Nefertari, a great Egyptian queen born in 1301 B.C., doesn’t have quite the high profile that Nefertiti (b. 1370 B.C.) and Cleopatra (b. 69 B.C.) maintain. She has not been the star of her own movie (Cleopatra, 1963, Elizabeth Taylor), and is not a main character in an opera, as Nefertiti is, by Philip Glass (Akhnaten, 1983). Still, Nefertari was played by Anne Baxter with camp gusto in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956), and she also presents us with an interesting fashion footnote. Nefertari’s tomb was discovered in 1904 by the Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli, a cousin of the father of the celebrated surrealist couturier Elsa Schiaparelli. The 230 pieces in the Portland exhibition—musical instruments, bronze mirrors, boxes, precious jewelry, and more—are on loan from the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, which holds some of the most important ancient Egyptian works outside Cairo. —L.J.
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