Creating King Tut’s Horses for the Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum’s new exhibit Crossroads of Civilization features a life size recreation of King Tut’s chariot, including two taxidermy Arabian horses.
Milwaukee Public Museum's new exhibit features King Tut's chariot and horses

The Milwaukee Public Museum became the birthplace of modern taxidermy and habitat dioramas when Carl Akeley set the bar during his work there in the late 1800s.

The new Crossroads of Civilization exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum continues that legacy with a life size recreation of Tutankhamun’s chariot. To accomplish this, taxidermist Wendy Christensen was tasked with creating two white Arabian horses to pull the boy king.

The real challenge was getting the proportions historically accurate, as the features of King Tut’s horses would have been different than those of modern Arabians.

Molly Snyder via On Milwaukee:

Through research, Christensen learned that Tut’s horses would have been smaller – more the size of a modern pony – and looked different from today’s Arabian horses which have been bred to have slender muzzles, “dished-out” foreheads and wide-spread eyes. (Arabian horses always had these features, but they are more pronounced in the modern animals.)

Christensen worked with experts in the field of ancient horses and chariots and also visited a horse farm with an Arabian horse. She took more than 100 measurements of the horse and then, through research and information from experts, figured out how much she had to scale down her horse mannequins to serve as the main forms for the project.

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Creating King Tut’s Arabian Horses

The Crossroads of Civilization exhibit opens March 15th. More info here.

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