Museum News

Originally Published in 2015

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Curator Receives AIA Gold Medal

On January 9, 2015, Dr. C. Brian Rose, the Penn Museum’s Ferry Curator-in-Charge of the Mediterranean Section, and James B. Pritchard Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, received the Archaeological Institute of America’s (AIA) top honor, the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement. Founded in 1879, the AIA promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity. At the AIA’s annual conference in New Orleans, Rose’s work in Turkey at Troy, on the Granicus River Valley Survey Project, and at Gordion was acknowledged, as was his teaching. In particular, the AIA noted his “visionary and energetic efforts to provide cultural heritage training to the members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Rose began working with the military in 2004 as first vice president of the AIA. He was also president of the AIA, 2007–2011.
C. Brian Rose with Andrew Moore, AIA President.
C. Brian Rose with Andrew Moore, AIA President.

Magic in the Museum: From Classroom to Gallery

“Magic in the Museum,” a class taught by Professors Robert Ousterhout and Grant Frame, illuminates how different cultures used magic as a way of managing or understanding the present, controlling supernatural agencies, and seeing the future. Magic is pervasive across almost all ancient cultures, and objects and images associated with magical practices are well represented in the Penn Museum. As students learn about magic in antiquity, they will simultaneously curate a 2016 exhibition on magic and divination, using the collections of the Near East, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Mediterranean sections.

This incantation bowl from Nippur, dated ca. 200 BCE, features demon iconography as well as an inscription. UPM object #B2945
This incantation bowl from Nippur, dated ca. 200 BCE, features demon iconography as well as an inscription. UPM object #B2945

Suzan Harjo Receives Presidential Medal

Suzan Shown Harjo, a leading adviser on the Penn Museum’s Native American Voices exhibition, was honored as a 2014 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Recognized for her tireless efforts to protect Native American rights, Dr. Harjo was among 19 Americans who received the award from President Barack Obama. Harjo is a daughter of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee Nations, and founder and President of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization.

Associate Curator is “School-Yard Famous”

When the Gladwyne Montessori School visited the Museum last fall, the children were tasked with completing a research project on a “famous person.” With the help of Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator Tom Stanley, one student, Kaelah, chose none other than the Penn Museum’s very own Dr. Josef Wegner, Associate Curator in the Egyptian Section, to be the subject of her report. Wegner was happy to meet with Kaelah and her teachers for an interview during their class visit to the Museum, where they spoke about Wegner’s historic discoveries at the site of Abydos, and what it takes to become an archaeologist.

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Ancient Music Conference at the Museum

In November 2014, the Penn Museum hosted “The History of Music in China,” a one-day symposium on Chinese music organized by Penn’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Presentations covered topics related to Chinese music as a form of self-expression, music as seen through excavated texts, and issues surrounding the performance of ancient Chinese music for contemporary audiences.

 Chinese zither or dulcimer was played using two bamboo strips. UPM object #A922
Chinese zither or dulcimer was played using two bamboo strips. UPM object #A922

Digital Visualization

On February 20, 2015, the Museum hosted a tutorial on computer graphics and visualization given by Professor Norman Badler, Director of Penn’s new Center for Digital Visualization (ViDi), for which Museum Curators Steve Tinney and Holly Pittman serve on the Faculty Steering Committee. ViDi is creating an interdisciplinary forum for digital visualization and is one of a number of initiatives relating to the Digital Humanities, in which the Museum is an active participant.

Teacher Development Institute

JoAnn Adams, a Special Education teacher from the School District of Philadelphia, gets a closer view of an intricate feather headdress from the Hupa Nation during the Teacher Institute.
JoAnn Adams, a Special Education teacher from the School District of Philadelphia, gets a closer view of an intricate feather headdress from the Hupa Nation during the Teacher Institute.

In February, the Penn Museum hosted a Teacher Institute in collaboration with Yale’s Peabody Museum. Called Native American Peoples: Past and Present, this weekend-long workshop combined curatorial talks with behind-the-scenes access to objects. Participating teachers created pre- and post-Museum visit lessons to use with their students when returning to tour the Native American Voices exhibition at discounted rates with their students.

Museum Objects on Loan

The Penn Museum has an active and ongoing loan program. As of May 2015, 401 objects are on loan to 22 exhibitions around the world, including exhibitions in New York City at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, the Jewish Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, three objects—a buffalo robe and two shields—are part of an exhibition called The Plains Indians: Artists of Land and Sky. This exhibition is open through May 10, 2015. A recent review by the New York Times lauded The Plains Indians as “one of the most completely beautiful sights in New York right now.” The exhibition originated at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris and then traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City before its arrival in New York.
The painted designs on this 19th century Arapaho robe, included in the Met exhibit, likely refer to the internal organs of the buffalo. UPM object #45-15-706
The painted designs on this 19th century Arapaho robe, included in the Met exhibit, likely refer to the internal organs of the buffalo. UPM object #45-15-706

Cite This Article

"Museum News." Expedition Magazine 57, no. 1 (April, 2015): -. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/museum-news-2/


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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