Connections that Last a Lifetime

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

Originally Published in 2014

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We frequently hear from people who first encountered the Penn Museum during the formative years of their childhood or adolescence. Some came here as part of a school group, or with their families, or visited for the first time when they were students at Penn. Many have become members so that they can visit their favorite galleries and objects again and again. Longtime member Dave Schwartz, interviewed in this issue, exemplifies someone who understood, even as a child, how much the Museum collection had to offer. He experienced a sense of wonder in our galleries that he has now passed on to his daughter, Jessica. This fall, we launched Unpacking the Past (see page 54), which will invite 10,000 7th grade public school students from Philadelphia to the Museum each year with free transportation, admission, and programs. In the years to come, we hope many of these children remember fondly their experiences here. Perhaps they will return one day as Penn students, or with children of their own, to continue the journey of discovery that started in our galleries.

Mission statements are sometimes overly ambitious and aspirational, but certainly there is significant evidence to suggest that the Penn Museum is transforming understanding of the human experience. Our loyal members return time and again to enjoy programming, tour exhibitions, and enjoy our signature galleries. And the Museum’s influence is felt far beyond our walls by means of loans to leading museums everywhere, through our excavations around the world, and through scholarly and popular publications that are read widely.

It came as no surprise when, in February of 2014, the British publisher Dorling Kindersley Limited (DK Publishing) approached us about photographing our objects for their collaborative book with the Smithsonian— History of the World in 1,000 Objects. But even we were not quite prepared for the fact that over 200 of the objects featured in the final publication are from our collection! is new volume reminds us that we are stewards of one of the world’s great collections and thus are obliged to maintain the highest standards in our programming, our scholarship, our exhibitions, and our galleries. With the help of our generous supporters—especially now as we prepare to undertake significant renovations to our signature Egyptian, Near Eastern, and Asian galleries—we are ensuring that the Penn Museum will continue to ignite a sense of wonder for future generations in Philadelphia and around the globe.

Cite This Article

Siggers, Julian. "Connections that Last a Lifetime." Expedition Magazine 56, no. 3 (December, 2014): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/connections-that-last-a-lifetime/


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