Penn Museum Special Exhibition Schedule for Fall 2012


MortonCollectionYear of Proof: Making and Unmaking of Race
September 2, 2012 through August 18, 2013

Is there such a thing in humans called race? Since the emergence of biology and anthropology, scientists have developed categories for all living things, including humans. But what can the categorization of humans tell us? Penn Museum houses the notorious Morton Collection of skulls, collected to confirm 19th century society's beliefs about racial hierarchy.  Understand how scientists have used the collection from the 19th century to today, and what implications arose from their respective analyses. Explore the history of race in this small display, which ties in with the University of Pennsylvania's 2013 themed "Year of Proof." Trescher Entrance Lobby, 1st Floor

In the Artifact LabIn the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies
Opens September 30, 2012

Penn Museum invites you behind the scenes with this new project! Part exhibition, part working laboratory, a glass-enclosed conservation lab brings you right into a museum conservator’s world.  See the tools of the trade and watch as conservators work on a wide array of Egyptian funerary artifacts, including ancient coffins, portraits, and, of course, mummies! Enjoy this unique opportunity to follow conservators (working Tuesday through Saturday, with question and answer periods posted on site) as they protect, restore, and preserve pieces of ancient Egyptian history. In the Artifact Lab is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Rockwell. 3rd Floor, behind Iraq’s Ancient Past


 Maya primary webMAYA 2012: Lords of Time
Opened May 5, 2012. Now through January 13, 2013.

In this world premiere exhibition, the Penn Museum confronts the current fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization. Journey through the Maya’s time-ordered universe, expressed through their intricate calendar systems, and the power wielded by their divine kings, the astounding “lords of time.” Explore the Maya world through interactive experiences and walk among towering replicas of major monuments. See more than 150 artifacts, including rare, recently excavated objects from the MaizegodheadUNESCO World Heritage site of Copan in present day Honduras. Move across the centuries to discover how Maya ideas about time change. Hear contemporary Maya voices speaking to their own heritage and concerns for the future, as you uncover a resilient Maya culture—and the truth behind the origins of this doomsday phenomenon.

MAYA 2012: Lords of Time is presented in partnership with the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia of the Republic of Honduras, and made possible by a major grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and additional support from the Annenberg Foundation, the Jay I. Kislak Foundation, and the Selz Foundation. NBC 10, the Philadelphia Inquirer and, and Al Dia News Media are Media Partners. Kintner and Dietrich Galleries, 2nd Floor


 IA Ppl galleryImagine Africa with the Penn Museum
Opened September 18, 2011.  Now extended.

How do you imagine Africa? Do you see it as the home of powerful nations? Perhaps you think of intricately carved masks or fine art. Maybe you’re interested in the peoples living in Africa today. Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum is a community engagement project investigating your perspectives. Drawing upon its extraordinary African Collection, the Museum presents more than 50 objects framed around eight broad topics including Beauty, Power, and the Divine. Text and interactive elements offer opportunities for more in-depth exploration. Through a variety of methods, visitors are asked to provide feedback on the objects and content they see, and to discuss what would make an engaging exhibition—from their point of view. All feedback is collected as the Museum plans a future re-installation of its African Collection informed by both academic and community perspectives. Imagine Africa is supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program, and the PoGo Family Foundation. The Philadelphia Tribune and WDAS are Media Partners. Sharpe Hallway, 2nd floor


TR11 RUN Image happyrunnerRun! Super-Athletes of the Sierra Madre
Opened March 31, 2012. Continues through September 30, 2012

This exhibition opened just days after the death of Micah True, a.k.a. Caballo Blanco, beloved founder of the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon races and a great supporter of the Rarámuri people and culture. Penn Museum has dedicated the show to his memory. Considered to be the world’s greatest long-distance runners, the Rarámuri live within the dramatic canyons of the Sierra Madre in Chihuahua, Mexico. Competing on mountainous terrain in daylong races of up to 100 miles, they have maintained the strength, stamina, and isolation that have ensured their survival through the centuries. Experience the races for yourself through the vibrant and colorful photography of Texas-born photographer and journalist Diana Molina, who has documented the Sierra Madre and its people for nearly two decades. Run! is supported in part by the Mexican Society of Philadelphia and The Honickman Foundation in honor of the memory of Elaine Garfinkel. Merle-Smith Gallery, 1st Floor.

Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2012, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered select Wednesdays. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 and above); $10 for U.S. Military; $8 for children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" the last hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.

Photo captions (top to bottom): a look at some of the skulls that comprise the infamous Morton Collection of skulls, housed in the Penn Museum (photo by Steve Minicola); Penn Museum Conservator Tessa De Alarcon works on the Mask of Neferina, an Egyptian funerary mask. Photo: Penn Museum Conservation Department; MAYA 2012: Lords of Time logo; close-up photo of the Maize God from the MAYA 2012 exhibition at Penn Museum (photo by Steve Minicola); a family enjoys one of the many educational interactives in the Imagine Africa Gallery Project (photo: Penn Museum); a photo from the exhibition Run! Super-Athletes of the Sierra Madre (Photo by Diana Molina).


3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000


Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
First Wednesdays: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Monday: CLOSED


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