The Golden Age of King Midas: Opening Day Celebration

Saturday 13 February 2016
10:00AM - 4:00PM
  Kids and Family

Golden age of King Midas

Penn Museum opens the world premiere exhibition The Golden Age of King Midas—featuring ancient treasures on loan from the Republic of Turkey—with a spectacular day-long public celebration, and an immersive experience into the world of the Phrygian ruler King Midas. A Phrygian fashion review with costumes flown direct from Turkey, traditional Turkish music and music in the “Phrygian mode” from the group David’s Harp, short lectures by Gordion scholars and the exhibition curator, and pop up mini-talks by Penn graduate students are included. Family-friendly activities include storytelling — featuring the timeless tale of King Midas and his golden touch — a pebble mosaic craft (Gordion boasts the oldest pebble mosaic in the world, a large section of which is in the new exhibition), a “Gordian Knot” making and cutting table (a bow to another Gordion story of another era), and even a Golden Touch tattoo station.

For the opening, Penn Museum’s Pepper Hall is transformed into a Kervansaray-inspired oasis reminiscent of the Turkish Kervansaray, or roadside inns, that offered travelers a place to recover from a day’s journey. Representatives from the Republic of Turkey join with the Museum staff to cut the “Gordian Knot” and open the new exhibition.

The King’s Schedule

11:00 am Cutting of the Gordian Knot, and Exhibition Opening
11:30 am Curator’s Lecture: "Recent Fieldwork at Gordion, Royal CIty of Midas” Dr. C. Brian Rose, Exhibition Curator and Gordion Project Director
12:00 pm Phrygian Fashion Review (Models walk through galleries)
12:30 pm Storytime: King Midas and the Golden Touch
1:00 pm Lecture: “Ancient Gordion, Modern Landscape” Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, Deputy Director, Gordion Project, and Anthropologist and Archaeologist
1:30pm Beginning at 1:30 pm, and then every 30 minutes afterwards, Penn graduate students will be giving brief talks about their current research in Gordion.
1:00 pm Lecture: “Ancient Gordion, Modern Landscape” Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, Deputy Director, Gordion Project, and Anthropologist and Archaeologist
3:00 pm David’s Harp: Phrygian Mode and Traditional Turkish Music
3:30 pm Lecture: “Exploring the City of Midas: The Penn Museum Gordion Project” Gareth Darbyshire, Gordion Archivist


  • Kervansaray-inspired oasis, courtesy of Material Culture in Philadelphia
  • Craft: Make a pebble mosaic
  • Golden Touch Tattoos

In the Pepper Mill Café

Turkish-inspired lunch menu and apple tea available for purchase.

In the Museum Shop

Discover an assortment of Turkish gifts and exhibition-inspired mementos for purchase


Admission to the special exhibition is an additional $5
Free to Museum members, children 5 and younger, and PennCard holders


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