Author Archives: Stephen Lang

Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 3

The iconography of Xuanzang, and its history,  is quite fascinating.   Bearing the typical shaved head of a Buddhist monk, Xuanzang is depicted in our painting with a large backpack of sutras, a canopy over his head (with a hanging incense burner) and holding a scroll in his left hand and a fly wisk in […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 2

In my last post I introduced a Japanese painting currently hanging in the Director’s office, here is the basic information about the piece: Title: Buddha with Sixteen Benign Deities (Shaka juuroku zenshin)  釈迦十六善神 Period: Late 17th – Early 18th century Material: Ink and Color on Silk Provenience: Japan Artist: Signed Shuho What is going on […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road

The Director’s office sees all kinds of visitors.  From curators and researchers to  board members and potential donors, there is a diversity of interests and topics that get addressed over light cocktails and finger foods.  For this reason we have been trying to create a focal point in the room that relates to a particularly salient exhibit or […]

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The great FREEZE out

On Friday the 29th of October starting at 6:00 PM,  the Penn Museum will officially be frozen out of our collections database ARGUS.  For two months we will be unable to update locations for objects or input new information about the collection.  This is because we are finally transitioning to our new database KE Emu! That […]

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The NEW Chinese Painting Rack

Working in a museum can sometimes seem like an exercise in eternal patience.  You seem to always be planting the seed of something that will only come to fruition weeks, months, or even years from now.  One such project has been my dream of having the Chinese paintings in our collection (some of which have […]

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Crating and Packing

After spending some time in Osaka seeing the sites, ( bunraku, fugu, kobe beef, Ceramics Museum, shopping) I headed to the city of Nara ready to get down to work.  I arrived at the museum with the intention of condition reporting  our statue and its base and then overseeing the crating of each.  If time […]

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Minpaku!

I visited the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka (MINPAKU).  It was incredible. see: http://www.minpaku.ac.jp/english/museum/exhibition/ They had a design award in their lobby prominently displayed and I found out why.   The museum galleries are just packed with objects of every kind and sort. The majority of the material seemed to be from the 18th century […]

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Planes, trains, and buses.

Well I made it to Japan in one piece.  The journey was not very pleasant, even though I did get to fly business class.  This sometimes happens when the borrowing institution wants you to be able to get some sleep on the plane, particularly when there isn’t much time to get over jet lag.  I […]

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Courier Trips

Courier Trips. If you peruse the admin meeting minutes you may notice that every so often a registrar or keeper is away on a courier trip. What are these trips and what do they entail? The answer varies widely depending on the section and the final destination. Courier trips occur when we loan an institution […]

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Secrets of the Silk Road

I got my first look at the “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibition now at the Bowers Museum and it looked great! http://www.bowers.org/index.php/art/exhibitions_details/35 The show opens at the Penn Museum on February 5, 2011 so mark your calendars.   I took the audio tour which was included with the price and well worth a listen. […]

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