Penn Museum Building campaign

Egypt & Nubia Galleries

Ancient Egypt and Nubia come to life at the Penn Museum. Acquired mainly through Penn’s own archaeological research over the last century, the collection illuminates 5,000 years of magnificent, ancient civilizations. It is renowned for monumental architecture from the only pharaonic palace outside of Egypt, the largest Sphinx in the western hemisphere, and mummies both human and animal. In the new Egypt & Nubia Galleries, visitors will come face to face with life and death in the ancient world as never before.

Opened in 1926, the Museum’s Egyptian Galleries have inspired wonder in tens of thousands of visitors. But without the architectural integrity to sustain the weight of the colossal palace elements, the galleries have yet to fulfill their potential to awe visitors with the majesty and ingenuity of ancient Egyptian engineering. Now, through the Building Transformation Campaign, the Penn Museum will achieve new heights: the installation of the columns and portal from the 13th-century-BCE palace of the pharaoh Merenptah. Installed at full height for the first time since its excavation, 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.

Iconic gallery spaces will become light-filled, stimulating environments that inspire learning and showcase the creativity and prowess of ancient Egyptian cultures. Important pieces will be spotlighted and put in rich new context, drawing on the Museum’s ongoing expansion of knowledge through active fieldwork. Visitors will journey to the realm of Osiris through the large Mummies and the Afterlife Gallery at the heart of the lower floor, then walk into the intact tomb chapel of Kaipure and marvel at its rich decorations, still colorful after 4,300 years. They will explore ancient Egyptians’ contributions to the developments of writing, literature, law, architecture, urban planning, mathematics, and other sciences through artifacts including a remarkable collection of papyri displayed for the first time. On the upper floor, visitors will marvel at the soaring 23-foot columns and portal of the majestic palace of Merenptah in a new Kingship in Ancient Egypt Gallery, then encounter the great kingdom of Nubia through two new galleries showcasing one of the largest collections of Nubian artifacts in the United States. Newly dynamic educational and public programs will energize the galleries and encourage curiosity in visitors of all ages.

To support the creation of inspiring new Egypt & Nubia Galleries, the Museum seeks partners in transformation for their design, construction, and reinstallation. Funds will also support conservation, new technology in the galleries, compact storage, a new research and study center, and visitor amenities.


Ready to make transformation possible?

GIVE NOW

Recognition opportunities in the new Egyptian Galleries begin at $25,000.
For more information, please contact the Penn Museum Major Gifts Office at amandamb@upenn.edu or 215.898.4031.

Find out more about the Building Transformation Campaign.


Penn Museum Object Number: E15708

Penn Museum Object Number: E9396

Penn Museum Object Number: E12615A