Annual Report 2018-2019

Welcome to Our Penn Museum

Julian Siggers and Michael Kowalski with the Sphinx

In 2018–2019, our Penn Museum’s transformation continued building momentum. Throughout the building, teams worked behind construction walls on deinstalling objects, renovating spaces, adding new lighting and floors, and getting objects ready for display in new cases. Excitement reached monumental proportions in June, when we moved our great granite Sphinx of Ramses II.

The moving of the Sphinx was one day in a year that, as each year does at the Museum, held so many moments of connection and of wonder. It encapsulated the Museum’s welcome to all: the Sphinx was moved so that he could greet visitors at our Main Entrance. And it represented our commitment to continual discovery: the move itself required the expertise and collaboration of our conservators, curators, and expert riggers, working together to solve a new challenge based on ancient achievements. As the Sphinx moved slowly through the courtyard, it was wonderful to look around and wonder who in the crowd would discover a new interest in ancient Egypt, or which child might watch its progress and become curious about engineering.

Transforming our historic building is not the only transformation at work. Even with much of our Main Level closed for renovations last year, we welcomed thousands of students and visitors of all ages to engage with the Museum through Learning Programs and Public Programs, and we continued to invite all Penn students to expand their learning through our resources. Outside the Museum, our staff, students, and consulting scholars continued to build knowledge through research [LINK to Discovery] in our labs and across the world.

None of what we accomplished last year, from the monumental to the miniscule, would have been possible without the exceptional partnership of our volunteers and supporters. Thank you all, and we look forward to continuing to build transformation with you.

Warm regards,

Michael J. Kowalski signature

Julian Siggers, Ph.D.
Williams Director

Michael J. Kowalski signature

Michael J. Kowalski, W74
Chair, Board of Directors