University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

How We Do What We Do

Buddhist Blog Project Photo

By: Morgan Burgess

“Can you please explain what you’re doing?” is a question we hear daily. From a visitor’s perspective it doesn’t look like we’re doing much. Basically, we observe and document. A thorough condition report is the first step in any conservation treatment; we need to know what we’re dealing with. These murals are so large that […]

What ARE the Buddhist Murals Made Of?

mural constructionv3

By: Morgan Burgess

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 […]

10,000 Dominoes

By: Amy Ellsworth

On Sunday, November 6, the Super Domino Brother set up 10,000 colorful dominoes in the Chinese Rotunda and set off the Rube-Goldberg-esque extravaganza with an audience of more than 100 enthusiastic visitors. This was one of many events planned to celebrate Penn’s Year of Games. See if you can hear an audience member yell, “That […]

Penn Museum’s Own Piece of the Silk Road

By: Gabrielle Niu

During the height of the Silk Road and the bright beginnings of the Tang dynasty, China was ruled by one Emperor Tang Taizong. Taizong’s rule is remembered for its economic prosperity, cultural richness and cosmopolitanism, as well as for its unprecedented expansion of Chinese borders into the Western Xinjiang Regions. At the end of his life, he […]

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