University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: Lucy Fowler Williams

The Calusa Indians: Maritime Peoples of Florida in the Age of Columbus

Behind the Scenes

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

The University Museum has an exceptional collection of artifacts from the Calusa site at Key Marco, Florida. The pelican, wolf, and deer figureheads mentioned here (Figs. 5,8,4) traveled this year, in an unprece­dented loan of the Key Marco material, to the National Gallery of Art where they were exhibited as part of the Columbian Quincentenary […]


The Here and Now of Pueblo Pottery

What in the World

By: Lucy Fowler Williams and Robert Preucel

How are contemporary Pueblo people interpreting their rich cultural heritage and how is this affecting their traditional arts? These, and related questions, are informing the American Section’s strategy for collecting modern Southwestern material culture. The Section has recently purchased two pottery vessels made by Diego Romero, a ceramic  artist from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. “Home on the […]


American Collections Inspire Native Artists and Indian Communities

By: Lucy Fowler Williams and Melissa Wagner

The American Section of University of Pennsylvania Museum has developed a rewarding relationship with the National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution’s Artist in Residence Program. As a partner with MAI, the Museum annually hosts up to six native artists who travel to the east coast to conduct research on particular aspects of Native American […]


Seeing Through the Eyes of an Artist

What in the World

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Roxanne Wentzell, from Santa Clara Pueblo in northern New Mex­ico, is a highly accomplished artist who specializes in sculpting human figures out of clay. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. A farmer as well as an artist, Roxanne co-founded and helps to operate the nonprofit Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, […]


Out of Heaviness, Enlightenment

NAGPRA and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

By: Robert W. Preucel and Lucy Fowler Williams and Stacey O. Espenlaub and Janet Monge

On September 29,2000, John Johnson of the Chu­gach Alaska Corporation arrived in Philadel­phia to take formal possession of ancestral Eskimo human remains and grave goods from Prince William Sound and Kachemak Bay in the collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This was a profoundly signi­ficant experience for him since he […]


WaHa-belash adi Kwan tsáawä / Butterflies and Blue Rain

The Language of Contemporary Eastern Pueblo Embroidery

By: Lucy Fowler Williams and Isabel C. Gonzales and Shawn Tafoya

Pueblo people of the American Southwest say that as long as there is Pueblo religion there will be handmade cloth. For many Pueblo textile artists, the practice of making textiles is like the breath of life itself, actively sustaining their Pueblo identity, one stitch at a time. Although embroidered garments and decorative textiles are most […]


The Centennial Potlatch

By: Robert W. Preucel and Lucy Fowler Williams

On June 2004, Harold Jacobs, the cultural resource specialist of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA), requested the loan of six objects from the Penn Museum for use in the Centennial Potlatch. The request was made on behalf of Andrew Gamble, the head of the Sitka Kaagwaantaan [Wolf] clan, […]


The Ghost of a Courageous Adventurer

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Tlingit art holds Tlingit histories and, as Louis Shotridge insisted, the native point of view enables us to understand its meaning. One object Shotridge collected embodies some of the indigenous knowledge recorded on the map that Kohklux and his wives drew for outsiders in 1869. “The Ghost of Courageous Adventurer” dagger is a Tlingit war […]


Guerilla Fashion: Textiles in Motion Push Change in Indian Art

From the Field

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Patricia Michaels is not new to fashion, but she is new to Santa Fe’s celebrated Southwest Indian Art Market, a proving ground for Native American artists, which takes place in August of each year. Michaels made her mark at last year’s 88th show with “Weathered Text: No Trespassing by the Taos War Chief,” a stunning, provocative […]


Native American Voices Today

From the Guest Editor

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

This special issue of Expedition is an extension of our new exhibition, Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now, and highlights Native American sovereignty through the work of some of today’s most talented Native leaders, several of whom are here at Penn. Native Americans hold a special status in our country as members of sovereign […]


The Excavations at Sitio Conte

Beneath the Surface

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

The Penn Museum’s excavations at Sitio Conte began in 1940 with an invitation from private landowner, Miguel Conte. Since discovering a Pre-Columbian cemetery on his property in 1927, Conte had encouraged professional archaeologists to help record the history of the ancient Coclé people who once lived there. Associate Curator J. Alden Mason took the lead […]


Finding Their Way Home

Photo of Mr. Fanco
Twenty-five Years of NAGPRA at the Penn Museum

By: Lucy Fowler Williams and Stacey O. Espenlaub and Janet Monge

On November 2, 2015, Mr. Lalo Franco and Mr. Pete Alanis of the Tachi Yokut Tribe of the Santa Rosa Rancheria arrived in Philadelphia to receive ancestral human remains that had been part of the collection of the Penn Museum. This was a profoundly significant event for them as they took possession of the remains […]