The Museum Takes Inventory*

By: F. G. R.

Originally Published in 1950

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In the Museum Bulletin for June 1948 I reported the decision of the Board of Managers and the University Administration to reestablish a complete staff in all departments of the Museum and to renew an extensive research program abroad. This decision was made in spite of the uncertainties of an ominous world situation. Now at the end of 1950 we are in a new kind of undeclared war which increases the uncertainties of planned research, not only because we cannot predict the areas of conflict but because many of our men may be called up at any time. Nevertheless, we believe that research in the humanities is still essential and should continue as long as possible. I am pleased to report that our staff has been fully completed, our expeditions in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, Middle America and Alaska have been carried out with considerable success, and we are continuing as agreed in the long-range plans of 1947.

A facade in a hill, crude stairs leading to it.
Museum Expeditions.
Part of stucco relief sculpture on Str. A6-2nd, Benque Viejo (Xunan Tunich), British Honduras.

It occurs to me that the members and friends of the Museum who read these Bulletins would like to know what we are really driving at abroad and at home. No one person, of course, determines the principles upon which we work; they are rather an outgrowth of the discussions among members of the staff and among members of the Board of Managers. In this report I should like to project an account of our current work against the background of the Museum’s past in order more clearly to define these principles. We are continuing, I believe, in the traditions which have made this institution world famous as one of the few great museums exclusively concerned with the study of man.

Last November, with Fuad Safar of the Iraq Department of Antiquities, I crossed from Baghdad on the Tigris to Hilla, near Babylon, on the Euphrates, and then drove south through the western desert of Iraq to the ancient city of Nippur. This is in a sense the birthplace of the University Museum. Late in the year 1888 a party of six Americans, with a troop of Turkish soldiers, made the same trip on horseback to begin the first full-scale American excavations in the Near East, and the first of the many investigations into the history of man carried out from that time onward, by the University Museum. They encamped on top of the Nippur mounds in constant fear of attack by the long rifle-firing Arab tribesmen whom the then-ruling Turks had not suppressed. In fact, Americans and Turks were forced by the Arabs to withdraw that first year, but they returned almost immediately, to work for the better part of the next ten years. Today the independent Iraqi Arabs welcome us, and the jeeps of the Nippur expedition meet the camels and horses of the Arabs on the narrow trail between Afeq and the Nippur mounds in good-natured familiarity. It is the story of the years between 1888 and 1950 which gives meaning to our present work and which will help to explain our objectives.

From the great pits dug into the ruins of ancient Nippur more than fifty years ago, now partially filled by desert sand storms, have come the famous clay tablets written almost 2000 years before the birth of Christ, which contain Sumerian myths like that of the “Paradise of the Gods.” At this single site our expeditions have found more than three-fourths of the total known records of the world’s oldest literature.

In the sixty-two years since our work in the Near East began, this museum has excavated many other ancient sites, rich in art objects and other prime material for exhibits, as well as in equally important but less glamorous pots and tools. These include Tepe Gawra, Tel Billa, Khafaje, Beisan, and Ur of the Chaldees. Not all of them together have produced more than a tenth of the religious and literary tablets which came out of one small mound at Nippur. This is why the Museum returned with the Oriental Institute, in 1948, to continue the search for these actual written records of men who were first learning the complexities of national economy, defense, scientific investigation, legal procedure, moral and social regulations, and political stability, in an urban civilization, and had discovered how to write about them. In the present excavation of the temple of Enlil, god of the air, and of the scribe’s quarter of the city, we are continuing to piece together the story of man’s earliest civilization. In the field we are finding bits of this story which fill in hitherto undecipherable fragments excavated and stored in the Museum before 1900, so that work in the field and in the Museum combine in writing a history begun in 1888.

While the original diggers in Iraq were settling their difficulties with Arab tribesmen and excavating some 30,000 clay tablets, together with pottery, stone objects and oilier artifacts made by the men of ancient Nippur, a group of “public-spirited gentlemen of Philadelphia” joined with the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to establish a museum for the collections from that first expedition. At first the Museum was a part of the University Library, where the Nippur finds were displayed, together with various objects from other parts of the world comprising the “Museum of American Archaeology.” Then, in 1899, it was moved to a building which now forms part of its present structure. There can be no doubt that these gentlemen of Philadelphia were moved by that vision of adventure in the study of ancient men which is equally compelling to us now. Their intellectual excitement still reaches us in the letters and documents which attempt to define their objectives, and their phrase “original research into the history of man” still directs our recent investigations.

Last spring we here at the Museum received a report that our expedition in Turkey, in its first day of excavation, had discovered a hoard of gold jewellery in the tomb of a Phrygian buried some six or seven hundred years before our era. There is nothing more exciting than the discovery of archaeological gold because, unlike most other objects long buried, it usually reappears as fresh and shiny as a new ring from the jewellery store. But in addition to nicely preserved objects of art, this and other tombs promised to shed new light on the Phrygian people, whose capital at Gordian is famed in legend as the place where Alexander cut the Gordian knot on his way to rule Asia. The Phrygians wrote inscriptions in an alphabet obviously related to Greek, but in a language which we scholars are not yet able to “crack.” If Alexander ever did cut the knot as recorded in legend, that was, of course, in the fourth century B.C. We are interested in a period at least four centuries earlier, when the Phrygians are described in Greek legend as a wealthy powerful people of Anatolia, in the highlands which are now central Turkey. Just who these Phrygians were and when their various migrations took place are questions still to be solved. Their appearance in Anatolia seems to have coincided with the fall of the Hittite Empire there, and it may be that they were partly responsible for the downfall of this powerful state. It is highly probable that the Phrygians transmitted to Greece elements of culture from the Hittite Empire. When Gordion and other sites have given us a fuller knowledge of this little-known people, we will be better able to gauge the extent of their contribution to the Greek culture of the eighth and seventh centuries. Then we can give to the Phrygians, already prominent in legends like that of Midas and his golden daughter, their proper place in history.

This past season of excavation at Gordion has shown that the city was occupied for some 2500 years, mostly before the time of the Roman Empire, and that a very large part of the deposits are of the Phrygian period. Parts of temples, city walls, and other structures are exposed. Pottery, bronze, and stone objects mark known epochs extending from the Bronze Age to Roman times. It is clearly the place to study the little-known Phrygian period, and we now can proceed with confidence to more extended excavation of the city and the tombs.

Within sight of the south coast of Turkey lies the Island of Cyprus which for thousands of years has been a kind of cross-roads between the Near East, Egypt, Anatolia and Greece. On its south coast facing Egypt stood a beautiful Roman port city known as Curium, which died in the fifth century A.D. after a devastating earthquake. Today, as a result of ten years of work by the University Museum, something of its beauty and much of its original plan have been recovered. Moreover, we now know that, like Gordion, it was the site of a succession of cities extending from Bronze Age to Roman times. Even Neolithic people lived there at least 4000 years before Christ. Limited excavations are still in progress.

The continuity of culture and tradition is unusually striking in work at an island site like Curium. Here, in the immediate neighbourhood of the modern village of Episkopi, lie the successive settlements of Neolithic Curium, Bronze Age Curium, and the city and sanctuary of Greek and Roman times. Finally, we have here one of the earliest known Christian churches, built-just before the earthquake which killed the city-by Cypriots inspired by the memory of a visit of St. Paul, and decorated with the lovely mosaics of the early Christian period. These settlements are not superimposed one upon the other as at so many ancient sites, but are scattered from place to place, evidence that shifts in the occupied area took place from time to time in accordance with the needs for water supply, the requirements of defense, and other practical considerations. It is interesting to note that the people of Neolithic times lived right at the biggest spring in the area; in more sophisticated times it was possible to pipe water elsewhere. This will come as no surprise to those moderns who tend to equate “civilization” with plumbing.

As in the Near East, so in the Mediterranean, some of the earliest American excavations were carried out by the University Museum. Perhaps the best-known of these early excavations is that at Gournia in Crete, where shortly after 1900 we laid bare a large number of the well-preserved houses of the Minoans, those curiously sophisticated people ruled by the sea kings of Crete during the second and third millennia before the Christian era. At Gournia we found none of the splendour of the Palace of Knossos, but every evidence of civilized living. There, among the ruins of houses built by ordinary Minoan citizens, the traveler of today must sense, as I did in 1938, the strange continuity in the lives of the people of Crete even from times so remote that they were only dimly remembered by the Homeric Greeks.

Other excavations by the University Museum at Pseira, Vasiliki, Pachyammos and Vrokastro-all in Crete-served further to illustrate the way of life of these remote times. The more familiar world of the Roman Republic and the early Empire was illustrated by excavations at Minturnae in Italy.

Most of these researches in the Mediterranean world and in the Near East, have had to do with the origin and development of western civilization, that complex body of custom, knowledge and tradition which now supports the modern industrial age of Europe and America. For many years these fields of archaeological research were specialized branches of the study of ancient history, language, and fine arts, scholarly disciplines considered quite separate from the general study of man’s development in Africa, Asia, and America. But with the rise of anthropology, and the intensification of archaeological research in more remote regions of the world, we have gradually come to look upon the Classical World of the Mediterranean and the ancient civilizations of the Near East simply as two of the many centres of cultural development, differing only in degree from such centres as those in the Andes, on the Yellow River, the Nile, the Indus, and in the tropical jungle of Central America. The University Museum in particular has made a fundamental contribution to this broader world view of early history, largely because it has combined in one institution researches in the Classical World, the Biblical lands, Egypt, the Far East, the New World, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. Moreover, it has combined the study of the world’s living primitive peoples with archaeological studies of ancient people, both primitive and civilized. It is this world view in the study of man which is characterized by the emblem on the Museum Monographs, an Egyptian warrior facing a warrior of the Aztec.

Rodney Young and Ellen Kohler of the Mediterranean Section in the University Museum's Classical Gallery
Museum Exhibitions. The New Classical Gallery.
Image Number: 41293

Early last spring, while excavations proceeded at Nippur and Gordion, a third expedition was sent into British Honduras in order to locate an Old Empire Maya site where we could most easily investigate the organization of a Maya city. The ancient Maya lived under a hierarchic system in which a complex of great public buildings serving the priesthood and the rulers was supported by a corn-growing agricultural community. There is much debate about the size and the nature of these self-sustaining areas in what is now inhospitable bush and forest country. At present we know more about the religion and the architectural triumphs of the Maya than we do of the organization and the daily lives of the people. This past season of investigation in British Honduras succeeded in locating a site known as Cayo X, which has a relatively small ceremonial centre and a manageable sustaining area and is therefore a satisfactory site for such a detailed study. Moreover, this reconnaissance also resulted in the discovery of new stone monuments at a site known as Caracol, and at a third site, Benque Viejo, a remarkable and well-preserved sculptured façade in stucco. The stone monuments of Caracol not only retain fine relief carvings of Maya priests, but inscriptions which make it possible to date the site and add to our growing knowledge of Maya writing. The sculptured façade at Benque Viejo, preserved by later Maya building, is perhaps the finest example of this type of architectural decoration so far known from the Old Empire period. We are now discussing plans for excavation at one or all of these Maya cities during the coming season.

In spite of many years of exploration and excavation in the Maya area of Central America, relatively few people, except those who have visited a Maya ruin, are fully aware of the extent, the beauty, and the degree of civilization attained by these aboriginal Americans in their jungle cities. Comparable to the ancient cities of the Old World, they represent another centre of high cultural development where men had learned to record their beliefs and ideas, as well as their surprisingly accurate knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. This high development in science and the arts in a now isolated region in Central America has led to many wild speculations, assuming a close historic connection between the Maya and Old World centres of early cultural achievement such as Southeast Asia, India, and the Nile valley. Yet the student of the Maya sees them simply as pre-eminent in the general Middle American culture pattern. What, if any, historic connection exists between this general pattern and civilizations of the Old World is still a matter of conjecture.

The Museum’s research in Middle America, as well as in the Andean centre of aboriginal American civilization, was begun early in the century, so that it is now some fifty years since we began coordinated work in the Old and the New Worlds. Like the Mediterranean, the Maya area was a literate centre of ancient civilization, with dated records to help modern scholars in their reconstructions. As yet, these records have been only partially deciphered: the date structure has been worked out, but not the facts recorded. Yet the presence of such records, together with the accounts by Spanish writers of a civilization still flourishing at the time of the Conquest, place the Maya at one remove from pure prehistory, and make of Middle American research an adventure in quasi-historic archaeology. Because we have pioneered in this field of semi-historic archaeology, at least as far as American institutions are concerned, and have sent so many expeditions into the area, our present program is based upon a conviction that much of our future work should be done in that branch of the study of man.

Two of the most famous sites excavated by the Museum in the American field are the temple area of Pachacamac in Peru, which laid the foundation for scientific archaeology in the Andean area, and Piedras Negras, which has produced the exquisite Maya sculpture in the University Museum’s new Middle American gallery and in the National Museum in Guatemala City. At another site, in Coclé, Panama, we discovered a large part of the brilliant collection of gold objects in the remodelled American gold room at our main entrance.

Three of the Museum’s expeditions since 1948 have been concerned with the study of Early Man both in the Old and the New Worlds. This is a special field of investigation which the Museum entered early in this century but did not fully develop until 1932. At that time, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, systematic studies were begun in the western United States and in Russia. The Folsom and Yuma types of flint implements found at sites in the High Plains region of the western United States are associated with extinct animals and are presumed to have been made by men who lived in the upper Palaeolithic period following the last great ice advance. An attempt was made at that time to link the most ancient artifacts of man in America with Palaeolithic types found in association with the corresponding geological period in Siberia and Europe. Our most recent research of this kind, in 1949 and 1950, was carried on at a Yuma site in Wyoming, in collaboration with Princeton University, and in the Bering Straits region of Alaska in collaboration with the Danish National Museum and the University of Alaska. In both regions we have found important new evidence of Early Man in America, and for the first time, in Alaska, clear evidence of the long-discussed theory of migration of Old World hunters via the Bering Straits to North America. The time-horizon of these ancient hunters in the Arctic is not yet known, but we hope this can be determined soon by means of the new technique of radioactive carbon analysis, developed in atomic research, which now makes it possible to fix with some certainty the actual age of organic remains up to 20,000 years old.

Similar studies of Early Man in the Old World were begun in Iran in 1949 and carried on through 19S0. We expect to continue in 1951. Our expeditions, working in limestone caves in Northern Iran, have found the first extensive deposits of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic artifacts in Iran. These link the Middle East with Western Europe in the Mousterian epoch, and extend our knowledge of Palaeolithic man much farther toward the east in this part of the world. Moreover, in a stratified deposit in Belt cave, northern Iran, containing Mesolithic and Neolithic implements, we have found evidence of very ancient agricultural economy. It happens that in this cave there was an unusual concentration of flint implements and animal bones representing thousands of years of accumulation. The stratigraphy, the number of objects, and the length of time represented have made possible new methods of studying the remains of men who lived at the beginning of the Neolithic epoch, an age which has been described as man’s most creative period.

Also in Iran our expeditions are carrying on the studies in cultural anthropology which have been an integral part of the Museum’s research since 1895. In that year one of our earliest expeditions began studies of the Dyak tribes in Borneo and the natives of the Ryukyu Islands (including Okinawa) lying between Japan and Formosa. Since that time we have had expeditions among the Araucanian Indians of Chile, among many tribes of the Amazon basin, with the nomadic tribes of the Siberian tundra, with the Eskimos of Alaska, numerous Indian tribes in the United States, on the west coast of Africa, and in the Pacific Islands. Out of these expeditions have grown the collections in the African, Pacific, and American Indian galleries, and the many volumes of Museum publications describing the life of contemporary primitives throughout the world.

During the early part of this century it was customary to study remote and isolated primitives as anachronistic survivors of the ancient past. Today we see them more as isolated communities in an industrial world, no more, nor less, interesting to the cultural anthropologist than any other community of human beings, simply easier to understand because less complex.

Isolated tribes now being studied in northern Iran are not primitive in the sense of the prevailing thought in 1900, but are rather people who have not been submerged by the common pattern of western civilization and who retain most of their traditions from another age. It is this change of attitude and interest which accounts in part for our current program for study of the Moslem people as a whole, both in North Africa and the Near East. Another reason is the increasing responsibility of the United States to these “underprivileged” nations and the need of accurate anthropological information about them.

Associated with cultural anthropology is the study of non-European languages. Shortly before 1900 the Museum was presented with the Brinton library of archaeology and linguistics which contained priceless manuscripts from Berendt’s library on Mayan and other American Indian languages. With this library for use in the study of American Indian languages it is not surprising that the Museum has continued linguistic studies until the present time. Study of the Tepehuan language of Northern Mexico was begun in 1948 following studies of the Papago language of Arizona, just completed, and we expect the work in Mexico to continue.

Additional work in cultural anthropology is also being sponsored by the Museum among another Indian group, the people of the Northwest Coast. The research here during the past two years has been in connection with cultural dynamics as observed in the changing behaviour of the Tlingit Indians under the influence of western civilization. It reflects a new point of view in cultural anthropology, in contrast with that of the period shortly after 1915 when an earlier student of Northwest Coast culture, himself a Tlingit Indian, built up the collection now in the Northwest Coast gallery.

The Egyptian galleries of the Museum will always be associated with the name of Eckley B. Coxe, Jr., a young Philadelphian whose lifelong interest in the Egyptians led to a whole series of excavations in the Nile Valley, the construction of a wing of the Museum to house the huge stone monuments from Egypt, and the endowment to support our studies in this field. Excavations were begun at Buben and Karanog in Nubiain 1907 and continued during the next fifteen years at Memphis, Dendereh, Thebes, and Giza. The monumental job of publishing the results of all these expeditions is still in process-studies of Dendereh are just now being completed-but new expeditions to the Nile Valley are, for the time being, impossible. The wave of nationalism current in much of the world has resulted in the exclusion of foreign excavators from that particular region. But it is one of our major fields and we hope that the future will see the Museum again working in this centre of Old World civilization.

A large part of the Far East is also closed to us for the time being. In the years from 1915 to 1918 we had two expeditions in Japan, Korea, and the Yellow River region of China, with the express purpose of determining the best locations for a long-range research program. It has a strangely familiar sound to read that “due to China’s frequent internal disturbances this region was . . . at the time of both expeditions unsafe for travel.” Also that the Museum fully intended to work in that field “as soon as a return of sufficiently stable conditions shall permit.” The political obstacles to work in China in 1916 now seem very minor indeed.

That original reconnaissance in China, however, must have stimulated the collection of Buddhist sculpture of the T’ang period (7th to 10th centuries A.D.) which has made our Chinese gallery famous. It is said to contain one of the finest collections of Chinese sculpture in the world. Although it is unlikely that similar collections of objects from this Golden Age of Chinese art can again be made at this late date, we know that China remains one of the most promising fields for original discovery in the study of man. For that matter the land mass extending from the taiga of Siberia to the mountains of Siam and from the Kurile Islands to the highlands of Kham undoubtedly will be the most exciting field for future generations of Museum diggers.

Approximately 40% of the costs of these expeditions since 1948 has been supplied by foundations and other private sources, 60% from the income of the Museum’s endowed funds.

The emphasis so far in this report has been upon research because it is the base upon which the Museum was founded. But it is also a public institution containing Philadelphia’s major collections of ancient and primitive art. As a public museum we have an educational function quite separate from and in addition to our responsibility as a branch of the University of Pennsylvania. We who are members of the staff are convinced that our studies of the history and behaviour of human beings must be described and explained in such a manner that they reach the intelligent reading public as well as the University student. This can be done, we believe, in three ways-through our department of education, in publications written by the staff for the general public, and by means of exhibitions which are at once instructive and artistic.

Educational departments of museums are usually associated with the instruction of school children who are led like small bands of well-disciplined sheep through a maze of glass cases filled with queer objects from unpronounceable places. But we have found that children, particularly up to the age of puberty, form part of our most appreciative public, and that they are just people like anyone else. We believe that the educational department is as much concerned with adults as with children. Perhaps education is the wrong word. In reality, this branch of the Museum attempts to translate the sometimes obscure, and often highly specialized studies of the Museum into clear-cut knowledge of man’s behaviour and man’s past. Because many thousands of children are brought to the Museum each year in groups from the city’s schools, systematic instruction is necessary, and is given in classrooms where teaching is enlivened by slides, movies, and recordings, and where the children can handle specially selected objects from our collections. But the children have, too, the free run of the Museum, and they come in hundreds by themselves to play instructional games in the galleries, to sketch, to see documentary and travel movies, or just to visit the galleries as do adults. It is not necessary to “talk down” to the children, only necessary to say clearly what we mean, and to place exhibits at an eye level where the small fry can see them.

Part of this translation of our studies, both for children and for adults, is carried out with films, radio and television programs, loans of collections to schools and museums, and music and dance programs. We believe that a museum should be what the name implies, a place for the arts and sciences, not a fashionable collection of objects of interest only to the specialist and the scholar. This is why we present a movie of modern Ireland, a dance team from India, a series of chamber-music concerts, or a television program designed for amusement as well as instruction. We expect to have the Museum used for a council on World Affairs, a meeting of a medical association, or the annual dinner of the University’s honorary society. We think this is part of our job and a part of the Museum’s function in the city.

Museum staff filming the What in the World? television program.
Museum Activities.
On the Museum’s television program, “What in the World?”, Drs. Coon, Rainey and Krogman look on while Miss Jean Lee inspects one of the objects to be identified.

The present task of remodelling the exhibitions, another way of fulfilling our responsibility as a public institution, is frankly experimental. I don’t think any of us is entirely satisfied with the new Middle American gallery, an uneasy compromise between instruction and artistry, nor with the new Classical galleries, which still hide the ancient art of the Mediterranean behind fields of glass. We all agree that light and colour must be poured into the galleries to bring them alive and that we must explain and instruct as well as present art objects in a setting worthy of them, but the visual presentation of ideas is exceedingly difficult when you admit that charts, maps, and long or badly written labels, bore people. These problems are now being worked out by professionally trained designers in collaboration with the Curators, and we hope that we can eventually produce exhibitions which translate ideas, show the best of ancient and primitive art, and produce a pleasant environment for those people who will take the time to stop and think back through the ages. The toughest job so far attempted is being done this winter. In the Hall of Man, a kind of introduction to the Museum, we are trying to explain just what this Museum is all about and what we think, in 1950, about the nature of man’s history.

One expression of our philosophy of exhibitions and the use of the Museum is the elimination of that pompous climb to the top floor forced upon every visitor even before he could enter the building. It seems to me that this was a survival of that period in our history when the arts and the sciences were a grim business only to be embarked upon with solid determination as a civic responsibility. Now you may enter on the ground level through a modest door into what we hope is a hospitable and pleasant place.

The publication, by members of the staff, of their explorations, discoveries, and conclusions in an original and readable style for the intelligent reading public, is the third way in which we are trying to take our place as an important public institution. Almost all of the professional people in the Museum teach in departments of the University and produce scientific monographs for the specialist in their fields. But these classes and scientific monographs are necessarily highly specialized work for advanced students in particular disciplines. The Museum Bulletin is now designed for the reading public and it is our intention to convey to you through these pages something of the results of our research and of other work in the Museum without all of the burden of details required in the purely scientific paper. In addition to the Bulletin there are now in process five books, two concerning Asia, one on the Moslem world, one on the Andean people, and one describing the work at Nippur, which will be published commercially for the general public. As a stated policy of the Museum we believe this is a new departure in the publication of anthropological and archaeological data. It is, perhaps, a natural development in our times, when so many people are aware of the urgent need to understand the nature of human relations and human history.

It is customary, I know, to conclude such reports with a rousing plea for your support and attention, or with a dramatic statement about how the atomic age has brought us to the point where we must understand man or perish. Many people working in the humanities and the social sciences are now beating this drum for public and private support and can send you to bed with cold chills, resolving to send in a check the first thing in the morning in order to support international education, a program for the psychoanalysis of the world’s leaders, or a study of behaviour patterns in the Soviet Union. But I do not think, honestly, that our branch of the humanities and social science, or perhaps any other branch, can solve anything quickly enough to remove that threat of “the bomb” which in 1950 has our minds focused on catastrophe. If there is any one important thing we have discovered it is that man really changes very slowly. He may change his styles or his means of locomotion with ease and rapidity, but his thinking equipment, his nature, and his ideas are firmly rooted in the past- they are not quickly altered. I am afraid that we have no better thinking equipment than Dudu, the scribe and temple administrator of the Sumerians 4000 years ago, or Sophocles who lived near the beginning of our particular tangent in world history-we just have more things to think about. Our work certainly has to do with understanding human beings, but its effect is upon the slowly changing philosophy of men. We have no magic pellet to cure the world’s political and social ills, but we do have the comforting knowledge that we all have roots very deep in the earth’s history and for that reason probably will not be blown away tomorrow.

It seems to me that we of 1950 are much like those men of Philadelphia sixty years ago who felt the urgent need of studies in the humanities and the intellectual excitement in the work itself. We believe that these studies are an important part of the intellectual life of the city and that gradually they will help to reach the understanding of human beings toward which science and the humanities are moving. They cannot solve our problems today, but they encourage us to believe that there will be many tomorrows.

F. G. R.


* At the June, 1950 meeting of the Board of Managers it was suggested that the Director’s address at the 78th annual meeting of the Fairmount Park Art Association be republished in the University Museum Bulletin. The present report includes the essential part of that address which was entitled “The University Museum, its Collections and Expeditions.” Proceedings of the 78th Annual Meeting of the Fairmont Park Art Association, Philadelphia, 1950.

Cite This Article

R., F. G.. "The Museum Takes Inventory*." Museum Bulletin XV, no. 4 (December, 1950): 3-18. Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/3360/


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