Penn Museum Building campaign

Impact

The Penn Museum can foster connection and empathy by instilling a fundamental understanding of what unites us now—and has through time.

The Palace of Merenptah—the only pharaonic palace outside of Egypt—is a crowning feature of the Museum’s world-renowned Egyptian collection. Its columns and other architectural elements will be relocated and installed at full height in the soaring top-floor gallery, where visitors will be able to experience for the first time this majestic fusion of art and engineering displayed in its original, awe-inspiring monumentality. The Palace will spark new understanding about the ancient world and provide an unparalleled centerpiece that will draw new audiences to all the Museum has to share.

In all, the Penn Museum’s Building Transformation Campaign will see the reinstallation of more than 44,000 square feet of permanent galleries to an international museum standard rivalling any in the world. Visitors will find their place in the great arc of human history, and grasp powerful connections between life now and in the ancient past. In revealing what binds past and present, near and far, the Penn Museum will inspire openness, insight, and compassion across all cultures and backgrounds.

Engaging with objects from other times and cultures sparks imagination and learning at every age, in schoolchildren, in graduate students, and beyond. The Academic Engagement Program, through its outreach to Penn students and faculty, has the potential to move teaching and learning beyond content knowledge to address the fundamentals of learning. The unique and compelling artifacts in our galleries inspire curiosity, when a student is driven to learn more about an object or a culture that he or she has never before encountered. Objects prompt a multitude of questions—what was this used for? Who made it? How did it come to be in the Museum?—and are an ideal means by which to pursue further inquiry. From offering gallery tours in Portuguese to inviting accounting majors to conduct independent research on an ancient abacus, the Museum aims to make sure that every student can discover more through the arts of the ancient world.


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