Author Archives: Lynn Grant

New Beginnings

fig1

In September 2014, the Penn Museum’s Conservation Department was able to move into our long-awaited new spaces. Funded by generous donors, including lead donors A. Bruce and Margaret Mainwaring, Charles K. Williams II, and Frederick J. Manning, the spaces were designed by Samuel Anderson Architects. In the newly renovated West Wing Conservation and Teaching Labs, […]

Posted in Conservation, Museum | Tagged | Leave a comment

Conserving the Buddhist Murals: An Introduction

Pre-program interns Morgan Burgess (left) and Cassia Balogh (right) work recording the current condition of  the mural C 688

Just because artifacts have been in our collections or even on display for a long time doesn’t mean we know all about them. A case in point is the large Buddhist Murals in our Chinese Rotunda, probably the largest artifacts in our collection, at least in area. Although they’ve been on exhibition there since the […]

Posted in China, Collection, Conservation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A really big show

An example of a very large textile that wouldn't fit in our standard cabinets.

One factoid about the Museum that never fails to amaze in conversation is the estimate that what’s on exhibition is less than 5% of our total collections.  The usual response is, “where’s the rest of the stuff?”  The answer is ‘in storage’.  The Museum has a whole array of storerooms (my usual joke is that […]

Posted in Americas, Collection, Conservation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Conserving ENIAC (aka Project CLEANIAC)

Pre-program intern Vicki Chisholm examining ENIAC components as part of the condition survey.

One of the responsibilities of the conservation department is to provide advice and consultation on conservation matters for colleagues, the university community and the general public.  The University Community often produces some interesting queries, like the time the ICA wanted to know how to prevent pest problems when exhibiting artworks made of chocolate.  Some time […]

Posted in Conservation, Museum | Tagged | 1 Response

Un Gran Exito

Luis Reina, director of the Copan Sculpture Museum, accepts his Workshop Certificate from Dr. Loa Traxler

That’s how they say “A big success” in Honduras.  I learned that last week in Copan, the site where Penn Museum has been involved for over 25 years.  I went to Honduras in mid February with other Museum staff members (Dr. Loa Traxler, Bob Thurlow, and Tessa de Alarcon) for two purposes:  to see the […]

Posted in Americas, Conservation, Cultural Heritage Preservation, Maya | Leave a comment

Willard Libby, Alfred Nobel, and Ahanakht

Graph taken from publication of Libby's Nobel Laureate address, showing Penn Museum's own Aha-Nakht[sic] as one of the baseline known dates.

How cool is this?  While working on a post for our Artifact Lab blog, I Googled Ahanakht, the ancient Egyptian buried in an elaborately inscribed wooden coffin in our collection.  Besides learning that Ahanakht I was the first Middle Kingdom governor of the Hare nome (province) in around 2000 BCE, I got a result citing […]

Posted in Collection, Conservation, Egypt, Museum | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Artifact Lab takes shape

Project Conservator Molly Gleeson comes face to face with one of her prospective 'clients'

Last week the preparations for the Artifact Lab (see my previous post) really began to gather speed.  On Monday, Molly Gleeson the project conservator arrived and was immediately plunged into the preparations. Molly, a graduate of the UCLA/Getty program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, has experience and interest in public outreach regarding […]

Posted in Conservation | Tagged , , , , | 4 Responses

Coming soon to a gallery near you: Conservation!

IALplan4

Two years ago in this forum, I wrote about Conservation’s move to temporary, smaller quarters, blithely saying “it may be two years before we get back to our proper spaces”.  Well, as anyone who’s had renovations done knows, things take longer than expected and it will probably be another two years before we get those […]

Posted in Collection, Conservation | Leave a comment

Conserving ENIAC (aka Project CLEANIAC)

One of the responsibilities of the conservation department is to provide advice and consultation on conservation matters for colleagues, the university community and the general public.  The University Community often produces some interesting queries, like the time the ICA wanted to know how to prevent pest problems when exhibiting artworks made of chocolate.  Most recently, […]

Posted in Museum | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Glamorous’ job of a Museum courier

The Museum often loans artifacts from its collections to other museums for exhibit.  Under certain circumstances, the artifacts will be accompanied by a courier, a museum staff member who oversees the transport, unpacking or repacking, condition reporting, and installation or deinstallation of the artifact(s).  One of those circumstances is if the artifacts are traveling by […]

Posted in Museum | 1 Response