What really happened to the Irish immigrants 175 years ago?
Dr. Janet Monge, Keeper of the Skeletal Collections at the Penn Museum, was interviewed by CNN in the Museum's Anthropology wing, where she is analyzing human remains from an active excavation site at Malvern: Duffy's Cut.
The segment ran on "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer, Friday, August 20. Watch the videoCNN photojournalist Joe Capolarello moves in for the close ups,including a look at what appears to be a bullet hole. Also on hand were Meghan Rafferty, CNN Producer (in pink shirt) and Mary Snow, CNN correspondent.
New discoveries at Duffy's Cut are telling a remarkable tale about the lives--and once mysterious deaths--of a group of 57 Irish immigrant railroad workers, once thought to have died of cholera.
The Duffy's Cut Project, named for that area of the railroad, is exploring early-19th-century attitudes about industry, disease and immigration through the excavation and analysis of the laborers' skeletons. The group is led by Immaculata University's Dr. William E. Watson, who received his MA and Ph.D. from Penn.
Penn Museum Is Now Accepting Applications for Its Volunteer Docent Program
Penn Museum is currently accepting applications for a new group of weekday and/or weekend Volunteer Docents, with training to begin in October.
Volunteer Docents receive free training by a host of University of Pennsylvania Museum staff and scholars, including leading archaeologists and other researchers active in the field. They develop and lead tours through Penn Museum’s permanent and special exhibition galleries, featuring materials from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Americas, Africa, the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and more. Docents guide a wide range of school and adult groups, Tuesdays through Fridays, as well as some weekends.
Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania tells the story of the Lenape people who remained in Pennsylvania in secret after many were driven west in the beginning of the 19th century. Children of the little known Lenape-European marriages of the 1700s stayed on the Lenape homelands and continued to practice their traditions covertly. Hiding their heritage, they avoided discovery by both the government and their neighbors for more than two hundred years.
More info at www.oneifbylandbuckscounty.com
TODAY Show at the Penn Museum: Priceless!
Scheduled Air Time: Saturday, July 10 (check local listings for TODAY Show times)
Over the years, Robert K. Wittman, Undercover Agent and Founder, FBI Art Crime Team, has worked with a number of archaeologists and staff members at the Penn Museum, on everything from getting help identifying "real" verses "fake," to coordinating training sessions with fledgling art crime team members in the FBI.
Annual Fund Challenge 2010
Make twice the difference today!
Now, more than ever, the Penn Museum needs the help of its friends and supporters to continue to accomplish our important mission of serving as an acclaimed research institution that also presents compelling exhibitions and programs.
A number of very generous members of the Museum’s Board of Overseers have given the Museum a challenge that can DOUBLE your support if you make a donation to the Annual Fund today
GIVE TODAY to make twice the difference in funding everything from keeping our lights on and our doors open to caring for our artifacts, educating children and adults, and presenting new exhibitions.
Travel to Berlin and Paris with the Women's Committee and Dr. David Silverman
October 14 - 24, 2010
The Women’s Committee of the Penn Museum hosts custom-designed travel experiences to exciting destinations, accompanied by curators and educators. Experience the excitement of Berlin and Paris through the handcrafted itinerary of David Silverman. Begin in Berlin then venture to Paris. These exciting destinations will afford unique access and unparalleled understanding of their rich cultural and historic treasures. Unique to this travel adventure will be additional venues arranged by David Silverman, with ample opportunity to embark on individual pursuits. The tour agency will arrange access to event tickets. Experienced museum travel, exciting destinations, first class accommodations and superior planning combine to make this an irresistible opportunity. Read more
Dr. Jennifer Wegner, Associate Curator, Egyptian Section, Penn Museum, knows a thing or two about Cleopatra, having taught a Penn course devoted to the famous queen and her times. While she was being interviewed by Channel 6 ABC's Niki Hawkins about Cleopatra, she had one very intent listener-Cleopatra herself.
With Cleopatra: Search for the Last Queen of Egypt opening at The Franklin Institute Saturday, June 5, and the Penn Museum joining in the celebration with a "Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt" self-guided tour of the ancient Egyptian Galleries, it wasn't too surprising that Cleopatra (or a reasonable facsimile of the famous last pharaoh of Egypt, Channel 6 intern Brittany Boyer) came visiting.
Cleopatra toured the Museum's Upper and Lower Egyptian Galleries, pausing at the famous sphinx, and again, at an elegant sculpture dating to her father's reign during the Ptolemaic Period.
In royal fashion, she paid a visit to the Penn Museum's own great queen--that is, the lavish jewelry and magnificent headdress of the ancient Mesopotamian Queen Pu-abi of 4,500 years ago. Archaeologists still haven't found Cleopatra's tomb--care to predict who was buried with more ancient bling? Cleopatra didn't tell us--but was that an envious eye that beheld the earlier queen's finery?
Penn Museum’s Pam Kosty enjoyed a NYC media cocktail party hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation May 25 at Buddakan. Philly’s own The Roots were on hand, as well as representatives from Victory Brewing Company (Bill Covaleski), the upcoming Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (Dawn Frisby Byers), and Philly’s hot new Hotel Palomar (Peggy Trott and Chef Guillermo Tellez).
Penn Museum Egyptologist David P. Silverman Honored
with Two-Volume Festschrift Publication and Celebration in Cairo
A Festschrift celebration honoring the lifetime achievements of Dr. David P. Silverman was held in Cairo, Egypt, at the headquarters of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities on Saturday, May 8, 2010. The celebration party was hosted by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt's Secretary General, Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Penn Museum congratulates all the teams who competed in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League Finals under the ominous gaze of the Sphinx. The Chess Challenge is an after-school program organized by After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP). Sixty-nine teams at the elementary, middle and high school levels, began the season competing in weekly matches across Philadelphia, but in the end, only three teams emerged victorious at the event hosted in the Lower Egyptian Gallery at the Penn Museum.
Since 2004, ASAP has annually organized over 200 chess clubs for 4,000 youth playing in schools, community and recreation centers, libraries, places of worship and homeless shelters across the city. Created in 2002 in response to a civic outcry for help with activities for the city’s youth during the critical unsupervised hours after school, ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships has provided after school recreational and enrichment activities to Philadelphia kids in some of the poorest and most dangerous areas of the city. Read more about ASAP
Discover Ancient Worlds on Both Sides of the City
Penn Museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time and explore ancient Greece and Italy with its suite of galleries, Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans. The Museum has teamed up with the National Constitution Center, now showing Ancient Rome and America (through August 1, 2010) to offer you a complementary experience—at a discount!
If you are a Penn Museum member
...or if you join today, you can show your Penn Museum membership card for FREE ADMISSION to the National Constitution Center and its special exhibition, now through August 1, 2010.
Keep your Penn Museum admission receipt dated from March 1 through August 1, 2010, and use it for $2 off admission to Ancient Rome and America at the National Constitution Center, now through August 1, 2010 (one discount offer per receipt).
Discover the cultural, political, and social connections between the lost world of ancient Rome and modern America. The 8,000 square foot exhibition features more than 300 artifacts from Italy and the United States, bringing together a never-before-seen collection from Italy’s leading archaeological institutions in Florence, Naples, and Rome, paired with objects from over 40 lending institutions in the United States.
Exhibition highlights include:
Get tickets and information
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans
$2 off adult admission/$1 off senior admission when you present National Constitution Center ticket stub
Explore the rich, interconnected cultures of the sun-drenched ancient Mediterranean—and discover anew how these cultures continue to influence and inspire our world today. Worlds Intertwined, a suite of galleries at the Penn Museum, features more than 1,400 ancient artifacts, including marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins, and painted pottery. The objects, drawn from the Museum’s outstanding Mediterranean collection, help tell the remarkable, interwoven stories of the ancient Greeks (1050-31 BCE); the Etruscan peoples, the first great rulers of central Italy (800-100 BCE); and their empire-building Roman successors (500 BCE-500 CE).
Penn Museum, and Ban Chiang Project, Honored by Thailand's Princess at Formal Opening of New National Museum at Ban Chiang, Thailand
Ban Chiang Project Continues Study of, Debate about, this Technologically Advanced Ancient Southeast Asia Community
PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania Museum and Dr. Joyce White, Associate Curator of the Museum's Asian section, were honored by Her Royal Highness of Thailand, Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on February 9, 2010, at the opening of the new National Museum at Ban Chiang, Thailand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.
On Thursday, February 18, FOX 29's popular weather anchor Sue Serio paid a special visit to the Penn Museum to encourage visitors to attend the Celebration of African Cultures this Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. During the live taping, Atiyaola Malik Khan demonstrated how to tie an African head wrap and the Women's Sekere Ensemble's Omomola Iyabunmi and Mama Binta Nia performed on their sekeres (a percussive hand drum made from a gourd.)
Attendees of last night’s lecture at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology learned Mrs. Robinson has nothing on the cougars of the ancient world. Lil’ Wayne can’t compete with the “playas” of old Egyptian thrones. The rift between Courtney Love and her daughter stands trivial next to the drama between the babies and mamas of the Middle Eastern lands long ago.
Read the full article
The exhibition Raven's Journey: The World of Alaska's Native People is now closed. Created in 1986 by Susan Kaplan and Kristen Barsness, Raven’s Journey interpreted the vibrant cultural traditions of the Tlingit, Athapaskan, and Eskimo peoples who have inhabited the western arctic of North America for millennia. Penn Museum’s Conservation and American Section teams are de-installing and condition-reporting the objects, and will be returning them to collections storage. Many objects that contain organic materials such as hair, hide, feathers, and plant materials will be frozen to stave off possible pest infestation before being re-shelved. Although these objects will receive a well-deserved rest in storage, they will continue to be made available for study by students, Native American artists, and scholars from around the world.
Young readers may be familiar with Percy Jackson, young hero of the Olympians, Gods and Monsters series by author Rick Riordan. Percy thinks he is like every other kid-until he learns that, well, he is a demi-god, and the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. His book adventures begin in The Lightning Thief, now a major motion picture!
On Thursday, February 4, Penn Museum will give away free preview passes to guests who request them, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! (Preview is Thursday, February 11, 7:30 pm at the AMC Lowes Theater in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.)
Percy Jackson fans will feel right at home in the Penn Museum's gallery suite, Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans where they'll meet up with a variety of Greek and Roman gods-including, if you look closely, the Greek god Poseidon!
Save your Percy Jackson movie ticket stubs, and continue the adventure at the Penn Museum-where we'll give adults $2 off, seniors and youth $1 off, admission donation, February 13 through March 2010!
February through March 2010
What in the World
A Philagrafika 2010 "Out of Print" Installation
January 29 through April 11, 2010
Penn Museum is one of five "Out of Print" cultural partners participating in the city's Philagrafika 2010 international festival. Artist and museum educator Pablo Helguera presents an installation at the Penn Museum inspired by its history. Entitled What in the World after a popular 1950s TV program of the same name created by the then-Museum Director Froelich Rainey, the installation includes a display of Museum artifacts, a recreated set from that famous program, and a series of videos that provide an "unauthorized biography" of the Museum. Third floor. Read more
Opening reception of the What in the World installation and reception to meet the artist is January 28, 5 to 7 pm (pay-what-you-like, cash bar). A special live event is set for Sunday, February 28 at 2 pm, when artist Pablo Helguera, Museum Director Richard Hodges, and a panel of experts, including artist Mark Dion, participate in a program that recreates the spirit of the original What in the World television show (free with Museum admission donation).
In Citizen's Garb: Southern Plains Native Americans, 1889-1891
March 26, 2010 through June 20, 2010
The 1880s and 1890s were decades of tremendous upheaval for many Native American nations. Numerous Indian reservations were opened in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories during this time and large-scale efforts were made to "civilize" the native peoples by forcing them to adopt Euro-American ways. This photographic exhibition explores how dress-and life-changed for the Kiowa and Comanche nations as they gradually habituated themselves to the new life forced upon them by the United States government. The 53 photographs that comprise this exhibition, modern restrikes made from original glass negatives, were taken from 1889 to 1891 by the enterprising team of William J. Lenny and William L. Sawyers. Images of Native Americans in both citizen and native dress reflect the transition occurring between the tribes' past and their radically different future. In Citizen's Garb is curated by John Hernandez, Director of the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton, Oklahoma, and toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a private, nonprofit organization. Plains Indian clothing from the period, selected from the Museum's collection, complements the photographs. Merle-Smith Gallery West, 1st floor.
Ongoing Special Exhibitions
Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America
December 5, 2009 through May 2010
In this new exhibition, anthropologist Philippe Bourgois and photographer-ethnographer Jeff Schonberg document the daily lives of homeless drug users, drawing upon more than a decade of fieldwork they conducted among a community of heroin injectors and crack smokers who survive on the streets of San Francisco's former industrial neighborhoods. About 40 black and white photographs are interwoven with edited transcriptions of tape recorded conversations, fieldwork notes, and critical analysis to explore the intimate experience of homelessness and addiction. Revealing the social survival mechanisms and perspectives of this marginalized "community of addicted bodies," the exhibition also sheds light on the often unintended consequences of public policies that can exacerbate the suffering faced by street-based drug users in America. The Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives co-sponsors the exhibition as part of their 2009/2010 series: Creative Action: The Arts in Public Health, and Penn's Arts and the City programming initiative. (Research funded by the National Institutes of Health.) Merle-Smith Gallery East, 1st floor.
Beginning in February 2010, the Penn Museum offers a monthly series of related community round table discussions, exploring issues around addiction and recovery, public health, social services and law enforcement, and art and anthropology.
The Goodlands: Young Photographers Inspiring Hope in North Philadelphia
December 10, 2009 through May 2010
North Philadelphia has been stigmatized for years as the "Badlands"-a region ridden by drugs, crime, and poverty. The Goodlands®, a community-based after school and summer arts program run by Centro Nueva Creacion, was created in 2000 to counter negative perceptions, inspire hope, and build artistic talent in young people. Since 2000, more than 800 children from the Fairhill and West Kensington neighborhoods of North Philadelphia have participated in The Goodlands program. The exhibition features a selection of more than 40 color photographs of people and places in the community, taken between 2000 and 2009 by neighborhood children aged 5 to 13. Kress Gallery 1st floor.
Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape of Pennsylvania
Extended through July 11, 2010
Conventional histories of Pennsylvania declare that all but a few elderly Lenape people left the state by the opening of the 19th century. Yet, many remained in secret. Children of the little known Lenape-European marriages of the 1700s stayed on the Lenape homelands, practicing their traditions covertly. Hiding their heritage, they avoided discovery by both the government and their neighbors for more than two hundred years. Now, the descendants of these people have come forward to tell their story. Fulfilling a Prophecy, organized by the Penn Museum together with the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania,* features never before displayed objects from the private collections of Lenape people in Pennsylvania, in addition to historic and contemporary photographs and archaeological objects from the collections of the Penn Museum. The exhibition is made possible by Diane vS. and Robert Levy, University Scholars at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Penn Center for Native American Studies, the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates "Native Voices" program, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities' "We the People" initiative on American History. The Jacqueline W. and John C. Hover II Gallery, 2nd floor.
*Like half of all Native American groups in the United States, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania is not recognized by the federal or state authorities. Though there are many privileges to be gained through recognition, the process of gaining recognition remains both complex and expensive for many Native American groups.
Long-term Exhibitions and Galleries
Penn Museum has three floors of galleries with cultural materials from around the world. Exhibitions include: Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery, Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans, the Upper and Lower Egyptian galleries, Amarna: Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun, The Egyptian Mummy: Secrets and Science, the Chinese Rotunda, Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition, Canaan and Ancient Israel, Living in Balance: The Universe of the Hopi, Zuni, Navajo and Apache, and galleries with materials from the Islamic World, Mesoamerica, Africa, and Polynesia.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field and adjacent to SEPTA's University City Regional Rail station serving the R1, R2, and R3 lines). Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65 and above); $6 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, Penncard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" after 3:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and after 4:00 pm Sunday. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call (215) 898-4000.
As director of Penn Museum's Middle Mekong Archaeological Project in Laos, Dr. Joyce C. White, Associate Curator and archaeologist, is currently leading an excavation at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang. The project’s mission is to investigate the prehistory of the region, which has until now been untouched by modern archaeology.
The team’s progress is being documented by a daily blogwritten and posted by Amy Ellsworth, Penn Museum’s digital media developer. Her posts, which began on Jan. 1, will continue through Jan. 17. The blog has so far chronicled the discovery of what appears to be a burial pot from the Iron Age, around 2000 BCE, as well as two bones thought to be human and a piece of skull.
The archaeological team is focusing on a cave called Tham An Mah, once used as a Buddhist temple. When White leaves later this month, the project will be handed over to the Laos people to maintain and continue research. Read the daily blog at http://middlemekong.wordpress.com.