Destination 2012

In June 2010, following approval from its Board of Overseers, the Penn Museum announced Destination 2012, part of the University of Pennsylvania’s landmark $3.5 billion Making History CampaignDestination 2012 invites stakeholders and friends to support the vision outlined by Williams Director Richard Hodges in a new, five-year strategic plan to enable the Museum to better showcase its extraordinary Collection and be a great public teaching museum for Penn’s students and faculty, the Greater Philadelphia region, and, through its website and research projects, individuals all over the world who seek a greater understanding of their cultural heritage.

Through the Destination 2012 Campaign, the Museum seeks funding for the following major initiatives:

Renovation of the West Wing of the Museum’s original, 1899 building will provide long-awaited climate control, renovated galleries, state-of-the-art conservation and teaching labs and a lovely private event space.

Revitalized program of changing exhibitions, large and small, with engaging related programming, will bring ancient and contemporary world cultures to a broad range of regional and tourist audiences.

Expanded conservation staff and internship program with enhanced facilities will restore the Penn Museum to its place as a world leader in object conservation and training and enable better stewardship of its Collection.

New student programs, including field schools, internship programs and lab-based curricular courses, will strengthen ties between the Museum and the University and put the Penn Museum at the forefront of field and laboratory-based archaeology training in the United States.

Digitized collections and research archives will make the Penn Museum’s world-renowned Collection universally accessible, through powerful databases and virtual online exhibitions.

Progress to Date

The Destination 2012 Campaign seeks funding for a list of top priorities with a total goal of $52.5 million, for programming, staffing, building, and technological enhancements that will help the Penn Museum become a major destination by the time Making History closes in July 2012. $41 million has been committed to date, making possible the start of a major renovation of the West Wing of the Museum’s original, 1899 building; the establishment of an Academic Liaison Department, and new staff positions in the Conservation, Education and Exhibits Departments; the endowment of a position in the Museum’s American Section; the creation of the Kowalski Digital Media Center and several digital initiatives, and a wide range of research and special projects.

Read more: Progress to Date


Building Renovations Project

Thanks to leadership support from A. Bruce and Margaret Mainwaring and Dr. Charles K. Williams II, and with generous additional support from Barbara and Michael J. Kowalski, the Frederick J. Manning Family, Diane von Schlegell Levy and Robert M. Levy, and the 1956 Otto Haas Charitable Trust, in September 2010, the Penn Museum embarked on a major renovation of the West Wing of its original 1899 building.

Read more: Building Renovations Project


Conservation Staff and Internship Program

The Conservation Laboratory at the Penn Museum was the first of its kind in the United States to be staffed entirely by professional conservators. The conservators act as caretakers and preservers of the Museum’s extraordinary Collection of more than one million objects and also play a major part in furthering the Museum’s educational mission, through lectures to students, volunteers, staff and the general public, and through an active Internship and Fellowship Program which, since 1971, has hosted nearly 50 fellows and interns, many of whom can be found now working in leading museums worldwide.

Read more: Conservation Staff and Internship Program


Director’s Exhibitions Fund

Central to the Penn Museum’s goal of becoming a key destination is an engaging and stimulating exhibitions program. Beginning in 2011 with the landmark exhibition Secrets of the Silk Road, the Museum will present a major traveling exhibition each year, together with several smaller changing exhibitions showcasing world cultures.

Read more: Director’s Exhibitions Fund


Digital Initiatives

Digitized collections and research archives will share with a global audience, for the first time, the Penn Museum’s magnificent objects and original expedition notes, maps, photographs and documents through online databases with powerful search engines and virtual exhibitions. Collaboration with other institutions will make it possible to reunite extraordinary collections on line, such as the renowned treasures from the 4,500-year-old Royal Tombs of Ur in Southern Iraq, physically housed among the Iraq National Museum, the Penn Museum, and the British Museum.


Read more: Digital Initiatives


New Student Programs

With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Penn Museum has established an Academic Liaison Office to coordinate increased use of the Museum’s extraordinary resources by students and faculty. Greatly expanded internship programs and state-of-the-art teaching laboratories will foster vibrant interactions among students, faculty and Museum collections and research staff. Summer and semester field schools will offer hands-on opportunities for archaeological training.

Read more: New Student Programs


Ways to Give

How can you help the Penn Museum to become a destination and achieve its campaign goals?

Read more: Ways to Give


3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000


Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
First Wednesdays: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Monday: CLOSED


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