The Penn Museum transforms understanding of the human experience. This is our mission, one that we carry out every day in our galleries, labs, field sites, programs, and classrooms. Since its founding in 1887, the Museum has been a place of discovery. We house and care for a collection of more than one million objects from around the world, many of them excavated by Penn archaeologists—from artifacts that reveal our first existence on earth to the largest Sphinx you can see in the western hemisphere. We invite you to immerse yourself in these objects and their stories, and discover your place in the great arc of human history.
Discovery is what keeps the Penn Museum a dynamic place. We support active excavation and research sites—in FY2017, 43 projects in 21 countries—as well as in labs right here in the Museum. And we share our discoveries so that you can make your own: I encourage you to explore not only our galleries and exhibitions but also the Digital Penn Museum, where you can delve into our collections, watch films and lectures, and dig deeper into the human story.
In Fall 2017, we began our Building Transformation project, which will renovate and reimagine over 44,000 square feet of space here at the Museum. We have already opened spectacular new galleries of the Middle East; new galleries featuring our signature collections from Mexico & Central America, Africa will follow in Fall 2019, and from Egypt & Nubia (modern-day Sudan) in the years to follow. The Building Trasnformation will also add important visitor amenities like air conditioning, elevators, and restrooms; create a new entrance experience and gallery spaces; completely renovate the historic Harrison Auditorium. It will be a stunning transformation—a new Penn Museum.
We are committed to remaining open during construction, because at the Museum, there is always something fascinating to see and something new to discover. We will always be a place of wonder for everyone—for all visitors, from students in our K–12 programs to lifelong learners, from our Philadelphia community to global audiences. I hope that you will explore our collections and make your own discoveries.
Julian Siggers, Ph.D.
The Penn Museum transforms understanding of the human experience.
Archaeology is the study of objects made by humans. From the first traces of our earliest human ancestors to 21st-century buildings, archaeology analyzes the physical remains created or modified by people in pursuit of a broad understanding of our human experience.
Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. [Definition courtesy of the American Anthropological Association]
Board of Overseers
The Penn Museum gratefully acknowledges the leadership and support of the following members of its Board of Overseers, as of July 2018:
- Michael J. Kowalski, W74, PAR, Chairman
- Robert M. Baylis
- David Brownlee, Ph.D. (ex-officio)
- David T. Clancy, W70
- Dana Eisman Cohen, C88, PAR
- William L. Conrad, PAR
- Edward Fernberger, Jr., W71
- Peter C. Ferry, C79, PAR
- Steven J. Fluharty, Ph.D., C79, GR81, PAR (ex-officio)
- Peter G. Gould, Ph.D., LPS10
- Ghislain Gouraige, Jr., C80, PAR
- Ingrid A. Graham
- Amy Gutmann, Ph.D. (ex-officio)
- H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D., G98, GR04
- Stacey Rosner Lane, Esquire, C80, GR13, PAR
- Diane v.S. Levy
- Bruce Mainwaring, C47, PAR (emeritus)
- Frederick J. Manning, W69, PAR
- Geraldine Paier, Ph.D., HUP66, NU68, GNU85, GR94
- William L. Potter, WG88, PAR
- Wendell Pritchett, Ph.D. (ex-officio)
- Barbara W. Riley
- Eric J. Schoenberg, Ph.D., GEN93, WG93, PAR
- David A. Schwartz, M.D.
- Julian Siggers, Ph.D. (ex-officio)
- Adam D. Sokoloff, W84, PAR
- Matthew J. Storm, C94, WG00
- Gregory Annenberg Weingarten
- Jill Topkis Weiss, C89, WG93, PAR
- Charles K. Williams II, Ph.D., GR78, HON97 (emeritus)
Other Volunteer Groups
The Penn Museum gratefully acknowledges the contributions of time, talent, and financial support of the members of the following volunteer groups, as of July 2018:
- Peter G. Gould, Ph.D., LPS10, Chair
- Arthur J. Burke, Esquire, C89, W89
- Lawrence S. Coben, Ph.D., G03, GR12
- Carrie Cox, PAR
- Isabella de la Houssaye
- Douglas T. Dietrich, WG00
- Luis Fernandez-Moreno, WMP89
- Judy Brick Freedman, Ph.D.
- Catherine Giventer, C95
- Bryan R. Harris, C83
- John C. Hover II, C65, WG67
- Andrea R. Kramer, Esquire, L76, PAR
- Sharon N. Lorenzo
- Marco L. Lukesch, C01, W01
- Joseph E. Lundy, Esquire, W65
- Gregory S. Maslow, M.D., C68 M72 GM77, PAR
- John J. Medveckis, PAR
- Carlos L. Nottebohm, W64, PAR
- Patrick M. Oates, Ph.D.
- Adolf A. Paier, W60
- George R. Pitts, Ph.D., GR77
- J. Barton Riley, W70, PAR
- Brian P. Tierney, C79, PAR
- Samuel Phineas Upham, Ph.D., WG05, GRW06
- Nina Robinson Vitow, CW70, WG76
- Carl Weiss, PAR
- John Wind, C83, WF14
- Diane Dalto Woosnam
- Nanou Zayan, C73, PAR
- David B. Brownlee, Ph.D., Chair
Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
- Rebecca Bushnell, Ph.D.
School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
- Timothy Corrigan, Ph.D.
Professor of English (Cinema Studies), University of Pennsylvania
- Dennis DeTurck, Ph.D.
Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor of Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania
- Oliver St. Clair Franklin O.B.E.
Investment analyst (former President of International House)
- Terry Gillen
- Derek Gillman
Distinguished Visiting Professor, Visual Studies, Drexel University
- Susan Glassman
Director, Wagner Free Institute
- Jane Golden
Executive Director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
- Walter Licht, Ph.D.
Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History and Civic House Faculty Advisor, University of Pennsylvania
- Will Noel, Ph.D.
Director, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania
- Karen Redrobe, Ph.D.
Jaffe Professor of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
- Joseph J. Rishel, Ph.D.
Emeritus Curator of European Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Ralph M. Rosen, Ph.D.
Rose Family Endowed Term Professor of Classical Studies, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Annual Report 2016-2017
The Penn Museum strives to transform understanding of the human experience by sharing our collections and research with many visitors—in our galleries and exhibitions, through programs, and online. In 2016–2017, the Museum expanded our digital resources, including our first online learning course and more remote learning programs for schools thousands of miles away. We created new forums for public dialogue and exploration, added accessibility programs and features, and continued to craft special exhibitions that showcase our collections and research in new ways. Read the 2016–2017 Annual Report to learn more about how our research, teaching, programming, and educational initiatives work each day to make the Penn Museum a museum of everyone, for everyone.