Museum Mosaic – Spring 2002

People, Places, Projects

Originally Published in 2002

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Ivory statuette of a lion tamer found at Delphi
Ivory statuette of a lion tamer found at Delphi

It isn’t made of gold, but an enigmatic ivory statuette of a lion tamer may once have belonged to King Midas. At least that’s the opinion of Dr. Keith DeVries, Associate Curator in the Mediterranean section and former Field Director of the Museum’s long-term project at the Phrygian capital of Gordian in Turkey. Found in 1939 at Delphi, the exquisite little statue may very well have been part of the throne given to the god Apollo by the legendary King Midas of Phrygia. DeVries’ intriguing argument, presented at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in January, is based on detective work involving ancient Assyrian and Greek records and the accumulated evidence of finds from various sites in Turkey.

The Greek historian Herodotos, writing around 450-430 B.C., mentions a throne, a gift from King Midas, in the Corinthian Treasury at Delphi. Herodotos understood it to be the very throne from which Midas rendered justice and called it “well worth seeing.” The unusual statuette has cuttings in its back that indicate it was attached to something, probably furniture.

DeVries theory captured the interest of media throughout the world. Stories about his work appeared on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and international papers  through the Reuters and Associated Press wire services.

Welcome! Swagatami! Willkommen! Bienvenue!

More than 950 students from 100 countries gath­ered in the Museum’s Chinese Rotunda on October 26, 2001, for the Delaware Valley’s only multiuniversity reception for international stu­dents and scholars. The reception was hosted by the International Classroom (IC) program of the Museum and cosponsored by 43 colleges, universities, and programs in the area. International students came all the way from the University of Scranton and Rowan University, as well as from the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, Drexel University, Cabrini College, Philadelphia University, and Widener University, to name a few. The reception welcomes international students to the Philadelphia area and helps them make connections. [C’s pro­gram of presentations and workshops continues to grow by recruiting new international speakers and networking with international educators.

The reception ran smoothly thanks to the help of more than 75 volunteers. Our guests were enchanted by the performances of the Tirnoney Irish Dancers, bagpiper Dennis Hangey, and African drummer Yinka Adeyemo. It was exciting to see people from almost the whole world gather in the majestic set­ting of the rotunda. “A roaring success,” “Spectacular event,” “Coolest event,” “Wows!” were some of the wonderful comments I heard about the reception. —Prema Deshmukh, IC Program Specialist

The University of Pennsylvania Museum was awarded a $60,000 grant by the Philadelphia History Exhibitions Initiative to plan an exhibition that will engage visitors in the discovery of the history of humankind. Dr. Alan Mann, Curator Emeritus of the physical anthropology section, and Dr. Janet Monge, Keeper of the section, will cocurate the exhibit. The Philadelphia History Exhibitions Initiative is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the Independence Visitor Center Corp.

Andrew N. Farnese, ESQ., A Prominent and beloved civic leader in Philadelphia, was the Museum’s guest of honor November 16, 2001. On this special occa­sion, the Museum, which has worked closely with mem­bers of the region’s Italian-American community, dedi­cated the new Farnese Gallery, future home of the Roman World exhibition. In October 2002, three new classical galleries (including the Parnese) will open, focusing on the ancient peoples of Italy — the Etruscans and the Romans.

Speaking at the dedication were Farnese Gallery Committee cochairs Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fuino and Joseph H. Jacovini, Esq.; Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff, Williams Director of the Museum; and Dr. Donald White, Curator of the Mediterranean Section.

Jesse Orlando (middle), director of ESL/International Student Services at Camden County College, and Glenn Groves (left), foreign student adviser of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, with volunteers and guests at the reception.
Jesse Orlando (middle), director of ESL/International Student Services at Camden County College, and Glenn Groves (left), foreign student adviser of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, with volunteers and guests at the reception.
Dr. Andrew Farnese and his wife, Margaret (front row), are joined by (from left to rigth) Dr. Donald White, Dr. Jeremy Sabloff, Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo, and Joseph Jacovini, Esq.
Dr. Andrew Farnese and his wife, Margaret (front row), are joined by (from left to rigth) Dr. Donald White, Dr. Jeremy Sabloff, Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo, and Joseph Jacovini, Esq.

Cite This Article

"Museum Mosaic – Spring 2002." Expedition Magazine 44, no. 1 (March, 2002): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/museum-mosaic-people-places-projects-10/


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