Penn Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center, Smithsonian Institution Join Forces
To Offer Emergency Workshop, Training, Support for Syrian Museum Collections
JULY 2014—In addition to the high toll that Syria’s four-year-old civil war has had on its people and infrastructure, Syria’s cultural heritage has been and continues to be destroyed at an unprecedented rate. World Heritage sites like the historic city of Aleppo and Krak des Chevaliers, as well as medieval Christian cemeteries and numerous archaeological sites and museums, have been subjected to extensive raiding and looting.
In an effort to help stem the loss of the region’s significant cultural heritage, Penn Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force, have come together to offer assistance for museum curators, heritage experts, and civilians working to protect cultural heritage inside Syria. A three-day training program, “Emergency Care for Syrian Museum Collections,” focusing on safeguarding high risk collections, was completed in late June; additional training programs are being planned, pending funding.
This Planet is Doomed: A Sun Ra Celebration
At the Penn Museum Thursday, July 10, 7:00 to 10:00 pm
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth, The Galleries at Moore and Ars Nova Workshop (ANW), in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), present This Planet is Doomed: A Sun Ra Celebration, an evening of poetry, futuristic sounds, archival films and an Afro-Futurist dance party. The event is free and open to the public.
PHILADELPHIA, PA 2014—This July and August, the Penn Museum in Philadelphia is offering all visitors a HOT DEAL: $10 general admission.
Adults, seniors, and children get in for one cool price (and 1/3 off regular adult admission): $10. (As always, Penn Museum members, children under 6, PennCard holders and active military—and, summer only through Labor Day weekend, active military families—enjoy free admission.)
Philadelphia, PA 2014—Wednesday nights throughout the summer are synonymous with two things at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street in University City—eclectic live music and laid-back fun. Now in its fifth year, the popular Summer Nights Concert Series, presented by Dogfish Head Brewery, runs Wednesdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, June 18 through September 3, 2014. Concerts are held in the Museum's outdoor Stoner Courtyard, replete with fountains, gardens, and a lawn. General admission for guests ages 6 and up is just $10 (and includes Museum admission). The program is free for children under 6, Museum members, PennCard holders, and Penn Health System employees.
This year's lineup features a diverse mix of bands and musicians—offering lively Samba, raucous Turkish fusion, rhythmic Afro-Cuban jazz, and more—as well as American-influenced music drawing from blues, zydeco, and old-fashioned rock n' roll. The Penn Museum's international galleries remain open, with an optional, docent-led mini-tour in between music sets at 6:30 pm. Outside, guests of all ages can explore ancient Rome via touchable (and even wearable) artifacts at a Cartifact station.
Penn Museum Presents Summer Wonder Series, Family-Friendly Programs Featuring Music, Dance, Storytelling and More Five Wednesday Mornings, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, July 2 through 30
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Penn Museum's Summer Wonder series returns this season with a diverse lineup of performances and demonstrations perfect for children 5 to 13, and the whole family. This weekly morning program offers an opportunity to enjoy international music and dance, hear stories from around the world, and more!
TWO SHOWS—Sunday, June 1 at 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Relâche, Philadelphia's internationally-renowned new music ensemble, concludes its "New Sounds and Cinema" series on Sunday, June 1, with two performances of "Scott's Penguin and Hitchcock's Lodger," 1:30 pm and again at 4:00 pm, at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Performances are held in the Museum's newly renovated Widener Hall.
Relâche concert tickets are just $15 ($10 for Museum members), in advance or at the door, and $10 for Penn students with PennCard, at the door. A ticket may be used to enter and explore the Museum's international galleries anytime after 3:00 pm on the day of the concert. June 1 tickets may be purchased online (penn.museum/calendar) or at the concert, while supplies last.
Tastings of Select Ales and Lagers Highlight Distinctive Regional Ingredients of Central, South America
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Sip outside the usual happy hour routine. On Thursday, May 8, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the Young Friends of the Penn Museum present Cerveza! Celebrating the South American Tradition. Dr. Clark Erickson, American Section Curator-in-Charge, talks about south-of-the-border beer traditions and his recent research and collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewery to replicate traditional South American chicha beer, before inviting guests to sample beers representing the region. Admission to Cerveza! Celebrating the South American Tradition is $30, general admission; $25 for members of the Penn Museum. Admission includes talk, beer tastings, and South American-themed hors d'oeurves. Visit www.penn.museum/calendar or call 215.898.4000 for details and to purchase tickets.
Pyramid, Mummies, Cleopatra, and Tutankhamun: Recent Discoveries and Insights
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Dr. Zahi Hawass, a world-renowned Egyptian archaeologist who has served at most of the archaeological sites in Egypt during a long, high-profile career, offers a public lecture, "Pyramids, Mummies, Cleopatra, and Tutankhamum: Recent Discoveries and Insights," Saturday, May 3, at 2:00 pm in the Harrison Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South Street in Philadelphia. The program concludes with a book signing of his newest book, Discovering Tutankhamun: From Howard Carter to DNA (available for purchase in the Museum Shop).
Tickets to the program are $20 per person; $15 for Penn Museum members (Museum admission is additional). Advance online reservations are strongly recommended.
Over a career spanning decades, Dr. Hawass began as an inspector of antiquities and rose to the height of the profession in Egypt, becoming Secretary General of the
Supreme Council of Antiquities, as well as the first Minister of State for Antiquities.
New Book Benefits the Penn Museum
"The mere smell of cooking can evoke a whole civilization."
—Fernand Braudel, French Historian
Culinary Expeditions: A Celebration of Food and Culture Inspired by Penn Museum Treasures, a new book available beginning May 5, 2014, provides readers with fresh ingredients to explore world cultures and culinary traditions. The 133-page, full-color, hardcover book features cultural and culinary stories, 80 tested recipes, and glorious photography of food-related artifacts from the international collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
With Culinary Expeditions, readers are invited to explore the world of food through eight great cultural regions, all well represented in the Penn Museum collections: Africa, Asia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, Mesoamerica, the Middle East, and Native America. Short essays follow the evolution of food in each region, emphasizing local ingredients, culinary traditions, and cooking techniques.
New Publication Explores a World of Food at the Penn Museum May 5, 2014
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Museum Director, Book Editor Offer Perspectives on International Food and Culture
Philadelphia, PA—Calling all foodies! On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Women's Committee of the Penn Museum launches a new book, Culinary Expeditions: A Celebration of Food and Culture Inspired by Penn Museum Treasures, at a festive—and delectable—luncheon celebration from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Julian Siggers, Ph.D., Williams Director of the Penn Museum, and Jane Hickman, Ph.D., Editor of the new book, speak. Tickets to the luncheon program are $125, and include a copy of Culinary Expeditions, special shopping opportunities, and complimentary valet parking. All proceeds will benefit the Penn Museum.
Expanded Exhibition of Large-Scale Photographs by Renowned Turkish Photographer
Captures Grandeur of Byzantine Churches
"We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth...we only knew that God dwells there among men."—Ambassadors to Prince Vladimir of Kievan Rus' on seeing the churches of Constantinople, 987 CE.
PHILADELPHIA, PA—The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of Turkey—is the focus of an expanded, large-scale photography exhibition opening April 12, 2014 at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.
Sacred Spaces: The Photography of Ahmet Ertug, a two-part exhibition fittingly presented under the vaulted ceilings of the Penn Museum's first floor Merle-Smith Galleries, features 26 works by innovative, acclaimed Turkish photographer Ahmet Ertug. Through his lens and with his exceptionally large-scale prints (some as large as six feet wide), Ertug captures the grandeur of the ancient Byzantine churches, all designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, in crisp, bright, detailed photographs. A digital-screen slide show of exterior images of the churches, and an interactive kiosk where visitors can explore the rich iconography depicted in Ertug's photographs, enhance the exhibition.
For the most updated information on programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for online pre-registration (optional or required for some programs) visit the Museum's website: www.penn.museum/calendar.
Wednesday, April 2, 6:00 pm
"Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies" Lecture Series
The Odyssey, Nostalgia, and the Lost Home
The Odyssey, Homer's tale of the wandering hero, has loaned its name to the English language for the very idea of a long wandering voyage. In this talk, Dr. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the idea of displacement in the epic poem, and considers how Odysseus negotiates his status as someone separated from where he belongs. Admission with advance registration: $5 ($2, Penn Museum members); $10 at the door based on availability. To register, visit www.penn.museum/greatvoyages.
Exhibition Opens at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia Saturday, March 1, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now, a new exhibition opening at the Penn Museum March 1, 2014, challenges visitors to leave preconceptions about Native Americans behind—and discover a living tapestry of nations with distinct stories, identities, and contemporary leaders.
The Penn Museum's exclusive caterer brings Native recipes to Philadelphia from its award-winning café at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Far from having disappeared into the American "melting pot," today's Native Americans are culturally distinct and diverse. So are their recipes, as the Pepper Mill Café at the Penn Museum invites guests to discover during their visit to Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now. The Café offers a changing variety of Native American-inspired lunch menus to extend the Native American experience during the opening weekends of the new exhibition, March 1 through April 6, 2014.
Native Americans from around the Country
Join the Opening Celebration at the Penn Museum
Saturday, March 1
Native Americans from around the region and across North America come to the Penn Museum Saturday, March 1, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, to share their art, culture, and perspectives and to celebrate the opening of Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now. Native Nations Dance Theater performs in an afternoon that features talks, demonstrations and storytelling by Native American leaders in film and journalism, scholarship, community development, archaeology, sports, language retention and social activism. Mini-workshops, special activities for families, and Native American foods on the Pepper Mill Café menu, round out the day.
Penn Museum Williams Director Julian Siggers joins Exhibition Curator and Senior Keeper of the American Section Lucy Fowler Williams, Keeper of the American Section William Wierzbowski, and advisors and consultants from the Native American community, at an 11:00 am ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the new exhibition.
Afternoon of Workshops Featuring African, Brazilian, Irish, Middle Eastern, Native American
Rhythms and International Drum Circle Finale
PHILADELPHIA—From the tabla, to the bodhrán, the Penn Museum invites guests (and their drums) to the Drums around the World celebration Saturday, April 5, 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The special program is featured as part of the University of Pennsylvania's 2013–14 Year of Sound.
The percussion party takes guests on a musical journey from Africa to Brazil, to Ireland, the Middle East, and around North America with Native American beats, all in one afternoon. Wandering through the Penn Museum galleries, visitors can sit in workshops with acclaimed musicians from the Philadelphia area, and follow their demonstrations to learn basic percussion techniques and rhythms. A limited number of drums are provided, and visitors are welcome to bring their own drums to the Museum for the workshops—and a grand finale drum circle performance.
As part of the day's musical theme, guests can take a self-guided tour of instruments on display throughout the Penn Museum, including:
Family Celebration Features Bi-lingual English, Arabic Reading
of 2014 OBOP Children's Selection: "The Librarian of Basra"
PHILADELPHIA, 2014—The rich sights, flavors, arts, and traditions of Iraq, ancient and modern, converge Saturday, March 8, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, when the Penn Museum presents Iraqi Cultural Day! The special afternoon is a featured part of this year's citywide One Book, One Philadelphia joint project of the Mayor's Office and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Nearly 700 Iraqis have resettled in Philadelphia, helping to inspire a family-friendly afternoon of food and cultural dress demonstrations, and fine arts and photographic displays. The day's lineup also includes children's crafts and activities, including a group reading of The Librarian of Basra, a 2014 One Book, One Philadelphia family reading selection.
Innovative Program is Second in 3-Concert “Relâche Classics and Silent Comedies” Series at the Penn Museum
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Relâche, Philadelphia’s internationally-renowned new music ensemble, continues its “Classics and Silent Comedies” series on Sunday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. with "Comix Trips Meets Buster" at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The three-concert series, featuring both commissioned music and live accompaniment to old silent films, is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Year of Sound. Performances are held in the Museum’s newly renovated Widener Hall.
Relâche concert tickets are just $15 ($10 for Museum members), in advance or at the door, while supplies last. A ticket may be used to enter and explore the Museum’s international galleries after 2:00 pm on the day of the concert. February 9 tickets may be purchased online.
Saturday, February 8, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
PHILADELPHIA, PA—African music, belly dancing in the North African tradition, storytelling, arts, artifacts, games, crafts, and cuisine all come together Saturday, February 8, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, for the Penn Museum's annual Celebration of African Cultures. Now in its 25th year, the festive event features an array of renowned local artists including the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, storyteller Momma Sandi and the percussionists of the Women's Sekere Ensemble. The afternoon is free with Museum admission donation ($15, general admission; $13, seniors [65+]; $10, children [6-17] and full-time students [with ID]; free to children under 5, members, active U.S. Military, and PennCard holders).
The celebration is co-sponsored by the Africa Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Activities for Children and Elders
Discovery Provides Evidence of a Forgotten Egyptian Dynasty from 3,600 Years Ago
PHILADELPHIA, PA, January 2014—Archaeologists working at the southern Egyptian site of Abydos have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh: Woseribre Senebkay—and the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty, ca. 1650–1600 BC. Working in cooperation with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, a team from the Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, discovered king Senebkay's tomb close to a larger royal tomb, recently identified as belonging to a king Sobekhotep (probably Sobekhotep I, ca. 1780 BC) of the 13th Dynasty.
The discovery of pharaoh Senebkay's tomb is the culmination of work that began during the summer of 2013 when the Penn Museum team, led by Dr. Josef Wegner, Egyptian Section Associate Curator of the Penn Museum, discovered a huge 60-ton royal sarcophagus chamber at South Abydos. The sarcophagus chamber, of red quartzite quarried and transported to Abydos from Gebel Ahmar (near modern Cairo), could be dated to the late Middle Kingdom, but its owner remained unidentified. Mysteriously, the sarcophagus had been extracted from its original tomb and reused in a later tomb—but the original royal owner remained unknown when the summer season ended.