University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Registrar's Office at the Penn Museum..

The Penn Museum has an active loan program involving institutions all over the world. Encompassing artifacts from the Museum's many sections—African, American, Asian,Babylonian, Egyptian, Mediterranean, Near East, and Oceanian—as well as the Museum Archives, these loans generally form part of larger exhibitions curated and designed by other museums, either for showcase in their own galleries or for the purpose of traveling to multiple venues. By agreeing to loan our objects and participate in these exhibitions, we share our extraordinary collections with audiences that may never have the chance to visit the Penn Museum. Loaning objects also provides scholars the opportunity to interpret our collections in light of their own interests, allowing for a diversity of narratives told through the use of our collections.

Outgoing Loan Procedures

In order to begin the loan process, the Penn Museum must receive a formal letter of request to borrow objects from the collections. This letter should be addressed to the Director and copied to the Registrar for Loans who will be responsible for processing it for approval by the necessary departments. The letter should include: (a) information about the proposed exhibition or project, (b) the venue or venues where the exhibition or project will occur, (c) the proposed loan dates and dates for each venue, (d) the proposed exhibition title if available, (e) a list of the objects requested including names and accession numbers or an indication of the type and quantity of objects requested,and (f) a facilities report for each of the venues.

The Penn Museum attempts to assist with as many loan requests as possible. Due to the volume of loan activity and the need to coordinate with other departments and outside resources a minimum of six (6) months for domestic loans and eighteen (18) months for international loans from the receipt of the formal letter of request is usually required for the processing of a loan. Large loans, involving 25 or more objects, may require more advance notice. The more advance notice we receive the better our ability to process your loan request.

A general loan fee is charged for all loans to cover administrative costs. Additionally, costs for any necessary conservation work, mounts, packing, crating, rigging, shipping, couriers, and insurance will also be borne by the borrowing institution.

The Penn Museum sends a courier, domestically and internationally, to oversee each loan regardless of the loan size. For large loans, more than one courier will be sent based on needs.

Current Loans

Krannert Art Museum (traveling to multiple venues)

“World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean”

Venue 2: National Museum of African Art (Washington, DC) – on display May 9, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Venue 3: Fowler Museum (Los Angeles, CA) – on display October 21, 2018 – February 10, 2019

1 Near Eastern and 9 African Section Objects

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA)

“The Horse in Ancient Greek Art”

On display February 17, 2018 – July 8, 2018

3 Mediterranean Section Objects

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)

“Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas”

On display February 26, 2018 – May 28, 2018

2 American Section Objects

Arthur Ross Gallery (Philadelphia, PA)

“The World on View: Objects from Universal Expositions, 1851-1915”

On display April 7, 2018 – July 29, 2018

1 African, 3 American, 9 Archival, 2 Asian, 1 Historic, 2 Mediterranean, and 1 Oceanian Section Objects


Registrar's Office

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