For the most updated information on programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for online pre-registration (optional or required for some programs) visit the Museum's website: www.penn.museum/calendar.
'Wednesday, January 7, 6:00 pm
Great Wonders Lecture Series
Searching for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562 BCE) is infamous in the Bible for having destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. However, he is also famous in classical sources for having built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. During his reign, Nebuchadnezzar commissioned numerous building projects at Babylon; the remains of many of these were found by German archaeologist Robert Koldewey, who conducted extensive excavations at Babylon from 1899 until the outbreak of the First World War. But did he find the remains of the Hanging Gardens? Dr. Grant Frame, Associate Curator, Penn Museum Babylonian Section, discusses. Admission with advance registration: $5; $10 at the door based on availability. Register here.
Sunday, January 11, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Second Sunday Family Workshop
Kids and families can drop in anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for this hands-on workshop. Participants can craft a wesekh—an ancient Egyptian collar necklace worn by men, women, and mummies alike—and discover other Egyptian jewelry and fashions through tours of the Egyptian Galleries. Tours depart from Pepper Hall at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.4016.
Sunday, January 11, 2:00 pm
Second Sunday Culture Films Series
Local Color: Netherlands
H. Kristina Haugland, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, Philadelphia Museum of Art, presents Pront in 't Kleed / In a State of Dress (2010)—a film about the few remaining elder ladies in a small town in Holland, who still painstakingly dress in their 16th-century clothes as a matter of tradition. Cosponsored by Cinema Studies, History of Art: University of Pennsylvania, the University Museum Library, and Penn Humanities Forum. Free with Museum admission. Find out more about Culture Films at the Penn Museum.
Friday, January 16, 5:30 pm - Saturday, January 17, 9:00 am—SOLD OUT
Friday, January 30, 5:30 pm - Saturday, January 31, 9:00 am—SOLD OUT
Friday, February 27, 5:30 pm - Saturday, February 28, 9:00 am
40 Winks with the Sphinx
The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their parents or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's activities take intrepid explorers on a journey through time and across continents, with hands-on games, crafts, and more! A scavenger hunt and a flashlight expedition through the galleries offer new ways to connect with the ancient artifacts awaiting discovery. Later in the night, explorers roll out their sleeping bags to doze at the foot of the largest granite Sphinx in the Western Hemisphere! Admission: $50. Space is limited, and registration is required. To register, visit www.penn.museum/40winks.
Saturday, January 24, 2:00 pm OR Wednesday, March 4, 6:00 pm
"One Book, One Philadelphia" Workshop
Objects that Connect Us
The Free Library of Philadelphia has selected Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (2013) as its One Book, One Philadelphia 2015 selection. Dr. Lucy Fowler Williams, Associate Curator and Sabloff Keeper of Collections, Penn Museum American Section, offers a special workshop—great for book clubs or multigenerational friends and family (teens through adults) that picks up on themes from the book. In Orphan Train, young Molly, a part-Penobscot Indian, and Vivian, an older woman whose roots lie in Ireland, show objects hold special significance —as they often do for each of us. Join Dr. Williams on this behind-the-scenes Native American object exploration, discussion, and reflective personal writing program. Free with Museum admission. Limited enrollment; pre-registration required. To register, call 215.898.2680.
Sunday, January 25, 3:00 pm
Relâche in Residence: Mummies outside the Box
New music ensemble Relâche continues their three-concert residence, "Music for the Mystery of Silents," at the Penn Museum with this afternoon performance—featuring a brand new score by Mike Stambaugh for Ernst Lubitsch's silent film, The Eyes of the Mummy (1918). Admission: $15. For more information, call 215.898.2680.
Saturday, January 31, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
World Culture Series
Chinese New Year Celebration
Visitors of all ages are invited to help ring in the Year of the Sheep at this daylong celebration. The day includes a wide variety of music and dance performances, Tai Chi and Shaolin-style Kung Fu demonstrations, calligraphy and tangram workshops, language presentations, children's activities, and arts & crafts among one of the finest collections of Chinese and Buddhist art in the United States. The day ends with a drum roll, a roar, and the popular Grand Finale Lion Dance Parade. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.2680.
Sunday, February 1, 2:00 pm
Ossuaries and the Burials of Jesus and James
In November 2002, the existence of a sensational archaeological artifact was announced to the world—a small stone box called an ossuary, inscribed with the name of James, the brother of Jesus. And in spring 2007, yet another sensational claim made headlines around the world—the supposed identification of Jesus' family tomb in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighborhood. In this illustrated lecture, Dr. Jodi Magness, Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Chapel Hill, discusses these finds within the context of ancient Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus (late Second Temple Period). Dr. Magness explains why the so-called Talpiyot tomb could not have belonged to Jesus' family, and the so-called James Ossuary never contained the remains of Jesus' brother James the Just. Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.2680.
Wednesday, February 4, 6:00 pm
Great Wonders Lecture Series
Chichen Itza: An Alien City in the Maya Lowlands
Boasting such sights as its central pyramid, "El Castillo," and the "Great Ballcourt," the largest such structure in the New World, Chichen Itza is a truly remarkable place—but the story behind it has hardly been told. One of the ancient Americas' most famous and evocative cities, this great Maya metropolis is not very Maya at all. In this lecture, Dr. Simon Martin, Associate Curator and Keeper of Collections, Penn Museum American Section, investigates Chichen Itza's true designers and their purpose, guided by the symbolism behind the city's stone glyphs. Admission with advance registration: $5; $10 at the door based on availability. Register here.
Saturday, February 7, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama
Visitors can be among the first to see the Penn Museum's newest exhibition. Spectacular finds at the Precolumbian cemetery of Sitio Conte in central Panama shed light on a mysterious and complex society that thrived there more than 1,000 years ago. This new exhibition offers contemporary perspectives on the people and culture from a range of scholars and scientists.
Sunday, February 8, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Second Sunday Family Workshop
Chinese Dragon Puppet
Kids and families can drop in anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for this hands-on workshop. Participants sharpen their skills at paper-cutting, craft a puppet in honor of the Chinese New Year, and enjoy an animal-themed tour of the China Gallery. Tours depart from Pepper Hall at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.4016.
Sunday, February 8, 2:00 pm
Second Sunday Culture Films Series
Local Color: China
Dr. James Chan, Cultural Consultant, Center for East Asian Studies, presents two films from the Long Bow Village group: Stilt Dancers of Long Bow Village (1980), about the rebirth of stilt dancing in a small village in China, joyfully practiced by very young children and elders; and Guomen: A Village Wedding (2003), about folkloric marriage customs returning to Huang Cun village. Cosponsored by Cinema Studies, Penn East Asia Center, the University Museum Library, and Penn Humanities Forum. Free with Museum admission. Find out more about Culture Films at the Penn Museum.
Wednesday, February 18, 6:00 - 9:30 pm
P.M. @ Penn Museum
Stay in the Valentine's Day spirit with this foray into ancient Roman romance. Guests learn about some lusty customs of civilizations in antiquity during a humorous talk by Dr. Brian Rose, Curator-in-Charge, Penn Museum Mediterranean Section. Spice up the night further with a guided tour of suggestive and salacious objects in the galleries, and enjoy drinks from a cash bar. Supported by the Young Friends of the Penn Museum. Admission: $20; $15, Penn Museum members and PennCard holders (includes one free drink for guests 21 and older). For more information, call 215.898.2680.
Saturday, February 21, 3:30 pm
Ancient Egypt and the Land of Punt: An Archaeological Perspective
Punt was a land to the southeast of Egypt where the ancient Egyptians obtained exotic raw materials, especially frankincense, but also elephant ivory, ebony, and gold. Textual evidence of Egyptian trade there dates to the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, but the exact location of Punt remains unknown. In this lecture, Dr. Kathryn Bard, Professor of Archaeology, Boston University, speaks about Punt and discusses new insights on its possible location in antiquity. Presented by the American Research Center in Egypt—Pennsylvania Chapter. Admission: $10; $7, PennCard holders; $5, students with ID; free for ARCE-PA members. For more information, visit www.arce-pa.org.
Saturday, February 28, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
World Culture Series
Celebration of African Cultures
The rich cultures of Africa and the African diaspora take center stage in this annual celebration, featuring drum and dance workshops, storytelling, crafts, games, cuisine, art, and artifacts! Visitors can visit our ancient Egypt and Africa Galleries, as well as our Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum gallery project, to find out what intrigues other visitors about Africa, and share their own interests and understandings. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.2680.
Recurring Events and Activities
Fridays, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Unearthed in the Archives
This weekly program takes guests on a trip through Penn Museum history every Friday at 1:30 pm in the Penn Museum Archives. Museum archivists invite the public for investigations of the many interesting and unusual documents being safeguarded in this vast collection. Guests can look for a new experience each week, based on expedition records, vintage photographs, manuscripts, personal letters, and much more. Half-hour sessions begin at 1:30 and 2:00 pm. Free with Museum admission.
Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:15 - 11:45 am and 2:00 - 2:30 pm;
Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 - 1:00 pm and 3:30 - 4:00 pm
In the Artifact Lab Q&A
Part exhibition, and part working laboratory, a glass-enclosed conservation lab offers a view into a museum conservator's world. Visitors can the tools of the trade and watch as conservators work on a wide array of Egyptian objects including rare paintings, ancient funerary objects, and, of course, mummies. During these twice-daily open window sessions, visitors are welcomed to interact with the conservators and ask questions about their work in progress. Free with Museum admission.
Most Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Guided Gallery Tours
Knowledgeable Penn Museum docents lead guided gallery tours on most Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 1:30 pm at the Museum's Daniel G. Kamin Entrance. Tour topics vary; for details on upcoming tours, visit www.penn.museum/calendar. Free with Museum admission.
About the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
The Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered select Wednesdays. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Members, active U.S. Military, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger.
Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop offers a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. The Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.
Image captions (top to bottom): Kids and families can draw inspiration from ancient Egyptian wesekh necklaces and create their own (photo: Penn Museum). Kids ages 6 to 12 can spend a night at the foot of the largest granite Sphinx in the Western Hemisphere (photo: Penn Museum). Visitors are invited to celebrate the Lunar New Year the the Penn Museum's Chinese New Year Celebration (photo: Penn Museum). "El Castillo," the central pyramid at the ancient city of Chichen Itza, is among the points of discussion during Dr. Simon Martin's talk in our "Great Wonders" lecture series (public domain image). Traditional music by the Women's Sekere Ensemble is among the highlights of the Penn Museum's Annual Celebration of African Cultures (photo: Penn Museum). The Penn Museum Archives are open to the public every Friday when archivists share stories from throughout Penn Museum history (photo: Penn Museum).