The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an educational institution that uses trans-disciplinary approaches to increasing knowledge about the past, present, and future, especially related to the diversity and relationships in nature and among cultures.
We provide collection-based research and learning for greater public understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live, drawing on the wisdom of ancient traditions and modern science. Its collections, public learning programs, and collaborative research are inseparably linked to serve a diverse public of varied ages, backgrounds, and knowledge.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum began with one small artifact, a Sekhmet (lion goddess) statue, which stood on the desk of H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.
AMORC, which was founded in 1915, is a philosophical and educational public benefit (501c3) organization. Rosicrucian students study, along with other subjects, the wisdom of the ancient mystery schools, including those of ancient Egypt.
In the 1920s AMORC supported the excavations of the Egypt Exploration Society in Tell el-Amarna (Akhetaten), the city of the Pharaoh Akhnaton. In gratitude, the Egypt Exploration Society donated several artifacts from their finds to AMORC.
H. Spencer Lewis encouraged members to add to this collection, which they did.
In 1927 H. Spencer Lewis conceived of a public collection. He had glass cases built for the artifacts on the second floor of AMORC’s Administration building.
In 1929 AMORC sponsored an initiatic journey through Egypt, led by H. Spencer Lewis. This trip generated much enthusiasm, which resulted in additional donations of artifacts and funds for the Museum. By 1932 the collection had outgrown its second-floor home, so an additional building was constructed – the Rosicrucian Egyptian Oriental Museum.
Ralph M. Lewis, H. Spencer Lewis’s son and successor as Imperator of AMORC, directed the growth of the Museum over the next few decades. By the early 1960s the Museum’s collection had grown to more than 2,000 artifacts. A fully modern and larger museum facility was now needed. In 1965 Ralph Lewis personally led the research team that explored many tombs and temples in Egypt, on which the new Museum building was modeled. In November 1966 the new Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum opened.
Today the Museum, with over 4,000 artifacts, houses the largest collection of authentic ancient Egyptian artifacts on display in Western North America. The Museum hosts more than 100,000 guests per year, including 26,000 school children.
The Museum highly values collaborative research and in recent years has worked on projects with: Stanford University Hospital, UCLA, NASA Ames Biocomputation Center, the British Museum, National Geographic’s Mummy Road Show, and others.
The Museum’s future looks promising with new exhibits, tours, and workshops, continuing research and scholarship, and a perennial commitment to education and service.