2020 Niedenfuhr Award Recipient

Thank you to all the applicants for this year’s Francis W. Niedenfuhr Annual Meeting Award!

The Niedenfuhr Annual Meeting Award is designed to help support student attendance and participation at ARCE's annual meeting through a $500 award to an applicant chosen by a panel of DC Chapter members. Entrants were asked to submit their accepted ARCE abstracts and CVs. There were many qualified applicants with interesting talks submitted. ARCE DC looks forward to continuing this award on a yearly basis thanks to the support of our members.

Although this year’s annual meeting has been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus, ARCE DC went ahead with the award in the hope that the chosen candidate would be able to use the grant to attend the 2021 meeting.

The 2018 Francis W. Niedenfuhr award recipient is:

Emily Grace Smith-Sangster

Smith-Sangster is a PhD candidate in Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her proposed talk was entitled:


“Crutched Pharaoh, Seated Hunter: An Analysis of Artistic ‘Portrayals” of Tutankhamun’s Disabilities”

Abstract: Academic and popular sources alike regularly refer to Tutankhamun as ‘disabled’ at the time of his death, citing artistic representations from the items in his tomb to back up such claims. This group of objects has been said to depict the young king seated while hunting and using a staff as a ‘walking aid’ which seems to specifically highlight the presence of a leg-based disability.


This narrative of the image depicting the truth of Tutankhamun’s physical condition has publicly become accepted as ‘fact,’ with images of the seated king even being used in the advertising for the touring exhibit “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” to suggest Tutankhamun’s ‘fragile constitution.’


A comparison of these depictions to historical representations of kings hunting and using staffs of authority, however, suggests that these depictions of Tutankhamun were part of a traditional iconography utilized by Tutankhamun’s artists, not to highlight his disability, but instead to situate his image within the artwork of kings of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.