Category Archives: Museum

Getting the Murals to the Museum

C492 with accession numbers

It’s important to understand how an object actually comes into the museum. The Buddhist murals in the Rotunda are comprised of many different sized panels which entered the museum in stages.  The mural depicting Tejaprabha Buddha came into the museum incomplete in 1926.  You can see the panels are actually framed in large wooden borders […]

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What ARE the Buddhist Murals Made Of?

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The questions most frequently asked of us while working on the Buddhist murals in the Chinese rotunda involve what the murals are made of. Often people presume they are frescoes. True fresco is done on wet plaster. The pigments used in a fresco are mixed with water and applied to a wet plaster surface. A […]

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The Two Buddhist Murals from Guangshengsi Monastery

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  Two of the most fascinating objects in the Asian section are a pair of  murals reported to have come from Guangshengsi Monastery in southern Shanxi Province, China.   What makes them particularly interesting is the nature in which their provenance, date, and subject matter have fluctuated over the decades since they came into the […]

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Seeing with A Haida Master – Robert Davidson

A 100 year old raven rattle in the collection really got his attention. Collection Object Number: NA3367A

We recently spent the day with renowned Haida artist, Robert Davidson, looking at old Haida carvings in Penn Museum’s collection.  Having flown across the country from Haida Gwaii, British Colombia (Canada!), Robert and his wife Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson (a Haida attorney) arrived with their own photographer, Jack Litrell.  Their goal was to interview and record Mr. […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Unearthed from the Archives

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This Friday at 2PM, the Penn Museum Archives will open it’s doors to show off some of our treasures as part of a new program called “Unearthed from the Archives”. Each week, the archivists will choose a different item from the archives to present. We’re blessed with the gift of gab here in the archives […]

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“When the Sap Starts Running in the Spring, the Blood Starts Running in Our Men”

Oren Lyons at the Penn Museum in April 2014.

Probably one of the fastest growing games in the world, it seems that everyone wants to play lacrosse. The Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee will field a team at the World Outdoor Championship Games to be played this summer in Denver (July 9-19). In 2015 they will host 16-18 countries competing in the Indoor Box Lacrosse […]

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Onondaga Nation and Swedish Engineers Join Hands on Global Food Production

Oren Lyons at Penn Museum, April 16, 2014

Native American economic initiatives are influencing our world today…here is a terrific example! A new economic initiative in Indian Country that moves beyond the sale of tobacco and casinos is Plantagon, an innovative international partnership with Native American principles at its core. We heard about it from Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation (in […]

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Ur Digitization Project: April 2014

Bottom of Field card concerning PG778, containing drawing of U.10183

Artifact of the month Spotlight on Field Number U.10183 (Museum Number B17249) ‘goddess-handled’ jar In our recent investigations of pottery from Ur housed at the Penn Museum we have seen more than 1300 pieces, measuring, describing, photographing, recording condition, and making repairs or other treatments for those in need. In some cases we are removing […]

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Would You Like to See Samoa?

It is spring break for some this week, but it definitely doesn’t feel like sunshine and Mai Tais today in Philadelphia. For those of us stuck at our desks, here is a short clip from our archival film collection to get you dancing and thinking of vacation! Shot in 1940, this travelogue film documents the […]

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Mara and Konrad, Family Second Sunday veterans, pose with their kites.  Mara and Konrad have been attending the program for the past two years and have made about 10 crafts.

The Family Second Sunday series is one of the programs that I manage here at the Penn Museum, and it’s easily my favorite.  Each month from September through May, I get to create a craft inspired by an artifact or area of the world represented by the Museum.  Then I get to teach it to […]

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