This page includes information that may not reflect the current views and values of the Penn Museum.

About - Contributors

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California, organized this landmark exhibition of ancient art and artifacts traveling from Xinjiang Province, People’s Republic of China, in association with the Archaeological Institute of Xinjiang, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum in Urumqi, and the Cultural Heritage Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.


Secrets of the Silk Road began its U.S. tour at the Bowers Museum (March 27 to July 25), and moved on to the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences (August 28 to January 2, 2011).


The Penn Museum presentation of Secrets of the Silk Road features new exhibition text and interactive components focusing on the history of the Silk Road in the vast Tarim Basin in the Far Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, and developed by Penn Museum exhibition staff in close consultation with consulting scholar Dr. Victor Mair. 


Special thanks go to the Chinese authorities who made possible the traveling exhibition of cultural artifacts: Mr. Sheng Chun-Shou, Director of the Cultural Heritage Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; Mr. Aierken Mijiti, Standing Deputy Director, Cultural Heritage Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Director of the Office of Management, Committee of Cultural Heritage of Xinjiang; Mr. Zhang Yu Zhong, Vice Director of Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology; Mr. Tian Xianhong, Director of the Xinjiang Museum; and Mr. Li Jun, Chief of Office of the Cultural Heritage Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

About Bowers Museum, Exhibition Organizer
An internationally-known institution of art and culture dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of fine arts from around the world, the Bowers has organized many culturally significant exhibitions, including Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, Secrets World of the Forbidden City, Dead Sea Scrolls, Egyptian Treasures of the British Museum, and Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World.  To achieve its mission to “enrich lives through the world’s finest arts and cultures,” the Bowers offers exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children’s art and music education programs, and other community programs.  Its guiding philosophy is to help people learn about other cultures through their arts. The museum’s permanent collection is particularly strong in the areas of African, South Pacific, Asian, Native American, Pre-Columbian art, and California plein-air painting.

Victor Mair
Victor Mair
Consulting Curator
Penn Museum
Victor Mair is Consulting Curator for the Secrets of the Silk Road, as well as Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Pennsylvania.  Author of more than 10 books and well over 100 articles, Dr. Mair has spent much of his academic career researching pre-modern Sino-Indian and Sino-Iranian cultural relations.  Beginning in the fall of 1991, he organized an international, multi-disciplinary research project on the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age peoples of Eastern Central Asia, especially their desiccated remains and textiles.  His investigations on this subject have involved numerous expeditions to the region and culminated in a major conference drawing distinguished scholars from 15 nations, held at the Penn Museum in April 1996.  In 1997 and 1998, Dr. Mair worked with NOVA and the Discovery Channel on documentaries about the mummies of East Central Asia. His book on the topic, with J.P. Mallory, The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West (London and New York: Thames & Hudson) came out in 2000. He continues to conduct investigations into the origins, affiliations, languages, and cultures of the peoples of Eastern Central Asia.  Dr. Mair has also made major contributions to lexicography, including compilation of the first Chinese-English dictionary organized according to alphabetical order, and the first true etymological dictionary of Sinitic.
Read more

Richard Hodges

Richard Hodges, O.B.E., Ph.D.
Williams Director
Penn Museum

Richard Hodges is a leading classical and early medieval archaeologist specializing in western Europe with a deep interest in cultural heritage issues and activities, Dr. Hodges has held positions as Director of the Institute of World Archaeology at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and as director of both The Prince of Walesí Institute of Architecture in London, and The British School in Rome.† For more than a decade, he has worked extensively on archaeological and cultural heritage projects in Albania, including the creation of a large cultural heritage institute in Tirana and an archaeological museum and cultural heritage park in Butrint. In the last three years at the Penn Museum, he has focused on publishing excavation and study results of the Museumís extensive research projects, in print and online, to reach a world-wide audience, and upgrading the Museumís research, exhibition and public programming capacities to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Secrets of the Silk Road represents a first major traveling exhibition program undertaken by the Museum.

Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn
Head of Exhibits/Lead Designer Penn Museum

Kate Quinn, leads the Penn Museum Exhibition Team on the Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition. She and her team worked with Victor Mair and the Bowers Museum to create a narrative for the material best suited for a family audience. With families in mind, Ms. Quinn leads her team in developing engaging interactive elements and stunning visual displays to produce an overall alluring museum experience. Ms. Quinn joined the Penn Museum's Exhibition Department in early 2008. She leads the Exhibition Team of Ed Mooney, Project Manager; Allison Francies, Exhibit Developer; Kevin Schott, Exhibit/Program Developer; Matt Applebaum, Graphic Designer; Lauren Duguid, Exhibit Designer; Aaron Billheimer, Exhibit Technician; Ben Neiditz, Exhibit Fabricator; and Courtney O'Brien, Exhibit Facilitator.  Having designed for the Philadelphia Flower Show, the Design Philadelphia! symposium, Fox Television, and others, Kate joined the Penn Museum directly from the Delaware Art Museum.  At Penn Museum, Ms. Quinn led the design and development of Iraq's Ancient Past, Righteous Dopefiend, Painted Metaphors, Fulfilling a Prophecy, and many others.  She holds a BFA in Theatrical Design and an MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design.

Matt Applebaum

Exhibit Graphic Designer
Penn Museum

Matt Applebaum, a graduate of the Communications Design Program at Syracuse University, is a strategic creative-process oriented designer with experience in branding, exhibition design, publication design, advertising, and corporate identity work. He has held design positions at Penguin Publishing (NY, NY), Cloud Gehshan and Associates (Philadelphia, PA), Studioeec (West Chester, PA), Fabbros Design (Wilmington, DE), and Penn Museum (Philadelphia, PA). Matt also has extensive experience working in the non-profit sector including the Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia, PA), The Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia, PA), and ArtsQuest (Bethlehem, PA). He has also taught art classes at local non-profit art centers on the topics of: letterpress printing, mixed media techniques, and mural arts projects.

Aaron Billheimer
Exhibition Technician
Penn Museum

Aaron Graduated in 2004 from Penn State University with a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting. An avid student of technology and active participant in the "Maker" movement, Aaron is a computer and bicycle designer. His recent film work includes "Development", a documentary on the rural Bangladeshi non-profit, Uttarran.

Lauren Duguid
Exhibition Designer
Penn Museum

Lauren Duguid received her BFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. In 2010, she received her MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where she focused on integrating the arts and the sciences within museum exhibitions. She currently works with Keith Ragone Studio as a graphics assistant for museum exhibitions. Prior to her work with the Penn Museum, she held an internship at the Chemical Heritage Foundation where she worked as an exhibition developer with Marge Gapp, the Curator of Art and Images. She has also provided exhibition consultation for the EPA.

Allison Francies
Exhibit Developer
Penn Museum

Allie Francies spent time in the exhibits department of the Franklin Institute before joining the Penn Museum staff as an exhibit developer. She received her MA in Museum Communication from the University of the Arts in 2008, focusing her study on how narratives can be used to create engaging, relevant exhibits. Before coming to the museum world, she work as a scenic carpenter and lighting designer for theater and television. She received her BA in technical theater from West Chester University in 2001. †

Edward Mooney
Project Manager
Penn Museum

Ed Mooney is originally from Philadelphia, but now lives in Bethlehem, PA with his wife and two children. He holds a BFA in Fiber from Temple Universityís, Tyler School of Art, an MA in Museum Professions from Seton Hall University, and an MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from University of the Arts. Prior to his role as Project Manager-Exhibits at the Penn Museum, Ed served as the Director of Exhibits at the National Canal Museum in Easton Pennsylvania.

Ben Neiditz
Exhibit Carpenter
Penn Museum
Ben Neiditz received his BA in Political Science (with a minor in Studio Art) from Vassar College in 2004. Since then he has done human rights work in Palestine, taught art workshops in Philadelphia prisons and worked on a range of design/build projects including theater sets, museum exhibits and public sculpture. Before coming to the Penn Museum, Ben worked for two years as an exhibit fabricator and technician at the Please Touch Museum. †

Courtney O'Brien
Exhibitions Assistant
Penn Museum

Courtney O'Brien received her BA in History and a French minor from West Chester University in 2009. In 2008, she studied in Cannes, France studying French, Art History, and French Civilization. While studying in France, she also volunteered during the Cannes Film Festival, raising AIDS awareness for the renowned organization, amfAR. Since graduation, she has interned and worked at the Penn Museum. Working in the Exhibits department, she takes on many different tasks such as gallery maintenance, assistance in development, and assistance in preparation work.

Kevin Schott
Exhibit Developer
Penn Museum

Kevin Schott has worked in the education departments of several Philadelphia museums including the Museum of the American Philosophical Society and National Liberty Museum.†He received his BA in History and Secondary Education from the College of New Jersey in 2004 and his MA in Museum Education from the University of the Arts in 2006. Education has taken him around the world, including teaching in Thailand and a two-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Jordan.† He also serves on Board of the Friends of Jordan as the groupís Program Manager, and a faculty member of the HomeSkooled Gallery.