Denver Art Museum
Magical Khufu : 823January 8, 2010
The Great Pyramid of Giza or Khufu, named after Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh, Khufu, or Cheops in Greek, was constructed in 2560 BC and is believed to be a tomb. It is also believed that the Great Pyramid was designed to serve as a spiritual portal, providing the deceased pharaoh Khufu a route to the heavens. The precise method of construction utilized in its completion is still unknown.
We do know that magical Khufu was the tallest man-made structure on earth for more than 3800 years. It is believed to have been built over a period of 20 years by more than 200,000 men split into two divisions of 100,000, then further divided into 5 teams of 20,000 each. It is comprised of more than 23 million limestone blocks. The largest blocks utilized in the construction of Khufu weigh over 80 tons and were thought to have been quarried and then transported from more than 500 miles away. The repeated architectural inclusion of the so called golden ratio, phi, within the pyramid’s interior chambers prior to documented knowledge of its existence, is thought by some to be the result of chance, but considered by others to be further proof of the Egyptians heightened universal knowledge and understanding.
Upon the structural completion of Khufu it was covered in approximately 144,000 limestone casing stones. The stones were assembled with such precision that they are considered “equal to opticians” work of the present day, but on a scale of acres. When completed and covered in its polished casing stones the Pyramid is said to have been visible from the mountains of Israel, hundreds of miles away.
In AD 1300, an earthquake loosened Khufu’s outer skin, and the limestone casing stones once covering the Great Pyramid were soon carted away to build what were to become the mosques and fortresses of nearby Cairo. Many of the casing stones can still be seen in parts of these structures to this day. The famed craftsmanship and precision of the casing stones, spoken of for centuries, is still apparent.
Magical Khufu: 823, pays homage to the knowledge, ingenuity, and craftsmanship of the ancient Egyptians. It exists as a totem shrine to pharaoh Khufu, one of the greatest builders known to man and as a monument to the Great Pyramid of Giza’s once glistening skin, visible from miles, signaling, for better or for worse, mankind’s ability to conquer both nature and himself.
It’s construction, from a single polished block of ancient White Oak further symbolizes Khufus’s modern state of nakedness. Like a timeworn tree, no longer bearing its protective bark, Khufu stands, skinless – a testament to all that we know, and all that we do not.
Magical Khufu : 823 - Design Specifications / Handcrafted Khufu scale replica created explicitly for Design After Dark, "Skin" - 2010
Inspired by Khufu – The Great Pyramid of Giza
Approximate date of Khufu construction: 2560 BC
Approximate dimensions at time of creation: 754′ / side at base x 481′ tall – slope ≈ 52°
1/823 scale replica dimensions: 11″ / side at base x 7″ tall, 1″ = 68.6′ – slope ≈ 52°
Medium: Quercus Alba, White Oak
Origin: Bucyrus, Ohio
Approximate date of felling: 150 years ago ≈ 1860
Approximate age at time of felling: 320 years – born in ≈ 1540
Approximate time timber spent on earth: 450 years
Timber reclaimed: fall of 2008
Creation date: January 28, 29 and 30 of 2009
*All fabrication performed by Kristian Kluver>