If the exhibits actually have to come alive for a night at the museum to sound like fun to you, then a Museum Hack tour is the next best thing.
“One of our taglines is that ‘people have been people for as long as people have been people,” says Harry Einhorn, one of the “reverently irreverent” tour guides who turn the usual docent tour into a participatory romp in search of the strange and scandalous details that don’t fit on museum plaques. “Our approach is very much based on human stories, the human side of things. We like to tell the story behind the story.”
This weekend, Museum Hack putting its spin on The Discovery of King Tut in Midtown, which recreates three chambers of the boy ruler’s 3,000-year-old tomb, along with over 1,000 artifacts found there and rare photos of the 1922 excavation.
The original items are too fragile to travel, so Egyptian artisans created the faithful replicas in the exhibit — which posed a unique opportunity for Museum Hack. “One thing that we actually love, and this isn’t advertised, is because they’re recreations — and this not encouraged — but you are technically allowed to touch the objects,” says Einhorn. You certainly can’t do that at the Met.
Raps and puns aren’t the only unusual elements of Einhorn’s take on ancient Egypt’s most famous ruler. Some of the tour’s highlights include investigating the Mummy’s Curse, which is blamed for the mysterious deaths of several excavation team members (“We have a mummy rap — get it?”); a discussion of Egyptian magic (spoiler alert: Most hieroglyphic writing is actually spells!); and the cautionary tale about incest that is King Tut’s life. “We also play little games along the way; it’s interactive,” says Einhorn. And Egyptology fans, don’t worry — Museum Hack does their tours with “loving respect.”
The Museum Hack experience is suitable for all ages (the tours are slightly tweaked depending on whether there are kids in the group) and free with admission to The Discovery of King Tut, which is open until May 1.
Museum Hack: King Tut
Jan. 31, Feb. 14, March 13, April 10
11 a.m.-2 p.m. (tours start every half hour)
Premier Exhibitions, 417 Fifth Ave.
$29 admission, tour is free