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 the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Ur Digitization Project: June 2013

Field photo of Pit F at Ur, field season 1928-29

By: Brad Hafford

Artwork of the month Spotlight on museum number 31-10-1 Oil Painting of Ur It’s not often that I can discuss an oil painting that relates to the site of Ur, but this month I’m doing just that. In the 1930-31 season, the Woolleys received a distinguished artist guest, one Joseph Lindon Smith. Mr. Smith was […]

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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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Gisan Painting from Korea [Object of the Day #24]

Gisan Painting

By: Stephen Lang

    This watercolor was done by the artist Chun-gŭn Kim (artist name: Gisan) in 1886 in Choryang, Korea.  It illustrates one of the many games played in Korea during the 1800s. Two country girls, about eighteen years of age, in traditional Korean attire can be seen practicing choo-cheon or swinging. Gisan beautifully renders their billowing skirts and […]

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Imagine Africa: World’s Most Ancient Painters

By: Gabrielle Niu

Imagine the world’s oldest painting kit. Last week, Science Magazine published an article on the 2008 archaeological discovery of two 100,000-year-old abalone shells that contain traces of the first known mixed paint. A team of researchers led by Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergin, Norway excavated the shells in the Blombus Cave at the […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 2

By: Stephen Lang

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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The NEW Chinese Painting Rack

By: Stephen Lang

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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