Museum Mosaic – Winter 1999

People, Places, Projects

Originally Published in 1999

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The University of Pennsylvania Museum received a grant of $30,000 from the Trust for Mutual Understanding to facilitate AN EXCHANGE OF MUSEUM PROFESSIONALS between the UPM and the National Museum of Mongolian History (NMMH) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The exchange will enable the museums to continue planning a traveling exhibit on 20th century Mongolia. and to form a “sister museum” relationship that should continue for several years. In September 1998. Dr. Paula Sabloff Senior Research Scientist and Curator of the proposed exhibit, was joined in Ulaanbaatar by Dr. Marilyn Norcinif, Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions, and Gillian Wakely, Assistant Director for Education, all of the PM. for a two-week visit to the NMMH. The staff of both museums started selecting objects for the exhibit and shared information about collecting, cataloguing and displaying materials. In addition, the UPM staff learned about Mongolian culture to help them understand the context of the exhibit.

Marilyn Norcini and Gillian Wakely presented a lecture to Mongolian museum professionals and university students planning to specialize in museology. Ms. Wakely described education programs at the UPM and Dr. Norcini, presented a structural analysis of the UPM as one example of an American university museum. The trip was not all work, however. Along with the dialogue on museum issues. There were opportunities to meet and confer informally at special dinners and outings. In early November the Director of the NMMH, Dr. ldshinnorov, and three staff members, Dr. Bumaa, Curator of Twentieth-century History and Co-curator of our planned exhibit, Ms. Eliot Bikales, American volunteer and Co-curator of our planned exhibit, and Dr. Nansalmaa, Associate Director and Curator of Mongolian Ethnography, traveled to the UPM to learn about American museums and to continue planning the exhibit.

This museum exchange is the first step toward creating an exhibit on how Mongolia sought democracy and on what life in Mongolia was like under three different, successive political systems: feudal domination by the Chinese at the beginning of the 20th century, communist rule from the 1920s to 1989, and democratic government starting in 1990.

October 9, 1998. saw the OPENING OF A NEW WING of the museum devoted to the ancient site of Gordion. where the University of Pennsylvania Museum has conducted research for the past half-century. (Originally scheduled for September 18, the opening festivities were postponed due to the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey in August.) Yener Yilmaz, President of the Gordion Foundation and an Overseer of the UPM, and llhan Temizsoy, Director of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, had recognized the need for a major expansion of the small existing facility and worked together to secure the necessary funds.

Constructed and furnished with display cases using contributions from, among others, the Ministry of Culture of Turkey, The Boeing Company. and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the new building has more than doubled the available exhibit space. The renovated and reinstalled exhibition encompasses 30 display cases housing some 800 artifacts that tell the history of ancient Gordion from the Early Bronze Age to Roman times. It emphasizes the 8th century BC Phrygian period, when the renowned Midas Tumulus was erected. Curated by Dr. G. Kenneth Sams of the UPM’s Gordion Project, the exhibit was designed by John Russick of the Chicago Historical Society.

Cite This Article

"Museum Mosaic – Winter 1999." Expedition Magazine 41, no. 3 (November, 1999): -. Accessed April 18, 2024.

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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