One of few museums in the United States devoted entirely to Ancient Egyptian history and culture, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM) began in the 1920s with a single artifact belonging to H. Spencer Lewis, founder of the Rosicrucian order AMORC. The Rosicrucian order traces its philosophical origins to ancient mystical practices, including those of the Ancient Egyptian religion and culture. Founded in 1915, AMORC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of those ideas and practices.
In the 1920s, AMORC provided generous support to the Egypt Exploration Society, which was conducting important archaeological excavations in Egypt. In gratitude, the Society presented AMORC with a small collection of artifacts, which were the basis for the Museum’s collection. In 1927, the collection was displayed in AMORC’s Administrative building, and further efforts were made to expand the collection.
By the 1960s the AMORC collection had grown to over 2000 items, and a project was undertaken to build a home for the growing Museum. A trip to Egypt was made, exploring numerous temples and burial sites, to find a model on which to base the new building. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum officially opened its doors in November 1966.
Today the REM’s collection numbers over 4000 items, and the Museum continues to collaborate with major educational organizations nationwide in research and exhibition projects. Many projects are focused on the connection between ancient and modern knowledge and philosophy, relating ancient ways of life and thinking to those of the modern world. Evening lectures, gallery talks, interactive workshops, tours, and a Junior Archaeologist Program are some of the opportunities presented by the REM, in the interest of fostering a fascination with one of the world’s ancient civilizations.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM) Information
- PPublic Transportation: Fair (accessible by #61, 62 & 81 buses)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday & Thursday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Weekends, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Closed Monday & Tuesday
- Admission: General, $9; Seniors/Students, $7; Children 5-10, $5; Children under 5, free
- Tours: mp3 Audio Tours are available for download for visitors with mp3 players. Guided tours are available as part of Friday Nights at the Museum
- Membership: Membership is tiered, with each level named after an Ancient Egyptian deity; begins with $20 annual donations (Friend of Bes, for students, seniors and teachers) up to $2500 (Friend of Ra). Benefits include free year-round admission, guest passes, use of Museum facility and special gifts.