The current academic year has seen the launch of an exciting period of renovations and updates for the Penn Museum and its neighbor, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). UPHS began the demolition of Penn Tower, located directly to the south of the Museum, in preparation for construction of a new Patient Pavilion designed by noted architect Lord Norman Foster. Shared facilities between UPHS and the Museum, including a pedestrian walkway and new loading docks, will be created as part of the Patient Pavilion project, and the Museum is pleased to be working cooperatively with UPHS and timing the renovation of its Coxe and Harrison Wings—which house collections mostly from Egypt and Asia—concurrently, pending funding.
Beginning during the demolition of the Penn Tower parking garage in September 2015, the Penn Museum and UPHS initiated careful vibration monitoring within the Museum’s galleries and store- rooms, and Museum conservators, preparators, and other Collections staff worked to stabilize some objects in situ and remove others to offsite storage for the duration of the construction period.
In the first half of 2016, Penn Museum visitors will notice the following changes:
The Kaipure Chapel in the 1st floor Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery was stabilized and then deinstalled in fall 2015 and is now stored behind a plexiglass wall—similar to that of the 3rd floor display In the Artifact Lab—along the entire east side of the gallery. Conservators expect to begin treatment of the Kaipure Chapel in this space in late spring 2016.