University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Butterfly Maiden Katsina: What Makes an Object Beautiful?

By: Margaret Bruchac

Object Analysis by Anastasia Hutnick Some Native objects can inspire awe in non-Native viewers, much in the way that one might respond to a fine work of art without knowing the cultural background of the imagery. The most intriguing objects (in my professor’s opinion) are those that “remind us of what came before” and that […]

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Are We Hard Wired To Collect?

Deer, Parrot, Chief, and Owl katsinam in the Wolf collection.

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

When talking to school kids visiting the Museum, I love to ask them if they collect anything?  Their hands fly up in the air and they eagerly describe their personal treasures of rocks, key chains, Pokemon or baseball cards, bottle caps, and state quarters. When I was a kid I collected stuffed octopi.  Seriously – […]

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Hopi Seed Jar [Object of the Day #40]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

This Seed Jar was crafted by the Hopi people from the region of Arizona. The jar is decorated with iconography of squash blossoms, dragonflies, and ears of corn. In 1932, Mary-Russel Ferrell Colton founded the Hopi Craftsman Exhibition. This project was designed to stimulate the creation of American Indian objects thus broadening the market for […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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