Penn Museum's Innovative "Touch Tours" Ancient Egyptian Culture Program,
Designed with and for Visitors with Blindness or Low Vision,
Expands in its Second Season
"This tour provided the chance of a life time to get up close to some fantastic objects that the ancient Egyptians regarded as commonplace. Not many people, either sighted or visually impaired, would ever have the opportunity to place their hands where craftsmen's hands toiled thousands of years ago."
-—2012 Touch Tours visitor Rita Lang, Manager of Innovative Programs and Volunteers, Center for Vision Loss, Lehigh Valley, PA
PHILADELPHIA, PA 2013—Following a successful pilot season in the fall of 2012, the "Insights into Ancient Egypt" Touch Tours program at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, designed with and for Museum visitors who are blind or have low vision, is expanding, thanks to extensive input and feedback from members of the community.
The second season of the "Insights into Ancient Egypt" Touch Tour program begins Monday, September 30, with longer visits and a host of innovative changes. The program expands from one to two hours, as guests are invited to discover ancient Egyptian culture through a new classroom learning experience, with tactile diagrams, through connections with both long-time Museum docents and new assistant docents with visual impairment, and through new opportunities for artistic expression. The central gallery experience—exploring through touch several ancient Egyptian artifacts on display—continues with new pieces and specially made replicas.
Trish Maunder, Project Coordinator for Special Tours and a disabilities program consultant for the Museum, worked with Egyptian section Associate Curator Jennifer Wegner, the Museum's Community Engagement Department, and many volunteer Museum docents to develop the program and its expanded offerings. Through focus groups and feedback from low and no-vision guests, she learned that participants wanted more information, educational opportunities, and even outlets for artistic expression—all included in this season's offerings.
Jump n' Funk at the Penn Museum
DJ Rich Medina Brings Afrobeats, Visual Montage, and New Audience
PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 16, 2013—Penn Museum opens its doors to DJs, poets, dancers, photographers, live painters and the entire creative community for a night of Jump n' Funk! On October 11, 2013, DJ Rich Medina and partner Mark Hines take center stage for the evening (8:00pm – Midnight) introducing guests to dance, music, and visual display inspired by late African musical icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
A pre-event Professionals Garden Party in the Museum's Warden Garden off the Kamin Entrance, runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (cash bar). Garden Party sponsors include National Black MBA – Philadelphia Chapter, NExT Philadelphia: Network of Extraordinary Talent (Formerly the Urban League Young Professionals of Philadelphia), Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society, and the University of Pennsylvania Black Alumni Society (BAS).
Admission to the all-ages show Jump n' Funk, including Penn Museum admission, is just $10. Advance registration through the Penn Museum online event calendar is recommended.
44th Annual International Students & Scholars Reception
Friday, October 4 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm
PHILADELPHIA, PA 2013—The Penn Museum opens its doors to the world, as international students, scholars, and professionals new to the Delaware Valley are invited to attend this year's 44th annual International Students Reception on Friday, October 4, 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The Welcome Reception, held in the Chinese Rotunda at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia, is free for all international students—and is a featured event in the GlobalPhilly™ 2013 exposition.
Philadelphia PA, Fall 2013— Turkey, a country that borders eight other nations and occupies the meeting point between the eastern and western world, is a cultural crossroads steeped in history—and often in the news. On Saturday afternoon September 28, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Penn Museum highlights some of the wonders, and the changes, in Turkey, with a Turkish Delight! celebration of the Republic of Turkey. The day features a panel discussion about democracy in Turkey today, and a talk about the newest discoveries at the famous archaeological site of Gordion (legendary home of King Midas of the Golden Touch). Visitors will be treated to traditional belly dance and folk dance performances, a family craft workshop, a mini "Grand Bazaar" to buy Turkish treasures, and more. Turkish Delight! is FREE with Penn Museum admission donation ($15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); free for U.S. Military; $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger).
CINEMA OF RESISTANCE
Second Sunday Culture Films Monthly Series at the Penn Museum
Explores Resistance to Cultural Change
Philadelphia, PA 2013—The Penn Museum invites guests to take an armchair journey across exotic lands and seas with "Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies," a new monthly lecture series offered at 6:00 pm the first Wednesday evening of every month, October 2013 through June 2014. Renowned scholars, including Oceanographer Robert Ballard, Penn Classical Studies Associate Professor Peter Struck, and Penn Museum Curator Clark Erickson, share tales of epic journeys drawn from thousands of years of human history. Lecturers explore voyages as varied as those of the legendary Gilgamesh, the tragic sinking of the Titanic, and Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth.
HIJINKS WITH THE SPHINX
The Penn Museum in Philadelphia Celebrates 100 Years with the Largest Ancient Egyptian Sphinx
in the Western Hemisphere
PHILADELPHIA, PA 2013—It came by boat, arriving in Philadelphia in October 1913—an ancient Egyptian Sphinx from Memphis, Egypt, excavated by renowned archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie and presented to the Penn Museum on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Extraordinary by any measure, the Sphinx was carved from one massive piece of red granite, bearing the names of the great Pharaoh Ramesses II, and his son and successor, the Pharaoh Merenptah, both of whom reigned during Egypt’s 19th Dynasty (1292–1190 BCE).
From Gallery Romps (for ages 3 to 6 and their parents or chaperones), to Second Sunday Family Workshops (drop-ins welcome, suitable for ages 5 and older), from 40 Winks with the Sphinx Sleepovers (ages 6 to 12 and their chaperones), to World Culture Days and Afternoons (fun for all ages), Penn Museum offers families age-appropriate programs to inspire, educate and enjoy.
BRITISH MUSEUM AND THE PENN MUSEUM JOIN FORCES TO CREATE
NEW WEB RESOURCE OF FAMOUS 1922–34 EXCAVATIONS AT UR IN IRAQ
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$1.28 Million Grant From the Leon Levy Foundation Fosters this New Collaboration Around the Ancient Site
JULY 2013—The British Museum and the Penn Museum are embarking on a dynamic digital collaboration, made possible with $1.28 million in lead support from the Leon Levy Foundation that will provide unprecedented access to the archaeology of the ancient kingdom of Ur. This new online resource will open the remarkably successful Mesopotamian excavations conducted by Sir Leonard Woolley on behalf of both museums from 1922–1934—excavations which brought to light some of archaeology’s most extraordinary and famous finds—to scholars and the public alike.
Hollywood in the Amazon
A New Exhibition for the University of Pennsylvania's Year of Sound,
Opens at the Penn Museum August 18, 2013
NEW AND CHANGING SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS
Year of Sound: Hollywood in the Amazon
August 18, 2013 through July 27, 2014
In 1931, an expedition from the Penn Museum introduced a revolutionary new research method in the remote Amazonian jungles of Brazil. Transporting state-of-the-art equipment by sea, air, and river, the team arrived in territory occupied by the Bororo people and recorded an expeditionary film, Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness, incorporating live sound. It was the first time non-Western people were seen and heard on sound-synced film.
The Penn Museum Offers An Affordable Wedding Alternative
PHILADELPHIA, PA 2013—Last year, according to CNNMoney, the average cost of a wedding was $28,400. It's enough to make some pause before saying "yes" to that romantic proposal.
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. To access hi-res images for press, click here.
Bone Tumor Identified in 120,000-Year-Old Rib of Neandertal
From Famous Cave Excavation Site of Krapina in Central Europe
PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 2013—The first-known definitive case of a benign bone tumor has been discovered in the rib of a young Neandertal who lived about 120,000 years ago in what is now present-day Croatia. The bone fragment, which comes from the famous archaeological cave site of Krapina, contains by far the earliest bone tumor ever identified in the archaeological record. Details of the tumor confirmation, announced by an international research team led by Penn Museum Associate Curator and Paleoanthropologist Janet Monge, is available in a research paper, "Fibrous dysplasia in a 120,000+ year old Neandertal from Krapina, Croatia," in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE.
New BIOMOLECULAR aRCHAEOLOGICAL Evidence
Points to the Beginnings of Viniculture in France
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9,000 Year Old Ancient Near Eastern “Wine Culture,” Traveling Land and Sea,
Reaches Southern Coastal France, Via Ancient Etruscans of Italy, in 6th-5th Century BCE
PHILADELPHIA, PA June 3, 2013—France is renowned the world over as a leader in the crafts of viticulture and winemaking—but the beginnings of French viniculture have been largely unknown, until now.
The Penn Museum in Philadelphia Presents Summer Wonder Series,
Family-Friendly Programs Featuring Music, Dance, Storytelling, and More
Wednesday Mornings, 11:00 am–12:00 pm, July 3 through August 21
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.
Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster
Opens at the Penn Museum June 2, 2013
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PBS History Detective Host Tukufu Zuberi Curates Unique Collection
of Propaganda Posters
An Outdoor Concert Series Showcasing Global Music
Wednesday Evenings at the Penn Museum