trip led by the son of H. Spencer Lewis. It was during a trip to the Temple of Amun in Karnak, located in the modern city of Luxor, that he drew inspiration for the museum’s current architectural design.
Today, the museum houses more than 4,000 pieces, spanning from the pre-dynastic period to the early Islamic era. The organization views itself as ‘caretaker’ of the world cultural institution, to preserve and protect it for future generations to study and enjoy. Apart from the artifacts per se, it has expanded beyond its four walls to include a park that is not only based on an 18th Dynasty Egyptian garden but also contains plants that were grown in ancient gardens. Adjacent to the museum, there is a planetarium offering complimentary daily shows as well as a library.
The museum is also involved with ongoing research projects in collaboration with educational institutions and research agencies to improve understanding and interpretation of its collection. Some of the organizations they have previously worked with are Stanford University Hospital, UCLA and NASA Ames Biocomputation Center, among many others.
3.Religion and Kingship
Best Things to Do in San Jose, CA: Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
- Permanent Collection, Photo: Courtesy of Melastmohican - Fotolia.com
- Daily Life, Photo: Courtesy of Melastmohican - Fotolia.com
- Religion and Kingship, Photo: Courtesy of Melastmohican - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Melastmohican - Fotolia.com