Membership Matters

Originally Published in 2022

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Member Events, Enjoyed and Invited

Penn Museum Visionaries Take New York

On April 29 Visionaries joined Brian Rose, Ferry Curator in Charge, Mediterranean Section, and Williams Director Chris Woods in New York City for full day of curated programming. The day began in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman Galleries with a special tour from Seán Hemingway, John A. and Carole O. Moran Curator in Charge. After lunch at a local restaurant, the group then enjoyed a tour of the special exhibition Pompeii in Color: The Life of Roman Painting at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World from Associate Director of Exhibitions and Galleries Clare Fitzgerald.

People looking at a marble sculpture.
Seán Hemingway shares with Visionaries how this ancient Roman figural relief sculpture, carved from a single block of marble, combines the stories of Narcissus and Echo with that of the abduction of the hero Hylas as he was fetching water for the Argonauts; photo by Amanda Mitchell-Boyask.
The inside of a library.
View of the East Room of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library; Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2010.

On October 27, Visionaries are invited to tour She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400–2000 BC at The Morgan Library & Museum with co-curator Sidney Babcock, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Curator and Department Head, Ancient Western Asian Seals & Tablets, which includes loaned Penn Museum artifacts including the famed funerary ensemble of Queen Puabi and the “Disc of Enheduanna,” high priestess and poet (see page 38).

Better Together: Spring 2022 Leadership Dinner

Museum members at a cocktail event.
Members (left to right) Mark Curchack, Nicholas and Anna Hadgis, and Ann and David Brownlee enjoy cocktails in the Warden Garden at the Leadership Dinner; photo by Eddy Marenco.

On May 3, the Penn Museum was delighted to welcome members of the Loren Eiseley Circle, Visionaries, and leadership volunteers for the first in-person annual Leadership Dinner since 2019. Guests enjoyed cocktails in the Warden Garden before an update on the transformation of Penn’s campus and the Museum from Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and Williams Director Chris Woods, and dinner in the upper Egyptian Gallery.

Eastern Mediterranean Gallery: Members See It First!

Rendering of the Penn Museum's Eastern Mediterranean Gallery.
Rendering of the Eastern Mediterranean Gallery entering from the Rome Gallery by the Penn Museum Exhibits Team.

Penn Museum members are invited to be among the first to see the reimagined Eastern Mediterranean Gallery and explore more than 400 artifacts representing a crossroads of cultural exchange.

Visionaries and Supporting Circle Members (Loren Eiseley Circle, Fellows, and Patrons) are invited to a reception and gallery preview with the curators on Tuesday, November 15 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

All members are invited to celebrate the opening of the Eastern Mediterranean Gallery at our after-hours Member Preview on Friday, November 18 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM where you can tour at your own pace among minimal crowds, and enjoy coffee, tea, and light bites. Or use your Members’ free admission to enjoy our two-day opening weekend, November 19–20, featuring family friendly hands-on workshops, performances, pop-up talks from our Museum experts and more!

Member Spotlight: Jean Walker, SW74

Longtime Penn Museum Egyptian Section volunteer Jean Walker— recognized as the Museum’s Volunteer of the Year in 2016—is also a loyal member of the Penn Museum Visionaries and the earliest supporter of the Building Transformation. She shares her volunteer experience, her fascination with Egypt, and what excites her most about the coming Egypt and Nubia Galleries.

Jean Walker and David Silverman sitting in the Harrison Auditorium seats.
Jean Walker, SW74, with David Silverman, Curator-in-Charge, Egyptian Section, in the Harrison Auditorium seats Jean named for members of the Section.

I have been very honored to have been working at the Penn Museum for over 20 years. I had the pleasure of helping renowned Egyptologists, Ph.D. students, and Penn undergraduates. I began in the Egyptian Section in 1996 as the photographer, succeeding longtime volunteer Section photographer Felix Korsyn. I worked with other volunteers in the section. The volunteers were led by Jim Flanigan, who had volunteered at the Museum for many, many years and at one time was the supervisor of 12 volunteers known as the “Mummy Dusters.” Through all their e orts, I believe, the storage area was very organized. Jim only left his post at the age of 87 because of failing health; he died shortly afterwards. Jim taught me so much about the artifacts and the protocol of the storage area and managing the artifacts. As time moved on, I continued as photographer, but my responsibilities increased to assistant keeper of collections.

I was always interested in Ancient Egypt. I remember always wanting to go to the adult section of the town library, as that’s where the books on Egypt were, and not being allowed until I was 12. I first had time to volunteer after I had left my social work position with the City of Philadelphia and had run my own business for 12 years.

As section photographer, I was invited to join first David Silverman’s dig at Saqqara in 2001 and then the same year to join Josef Wegner’s dig at Abydos. This was absolutely a dream come true—to live and work in Egypt on digs, climbing down rope ladders to work underground in a tomb, viewing artifacts not seen for thousands of years and taking their photo. What more could you ask? I did all this as I entered my 60s, going on four digs from 2001 to 2007.

I am so excited to see the new galleries, especially to see the palace and the huge pieces out there for people to look at and get a sense of what it’s like if you were in Egypt looking at the monuments. I think all the cases of smaller objects are important, too, but to me, looking at many of the palace pieces installed in one place is so monumental.

Cite This Article

"Membership Matters." Expedition Magazine 64, no. 2 (November, 2022): -. Accessed April 20, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/membership-matters-3/


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