Monthly Archives: November 2013

Contests of will between “task master” director Gordon and his artist M.L. Baker

M. Louise Baker painting the "Luna" Vase (Chama, Maya), Guatemala City, 1931. Museum image #176327

University Museum artist (1908-1936) M. Louise Baker, acclaimed for her archaeological illustration of Mayan pottery and Nubian and Ur excavation finds, considered Museum Director Dr. George Byron Gordon to be “a hard task master but a good boss, appreciative and withal, most likable.” However, Gordon had a well-deserved reputation for being tight with money, except […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Happy Turkey Day!

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Happy Turkey Day! … What, you expected an actual turkey? This week’s photo is a view of Istanbul (then Constantinople) and the Galata Bridge. The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway that separates Europe and Asia. The Galata Bridge is now in it’s fifth build, with this photograph showing the […]

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Ur Digitization Project: November 2013

Father Legrain working on cuneiform tablets at the Ur Dighouse

Father Legrain’s Records Spotlight on travel sketches Trip back from Ur, 1925 In both the 1924-25 and the 1925-26 seasons, Father León Legrain was the epigrapher at Ur–the person whose expertise was in cuneiform script and whose duty it was to investigate the clay tablets as they were found. Father Legrain was curator of the […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Remembering John F. Kennedy

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As the nation remembers John F. Kennedy today on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination, the Penn Museum Archives looks back to an exhibition of the late president’s library. From June 9 to 12, 1964, the Penn Museum hosted a collection of JFK’s doodles, writings, papers, furniture (including his famous rocking chair), photographs, and other […]

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Mysteries of Kourion Revisited: a Mystery Solved!

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Awhile back I wrote a post, Mysteries of Kourion, about an unusual object from Kaloriziki Kourion (an archaeological site on Cyprus), which rattles when moved.  Last week I got to revisit the question of what exactly is making that noise, as this object along with a number of objects from the Egyptian section were taken […]

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It Was All Quite Different: the Friendship of Lisa Lyons and Vicki Baum

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“Dear Elisabeth, If you had known what a nuisance I’m turning out to be you wouldn’t have started this correspondence, or would you, in spite of it all?” (4/10/1958) The Penn Museum archives received Vicki Baum’s letters at long last and quite by chance. When Lisa Lyons died, she left her records to the Museum, […]

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An ancient eye for design: Bronze Age ceramics from Lapithos, Cyprus

Detail of the incised face and surrounding decoration.

Prehistoric potters from Cyprus had a keen eye for design. Concentric circles, diamonds, and zig-zag patterns make some of the tiniest vessels come alive. I am Sara Levin, Kress Fellow in conservation, performing a condition survey of artifacts from Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba. This site in the north of the country is home to Bronze and Iron […]

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To Hold in the Heart & Live from the Archives!

kintner laos f16-0126 still frame

A filmmaker documents her mother’s flight from Laos, archival film from Museum collections help to tell the story.

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A New Narrative for the Glass Lantern Slide

"Hindu Lady" leans against a table in a house with a bouquet of flowers by her side. This is one of the many glass lantern slides in the Penn Museum archives collection. (Museum Image No. 215377)

Although I have only been working in the Penn Museum Archives for a couple months, I have become completely enveloped with the aura of historical narrative in the photos and documents we work so hard to preserve. Over time, however, there are many objects that become obsolete in the presentation of this narrative. The glass […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Fun Find

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Every so often, you stumble across an oddity in the archives. This week, I found something that piqued my interest. A researcher was visiting the archives, looking through records from Erich Schmidt’s expedition to Persepolis, Iran. Part of this particular collection is a set of photo albums containing prints that Schmidt had collected  during his […]

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