At the January meeting of the Board of Managers, Mr. Louis C. Madeira was elected a Vice-President of the Museum.
A new section has been created in the Museum to correspond to the more recent activities in assembling collections from the Far East. The Section of Oriental Art will include the collections which illustrate the historic periods of the arts in China, Japan, India and Persia and the countries in the Far East that are immediately influenced by these civilizations. Mr. Carl W. Bishop has been appointed Assistant Curator of this section.
Mr. Bishop left Philadelphia in February to proceed to Japan and China for three years’ study in the Far East. It will be his purpose to invoke the cooperation of scholars and authorities in the far eastern countries for the investigation of Chinese life in the prehistoric and historic periods. He will, if possible, procure examples to illustrate the history of the arts and industries in China.
The Eckley B. Coxe, Jr., Egyptian Expedition has been at work on the cemetery at Dendereh and has recently moved to the camp at Memphis to resume the excavations which were conducted there last year.
Mr. Louis Shotridge has continued his work in Southeastern Alaska under the appropriation made by Mr. John Wanamaker. Mr. Shotridge has been successful in his collecting and in his recording of the social life and customs of the Tlinkit peoples.
Mr. Robert Burkitt has continued his studies and investigations in Guatemala. A collection of the modern products of the Indians has been assembled, together with a series of their myths and legends recorded in native languages.
Reports have been received regularly from Mr. Alexander Scott in charge of the Museum’s expedition in India. Mr. Scott has already studied many sites and has been in close touch with the Archaeological Survey of India under the direction of Sir John Marshall, through whose cooperation and assistance Mr. Scott’s work has been agreeably facilitated.
The following gifts have been received.
From Mr. Hampton L. Carson a piece of painted tapa cloth from Samoa.
From Miss Frances A. Roberts, a feather robe from North Africa.
From Mr. J. Maxwell Bullock, a native drum from the Island of Hayti.
From Dr. Horatio C. Wood, a pair of Japanese swords.
From Miss Alice M. Freeman, a Greek vase and a Greek terracotta figurine with movable legs and arms.
The following purchases have been made during the three months ending March 31st.
A Greek stele or grave relief described in this number of the JOURNAL.
Five Babylonian tablets.
A Chinese sculpture of the Wei Period.
Four Chinese pottery vases and three pottery figures all of the Ming Period.
Five Persian textiles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, three Persian bronze vessels and one Persian bronze ring from the door of a shrine with inscription inlaid in silver.
Five objects from the South Sea Islands.
An American Indian shield.
A collection of Panama pottery.
A deck of Apache playing cards of skin in decorated case.
Two collections of European prehistoric flint implements.
Dr. Stephen Langdon, the Curator of the Babylonian Section, has in press two volumes dealing with some of the tablets in the Museum collection which he has been cataloguing. He has also prepared for this number of the JOURNAL two articles on tablets of exceptional interest for readers of the JOURNAL.
Dr. Langdon, who is Reader of Assyriology at Oxford University, and a close associate of Prof. Sayce, has a special interest in the Sumerian language in which many of the tablets are written. This ancient and obscure language, together with the Semitic languages of Babylonia and Assyria, forms Dr. Langdon’s special field of research and makes his services of special value to the Museum and to American scholarship.
Dr. Edward Chiera, Instructor in the Department of Semitics in the University of Pennsylvania, has been assigned, for copying and translating, a large group of Babylonian tablets containing lists of personal names. Dr. Chiera has prepared and submitted two volumes embodying these Assyrio-Babylonian texts. These two volumes have now been published by the Museum and constitute an important study of Semitic personal names. Dr. Chiera is now at work upon a third volume dealing with the same subject.
Dr. H. L. Lutz, formerly a student of Prof. Albert T. Clay in the Department of Assyriology at Yale University, was appointed Harrison Fellow in Semitics at the University of Pennsylvania at the beginning of the Academic Year, 1916-17.
Dr. Lutz has been engaged upon copying a series of Babylonian letters assigned to him, and preparing a volume thereon for the Babylonian Series of the Museum.
Dr. George A. Barton, of Bryn Mawr, has in preparation a volume of religious texts based upon tablets which have been assigned to him from the Museum’s collection and which he is copying. Among these tablets, which are written in Sumerian, is one which contains an account of the Creation of Man.
Mr. Richard B. Seager has completed his report on the work at Pachyammos in Crete conducted during the years 1914-15. The volume, which is illustrated by many plates showing the pottery discovered, has recently been published in the Anthropological Series of the Museum.
The lecture course on Saturday afternoons was concluded on March 17th when Dr. Fay Cooper Cole delivered the eighteenth lecture of the series. At each of these eighteen lectures the Auditorium was filled to its capacity. The Museum feels justified in having taken pains to secure the best lecturers upon topics of special interest.
The Wednesday afternoon lectures provided for the teachers and pupils of the elementary schools and the high schools, proved again this season that this direct educational feature of the Museum is one that appeals both to the teachers and to the pupils. Twenty-one talks, illustrated by stereopticon and motion pictures, were given in the Auditorium, which was filled on each occasion with teachers and their pupils.
The Society of the Sigma Xi held its third meeting of the session at the University Museum on Wednesday evening, March 14th. The exercises were held in the Auditorium and afterwards the members and their friends who were present inspected the exhibition rooms.
Arrangements have been made for a special exhibition to include some of the more important of the recent acquisitions of the Museum, together with several groups of objects which have been lent by the owners for the occasion. The exhibition will consist of European tapestries, Oriental rugs, Chinese sculptures, paintings and art pottery. There will also be included in the exhibition certain important accessions in Greek sculpture and pottery and the John Thompson Morris Collection of coins.