Museum Mosaic – Summer 2002

: People, Places, Projects

By: Sharon Aponte Misdea

Originally Published in 2002

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Worlds Intertwined: The Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans will open to the public in Spring 2003. The $3 million project completes the reinstallation of the permanent classical galleries at the Museum. Totally renovated, the Etruscan World and Roman World galleries and a new Introduction to the Classical World gallery exhibit more than 1,000 ancient artifacts drawn from the Museum ’s outstanding Mediterranean collection of more than 30,000 objects dating from 3000 B. C. to the fifth century A. D. Marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins, and pottery of exceptional artistic and historical renown are displayed in thematic and historical context. Many of these objects have never before been on public display. For more on the story of the renovation, see “ Restoration & Renewal ” on page 19.

Opening Celebrations For The Mainwaring Wing, Stoner Courtyard, Trescher Entrance, And Annette Merle – Smith Gallery. With an array of celebrations in early May, the Museum launched a new era following the completion of several building and renovation projects. The Women ’s Committee kicked off the festivities with a “Wingding,” where attendees donned garden hats to honor the newly restored Stoner Courtyard garden. Now open to the public after a renovation based on the original 19th-century landscapedesign, the Stoner Courtyard was the scene of the Second Annual Young Friends Bacchanalia Garden Party. Revelers enjoyed wine and music under the stars. A Curator ’ s Party featured a presentation by the Move Committee and tours of the world-class Mainwaring storage and study wing, which houses the Museum ’s most perishable items in state-of-the-art storage facilities. The Trescher Entrance is the Museum ’ s new main entrance. Just beyond this, inaugurating the Annette Merle-Smith Gallery (formerly the Sharpe Gallery) is Photographic Explorations: A Century of Images in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania Museum, on exhibit until December 29, 2002. Alessandro Pezzati, Museum archivist, prepared the exhibit and has written a book by the same name.

Jeremy A. Sabloff, The Williams Director, is chairing an 18-person commission named by the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution Science Commission was created at the request of the Smithsonian ’s board of regents to advise the board and the secretary (the president and CEO of the Smithsonian) on future directions for science at the Smithsonian. The commission is studying scientific research, collections, and outreach at the Smithsonian centers, such as the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Cambridge, Mass., and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama. It expects to complete its report for the regents by December of this year.

The Friends of Ban Chiang— along with a skeleton or two — recently celebrated the publication of the first monograph from the site with traditional “moo lam” music and Lao food (by Dauvy Phanthavong of the Blue Tarp Café). The Museum and Thailand’s Fine Arts Department excavated the Ban Chiang site in the mid- 1970s, and the book documenting the finds is one of the two largest published studies of skeletal remains in Southeast Asia. Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Village Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains sheds light on ancient demography, health, and the genetic affiliation of the people living in northeast Thailand from 2100 B. C. to A. D. 300. Written by Michael Pietrusewsky and Michele Toomay Douglas, it is published by University Museum Publications. First Union National Bank sponsored the book celebration.

The University Museum’s Guides offer Museum on the Go to Philadelphia public school children in grades three to eight. Currently presenting programs on Native America, Egypt, and the Classical World (and coming soon, Africa), Museum on the Go brings Museum artifacts to life for children through hands-on projects, such as grinding corn or wheat, making fire from naturally occurring substances, and trying on period clothing — a favorite among the young participants. The Volunteer Office is always looking for mobile guides. (Call 215.898.4277 for information and to learn about other volunteer opportunities.)

Dr. Zahi Hawass,  recently named secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities — Egypt  s top archaeologist position — has been appointed a member of the Museum ’s board of overseers. Prior to his current position, Dr. Hawass had been undersecretary of state for the Giza monuments in Egypt since 1998. From 1987 to 1998, he was the general director of the Giza Plateau, Saqqara, and the Baharia Oasis. Dr. Hawass spoke at UPM as part of a fall 2001 symposium on current research in Egypt. He was a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Pennsylvania beginning in 1980, where he received both his master ’s degree in Egyptology and Syro-Palestinian archaeology (1983) and his Ph.D. in Egyptology (1987).

Cite This Article

Misdea, Sharon Aponte. "Museum Mosaic – Summer 2002." Expedition Magazine 44, no. 2 (July, 2002): -. Accessed July 24, 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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