Looking Back

By: Alessandro Pezzati

Originally Published in 2018

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Alfred Bendiner (1899-1964) was a Philadelphia architect and artist best known for his caricatures, which for many years appeared weekly in Philadelphia newspapers. To Bendiner, drawing was as natural as breathing, and he did it everywhere, on any scrap of paper. He was at home with any subject, always joyful and irreverent, finding constant delight in the world around him. Bendiner worked on two Penn Museum archaeological projects (Tepe Gawra, Iraq, 1936–1937; and Tikal, Guatemala, 1960) and produced many of his inimitable drawings while in the field. The illustrations you see here were created in Tepe Gawra.

Cartoon of two excavated talking about a vase

Cartoon of a woman carrying a large, pieced together vase

The Bendiner Collection at the Penn Museum was a gift of Elizabeth Sutro Bendiner, comprising approximately 300 works, including caricatures and archaeological drawings from Museum excavations, as well as from many of their travels. Bendiner’s work is also found in other libraries and museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Library of Congress, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

-Alessandro Pezzati, Senior Archivist

Details from “The Vase” by Alfred Bendiner, 1936–1937. Pen and ink on paper, 11.5 x 14.25 inches. Gift of Mrs. Alfred Bendiner. PM object 70-31-37. The individuals seen here were actual members of the expedition. The man with the pith helmet is Ephraim Avigdor Speiser, director of the expedition; the man in the lab coat is John Tobler.

Cartoon of two people talking about a piece of pottery

Cartoon of a man piecing together a vase

Cartoon of two excavators working

Cite This Article

Pezzati, Alessandro. "Looking Back." Expedition Magazine 60, no. 1 (May, 2018): -. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/looking-back-6/

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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