Building Transformation: A Campaign for the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum is building transformation through new galleries, amenities, and programs that welcome all visitors to explore the human story.
On November 1, 2017, we celebrated the start of our extensive Building Transformation project with a kickoff event in the historic Harrison Auditorium. Joined by Penn’s President Amy Gutmann, Chairman of the Board of Trustees David Cohen, Partner Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Tang Architects, members of our own Board of Overseers, and Penn Museum volunteers, lead supporters, and staff, we removed seats from the Harrison Auditorium in our version of a groundbreaking. Renovation of the distinctly Art Deco seats—including sanding and repainting, respringing, and reupholstering in elegant green velvet—is supported by a special “Name a Seat” campaign; when the Auditorium reopens in November 2019, a brass plaque in the arm of named seats will recognize donors or their designated honorees.
Building Transformation Campaign
Long renowned for groundbreaking research and stellar international collections, the Penn Museum is building transformation, with plans for a dramatic reconfiguration of our historic building.
The next major milestone of the transformation was on April 21, 2018, when—thanks to the generosity of a number of individual and institutional supporters—the new Middle East Galleries opened to the public. Tracing the story of the “journey to the city” in ancient Mesopotamia, these Galleries feature some of the Museum’s most iconic objects alongside many that have never before been exhibited. They tell the story of humanity—and the story of the Penn Museum, as they showcase our founding collection.
Before and after that date, however, work has been ongoing behind the construction walls, in conservation labs, and in off-site storage to prepare for the new Penn Museum. Here are some of the transformations that took place in 2017–18, with many more to come.
It is not just a place to display treasures—it is the treasure.
Amy Gutmann, speaking at the November 1 construction kickoff event
Explore the Middle East Galleries:
Explore the Phase One Construction: