University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore a topic of interest, please use the Blog Search function.


Chinese Painting [Object of the Day #116]

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By: Stephen Lang

  This painting, named “A Pair of Doves”  by Yi Yuanji, depicts two spotted doves (Streptopelia chinensis ) amid sprays of soft bamboo with a pile of rocks from which grows a small stunted tree. The time of year is most likely autumn or early winter. The signature of Yi Yuanji, 易元吉, is found on the face of […]

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Statue of Maitreya [Object of the Day #106]

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By: Stephen Lang

This gilt bronze statuette is of Maitreya, also known as “the compassionate one” and the Buddha of the future. It dates to the Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550 CE) but is typical of the Northern Wei style which is characterized by its front facing orientation and flowing Chinese robes. The statue rests on a four-sided, four-legged […]

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Crystal Ball [Object of the Day #102]

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By: Gabrielle Niu

Seated on top of a stand shaped like a frothing wave, 24.5 cm in diameter, the Crystal Ballcentered under the vaulted ceiling of the Chinese rotunda has an exciting and mysterious past. The fifty-five pounds of transparent quartz crystal is supposedly from the imperial collections of the infamous Qing dynasty Empress, Cixi (1835 – 1908). […]

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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