Offerings to the Discerning Eye
With sincere pleasure, this volume is dedicated to Jack A. Josephson by his friends and colleagues in token of their esteem and affection, on the occasion of his approaching 80th birthday on January 31, 2010. May he, as the ancient Egyptians wished, live 110 years in robust health, joyfully pursuing his passion for Egypt and its great civilization as energetically and purposefully as he does today.
Jack is a singular scholar in a rarified field. A latecomer to Egyptology, he has molded himself into a writer and researcher in the tradition of the “gentleman scholar.” In the process, he has attained specialized expertise in three-dimensional sculpture and achieved broad recognition as an authority in Egyptian art history. Museums and collectors seek his advice on matters of authenticity and identification, and young scholars look to him for guidance. Over the years, Jack’s lucid investigative analyses have probed and redefined the limits of inquiry, expanded research parameters, and broadened perspectives.His scholarship helps validate the discipline, emphasizing its undeniable contributions in an intra-disciplinary framework and highlighting its promise of further potential.
In clear, concise language and a crisp, unadorned style, his output displays the rigorous application of conventional methodological tools and techniques, informed by an increasingly original, innovative approach, instilling new vitality into a field too often dismissed or ignored. At their most complex, his writings and lectures weave cultural and political history into fascinating vignettes and narratives reflected in the formulaic art of the Egyptian civilization. Arthistorical interpretation thus applied can reveal tantalizing insights—clues offering a figurative reading between the lines—which might elude the philologist solely focused on often propagandizing, and often misleading, hieroglyphic texts. To cite one example, Jack’s comparative study of two contrasting statues of the 26th Dynasty vizier Men the ambitious Theban against the wily Psamtik I—a protracted long-distance intrigue culminating in a stalemate, but foiling the southerner’s apparent aspirations to royal status.
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