University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Premiere of New Space Dedicated to Student-Curated Exhibitions

Corn3Philadelphia, PA, April 2015—The story of corn, from its earliest days as an important crop in the Americas to its current presence in food and drink around the world, is the subject of a small University of Pennsylvania-student curated exhibition presented as part of the University's 2014–2015 theme, the Year of Health. Corn: From Ancient Crop to Soda Pop is the inaugural exhibition in a newly refurbished space dedicated to student-curated offerings at the Penn Museum. The food-focused exhibition, fittingly set in new cases just outside the Museum's Pepper Mill Café, runs April 10 through March 13, 2016.

Corn: From Ancient Crop to Soda Pop draws upon the Penn Museum's vast international collections to tell a story about this now ubiquitous crop. A dozen artifacts, from North America, South America, and Africa, covering more than 2,500 years of human history, have been selected to help illustrate corn's changing role in societies through the ages. Three student curators from Penn's College of Arts and Sciences—Julia Chatterjee, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, class of 2017; Monica Fenton, Anthropology, class of 2015; and Kirsten Myers, Health and Societies, class of 2015—brought their diverse perspectives together and worked with Mainwaring Teaching Specialist Katherine Moore and the Penn Museum exhibition, collections, and academic engagement teams to select objects and develop the exhibition. In addition, Skye Olson, a recent University of the Arts MFA graduate, contributed design input.

Corn2webCorn: From Ancient Crop to Soda Pop is the inaugural student exhibition of a new internship program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that provides a special opportunity for Penn students to collaborate with Penn Museum staff and other university students to learn by doing, drawing upon the rich resources of the Museum to develop and design exhibitions aligned with the University of Pennsylvania Provost Office's theme year focus.

The new, high-trafficked exhibition space refurbished for the student exhibition program was made possible by Penn Museum friends David A. Schwartz, M.D., in memory of John Alden Mason, Ph.D., Curator, American Section, Penn Museum 1926-1955; and Karin Lindblad Yanoff, Ph.D., G67, GR88.

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 through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and first Wednesdays of each month until 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); free for U.S. Military; $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Members, 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. Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.

Image: An effigy vessel made in Peru around 450–550 CE, one of the objects on display in Corn: From Ancient Crop to Soda Pop.


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