The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology one of more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer
Philadelphia, May 23—Today the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology announces the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Military personnel and their families need only to show valid military or military family ID. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
Penn Museum offers two relevant and timely exhibitions now on view: Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan and Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery. Battleground, open through July 2011, made its U.S. debut at the Penn Museum and features more than 60 "war rugs," which reflect the wartime life experiences of Afghans beginning with the Soviet invasion of 1979 and the country's many upheavals throughout the early 21st century. Scenes of modern warfare and the weaponry of war, and images of the global war on terrorism resonate in updated iconography, as birds become fighter jets, flowers become bombs, and horses, tanks.
Iraq's Ancient Past has recently re-opened after major renovations and features a world-renowned collection of artifacts discovered and excavated from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, in present-day Iraq. Iraq's Ancient Past brings to life the famous expedition with resplendent artifacts including the "Ram-Caught-in-the-Thicket," the impressive headdress of Ur's Queen Puabi, and a new presentation of the "Bull's Headed Lyre" panel. Iraq's Ancient Past looks to the present and future as well, exploring the ongoing story of scientific inquiry and discovery made possible by those excavations, and the pressing issues around the preservation of Iraq's cultural heritage today.
"With America engaged in military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, these two exhibitions are especially relevant," noted Dr. Richard Hodges, the Williams Director of the Penn Museum. "Battleground provides a look at how one celebrated artistic tradition has been changed by war, while Iraq's Ancient Past explores an extraordinary ancient culture and heritage now at great risk from modern-day looting."
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 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 $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65 and above); $6 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. Penn Museum, a Blue Star Museums partner, offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families with valid active duty military personnel or military family ID., from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. 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 www.penn.museum. For general information call (215) 898-4000. For group tour information call (215) 746-8183.