The Penn Museum recently welcomed eight renowned painters from China, visiting the galleries as part of a three-day Philadelphia stop on a U.S. tour. Artists Yun Sheng Nan, Bo Qiang, An Wei, Xiaoyong Zhang, Weiguo Zhao, Yunsheng Hu, Rongqiang Zhai, with Baoxing Zhang Group leader, enjoyed a sunny morning in the Museum's Warden Garden.
The artists' works were shown in New York City in the International Ecological Art Exhibition, part of the 2014 U.N. High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, a daylong opportunity for Member States, U.N. entities, NGOs, media, and the private sector to exchange ideas promoting peace. Known for their traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting of birds, flowers, and landscapes, the artists hold multiple awards and distinctions. Public and private collections throughout China feature their paintings. They plan to host a Philadelphia exhibit next spring.
Penn Museum's Footprints of Peace program is scheduled for International Peace Day Sunday, September 21. For one group of West Philadelphia summer campers with the Artistic and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) Summer Program, however, peace preparations have been underway for much of the summer, with more work planned when the ACE Afterschool program kicks in.
Children from the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation of Bridgeton, New Jersey, recently visited the Penn Museum's Native American Voices exhibition to see their tribe represented in a major exhibition.
Members and friends of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania recently came ashore to the Penn Museum 13 days into their 17-day "Rising Nation" Delaware River canoe journey, inviting area neighbors, organizations, families, and friends to join in signing the Treaty of Renewed Friendship. Those who signed the treaty indicate their support of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania as partners and caretakers of a sacred homeland—the region of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and southern New York.
Molly Gleeson, Rockwell Project Conservator of In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies, recently welcomed a special, and especially determined, young guest.
One week every summer for the past four years, Jessica "Jessie" Schwartz, with her parents, Penn Museum members Dr. David Schwartz and Stephanie Schwartz, have traveled from Atlanta, Georgia so Jessie can participate in the Museum's Anthropologists in the Making camp, usually during the Egyptian-themed camp weeks. Last summer after the fourth grade, she discovered the In the Artifact Lab workspace exhibition through camp activities in the galleries, but felt torn between finishing the camp day or speaking with an In the Artifact Lab conservator at 2:00 pm.
The Penn Museum's own Dr. Janet Monge, Keeper and Curator-in-Charge of the Museum's Physical Anthropology Section, has been named "Philly's Best Museum Curator" by Philadelphia Magazine, in the annual "Best of Philly" list featured in the magazine's August edition.
Summer is the season for exploration.
Italy, Greece, Egypt, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, India, China, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, U.S.A. (New Mexico and North Carolina)—this summer break, 33 University of Pennsylvania students (11 undergraduate and 23 graduate students) doing research around the country and around the world, will be funded in part by competitive Penn Museum summer field research grants.
It's a REAL night at the Museum! The Penn Museum's popular "40 Winks for the Sphinx" sleepover program returns this fall, inviting kids 6-12 and their chaperones on an overnight "expedition" through cultures of the world in our international galleries. This unique experience, delighting visitors since 2009, was recently cited as one of the "can't-miss museum sleepovers in the country" by Minitime Family Travel.
The Pepper Mill Café is serving up something new, just for kids 12 and younger. Children receive a free souvenir activity book and pack of crayons with any Café purchase.
An unconventional convention helped kick off this year's Anthropologists in the Making Summer Camp at the Penn Museum. On Friday, June 27, more than 30 campers ages 7-13 hosted their parents for a Tattoo and Body Adornment Convention, inspired by the week's theme of Worn and Adorn.
Campers demonstrated ancient Maya body modifications, modeled wearables to represent supernatural identities, explained drop ear gauges, and imitated scarification, then "tattooed" their parents' with paint to share their newfound knowledge.
Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the world to experience art. From the magnificent museums of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to renowned schools for emerging artists; from the city's carefully crafted gardens and botanical designs, to the historical creations found right here at the Penn Museum—there are countless ways to find the artistic side of Philly. And this summer, you're invited for a specially curated tour of some of the best art the city has to offer.
In the busy months leading up to the opening of Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now, curator Lucy Fowler Williams took on one additional project: she agreed to lead a group of School District of Philadelphia teachers, K-12 educators, in a class on the upcoming exhibition, through the University of Pennsylvania's Teacher Institute of Philadelphia Program. Tuesday evenings from January to May 2014, Dr. Williams met with a dozen teachers in the Penn Museum. The classes regularly featured Native American special guest speakers and first-hand opportunities to explore material culture, history, and contemporary perspectives in Native America.
Typically the Penn Museum is learning and sharing material culture of past civilizations. A direct partnership with Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia is allowing the Museum to donate to the creation of modern-day material culture by recycling its exterior fabric banners into messenger bags, gift bags, and lunch totes.
It’s 1:30 pm on a Friday. Alessandro Pezzati (Alex) invites guests who have come down the hallway to the iron gated Archives to enter and take a seat around a long heavy wooden table. He puts out an oversized manila folder, slightly bulging, on the table, and offers up an informal introduction to the Penn Museum Archives—the place where he has worked for more than two decades, as Senior Archivist for many of those years.
At first glance, the Archives inhabit a grand and elegant, albeit old space that seems transported from another era. One is greeted by noble painted portraits, old cabinets piled high with papers and tubes, and shelves upon shelves of grey boxes. Black ironwork circular staircases lead to an open, narrow second floor walkway, with more shelves and more boxes. The Archives is a place filled with records: archaeological and ethnographic field notes and drawings, museum correspondence, photographs, prints, and some art. Listen to Alex, though, and you soon see the Archives as a very different place: one alive with stories of the past.
National Geographic Learning (NGL), who is developing a World History program for middle school students, spent a day filming behind-the-scenes and in the galleries of the Penn Museum on Monday, April 21.
When edited, the segment filmed at the Penn Museum will be part of a much larger social studies video program that complements and expands upon a print textbook to be published in 2016.
Penn Museum Earns Arts Accessibility Award for Touch
Tours Program to Welcome Blind, Low-Vision Guests
Philadelphia-based arts accessibility organization Art-Reach has named the Penn Museum one of its 2014 Commitment to Cultural Access Award recipients. Each year, Art-Reach honors organizations or individuals in Greater Philadelphia who are doing extraordinary work in the area of accessibility. The award is being bestowed as the Museum concludes the second year of its Touch Tour program for blind and low-vision guests. The award will be presented at Art-Reach's 2014 Commitment to Cultural Access Awards Celebration Thursday, April 24, 6:00 - 8:00 pm in the Penn Museum's Lower Egyptian (Sphinx) Gallery. Tickets are still available for the public to attend.
Philadelphia Science Festival: Friday, April 25 – Saturday, May 3
Penn Museum is a founding partner and a core collaborator of the fourth annual Philadelphia Science Festival, participating in festival activities around the city.
The 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival is a citywide collaboration that brings together nine exciting days, April 25 through May 3, filled with events that showcase science and technology in everyday life. Part of a national movement to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, it builds on Philadelphia's rich history of innovation with more than 100 events and 175 partner organizations around the Philadelphia area. Learn more at www.PhilaScienceFestival.org
Jeremy A. Sabloff, John R. Rockwell Honored at the Penn Museum April 25
New Recipients of the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal, Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer Medal
It turns out that 1964 was a very fine year! Two prestigious Penn Museum medals—the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal and the Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer Medal—will be awarded to two members of the University of Pennsylvania's 50th Reunion Class of 1964 at a special Museum dinner on April 25, 2014.
The Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal will be presented to Jeremy A. Sabloff, Ph.D. The Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer Medal will be awarded to John R. Rockwell. They will be honored at a dinner attended by their families and several of their classmates, as well as the Penn Museum's leadership, Board of Overseers, and members of the Loren Eiseley Society.
"We are thrilled to be able to recognize two extraordinary people, both of whom have served the Penn Museum generously and have been wonderful ambassadors for all we do," noted Julian Siggers, Ph.D., Williams Director, Penn Museum.
"We celebrate Jeremy Sabloff, past Williams Director, for his significant achievements in the field of Maya studies, with the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal. It is a pleasure, as well, to be able to present our Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer Medal, aptly called our 'Angell' award, to a real life Museum 'angel' Rick Rockwell, who has supported our research, collections stewardship, and exhibition programs so generously."
No bones about it—the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is all about the history and culture of humankind, NOT dinosaurs.
Meet Nothronychus graffami (okay, the right humerus of Northronychus graffami) hailing from the Tropic Shale of southern Utah.
According to Brandon Hedrick, Ph.D. candidate in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, this bone is part of a therizinosaurid, who lived a while back—somewhere between 90 and 95 million years ago. Therizinosaurids are a group of theropod dinosaurs that appear to be herbivorous rather than carnivorous as is typical for theropods. They most resemble giant sloths. Nothronychus actually means 'sloth claw.’
Penn Museum archaeologists working at the southern Egyptian site of Abydos have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh: Woseribre Senebkay—and the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty, ca. 1650–1600 BC. Working in cooperation with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, a team from the Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, discovered king Senebkay's tomb close to a larger royal tomb, recently identified as belonging to a king Sobekhotep (probably Sobekhotep I, ca. 1780 BC) of the 13th Dynasty.
The discovery, released January 15, 2014, is making international headlines.
Read more about the excavations, led by Dr. Josef Wegner, Egyptian Section Associate Curator of the Penn Museum, and this history-making discovery, online.
Image: Team members work to excavate the burial chamber of the pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay, with sheets covering a painted wall decoration (Photo: Josef Wegner, Penn Museum).