Museum News

Originally Published in 1922

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The following gifts have been received.
An old Spanish lamp from Mr. Victor Leser.
A small collection of stone objects found in the San Luis Valley in New Mexico from Mr. Ralph Morgan.
Gifts to the Library.
Text and Plates of Vol. XII of the NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN by E. S. Curtis from Miss Caroline S. Sinkler.


One of the most important purchases ever made by the Museum in the Section of Far Eastern Art was announced last May and the statue then acquired has since been placed on exhibition. It is a gilt bronze statue of a Bodhisattva probably Kwan-yin, thirty-six inches in height. It was found near Mukden in Manchuria in the bed of a river and its period is in all probability that of the Six Dynasties. The preservation of the statue is excellent, although the gold covering has been lost from most of the clothing and has been replaced by a rich green and brown patina. On the head and neck, however, the gold remains almost intact. The type of this statue is very rare and its whole expression is one of great refinement.

A Graeco-Indian sculpture representing Buddha, about three feet in height and in excellent preservation. This statue was found in 1881 during the excavation of the Swat River Canal at a point just below the remains of the old Buddhist Monastery on the hill known as Yakht-i-Bahi in the Eusufzai Valley of the Peshawur District in Northern India.


There has been received from Dr. Farabee a large collection representing the results of his excavations in Southern Peru. This collection includes an important series of Nasca painted pottery and a group of textiles.

There have been received from the Egyptian Expedition the papyri discovered at Thebes last year. The sheets which are in a beautiful state of preservation are covered with inscriptions in Demotic.

Dr. Nathaniel Reich, late of the University of Vienna, has been appointed an assistant in the Egyptian Section of the Museum. Dr. Reich is one of the few scholars in Egyptology who are able to read Demotic script of ancient Egypt. He will begin immediately upon the translation of the papyri recently received at the Museum from the Egyptian Expedition.

The Expedition to Beisan conducted excavations both on the Acropolis and on the cemetery during the summer until the 15th of September. The excavation on the former locality has reached a depth below that of the Byzantine level and the expedition expects at the resumption of work next season to begin removing the debris of the upper Semitic levels. Some Greek inscriptions of historical importance have been found and also architectural fragments of the Byzantine Period. In the cemetery a large quantity of pottery of different periods was found. Bronze, ivory, glass, utensils and ornaments are also among the collections from tombs. Perhaps the most interesting of the discoveries in the cemetery consists of a number of tombs which are believed to be Philistine and which contain clay coffins with human features. They are the first of the kind ever found in Palestine. Another interesting discovery was a marble sarcophagus with a Greek inscription giving the name of Antiochus son of Phallion who has been identified as the cousin of Herod the Great.

After concluding the season’s work at Beisan, Mr. Fisher proceeded to Egypt to resume excavations at Thebes and at Memphis. Mr. Ernest Mackay resigned his position on the Egyptian Expedition and has been replaced by Mr. T. R. D. Greenlees of Oxford University.

Mr. Louis Shotridge went to Alaska in May for two years’ work on the Southwestern Coast, to study the customs of the people and to make collections. Mr. Shotridge will be provided with a motor boat which will enable him to reach places on the long stretch of coast which are otherwise inaccessible.

Arrangements have been completed with the authorities o the British Museum for a joint expedition to Mesopotamia The plans involve excavations on the site of Ur of the Chaldees which has been reserved for this purpose. The expedition left London on September 26th in charge of Mr. C. Leonard Woolley. He expects to arrive at Basra about October 17th and to occupy the winter in organizing and conducting the work of the expedition.


At the meeting of the Board of Managers on April 21st the Associated Architects of the building were authorized to prepare plans for Section D to be erected on the ground lying immediately to the east of the Rotunda with which it will be connected. The plans and specifications are now nearing completion and it is expected that work will begin on the new section of the building during this autumn. The new part which has been designated Section D will contain the Eckley B. Coxe Junior Egyptian Hall on the main floor. This will consist of one large central hall together with several smaller adjoining halls. These rooms afford space for the proper exhibition of the Egyptian collections assembled by the Eckley B. Coxe Junior Egyptian Expeditions and the other Collections in the Egytian Section.


Miss Isabella Givens and Miss Eleanor M. Moore have been appointed Assistant Docents and have taken up their duties in the Educational Department under the direction of Miss Fernald. Both the new members of the department are graduates of Mt. Holyoke in the class of 1922 where they specialized in the history of the arts.

At a meeting of the Board of Managers held on April 21st, Mr. T. Charlton Henry was elected a member of the Board of Managers.


A memorial meeting to Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson was held at the Museum on April 29th. Senator George Wharton Pepper presided and the speakers were Hon. Roland S. Morris, Hampton L. Carson, Esq., Langdon Warner, Esq., and Mrs. Edward Biddle. The committee in charge of the meeting consisted of twenty-six of the leading men and women of Philadelphia representative of fourteen institutions and societies.


We regret to record the death of Mr. Joseph M. Rogers who for many years represented the Museum to the public through the press of Philadelphia and of the country. Mr. Rogers’ long experience as a journalist and his taste for Museum interests made his services of great value and his absence will be a loss both to the Museum and to the public.

Mr. John Watters who was for twenty three years janitor of the Museum, died suddenly at his home on July 21. Mr. Watters was a trusted custodian whose long period of faithful service made him well known to the public using the Museum.

Museum Activities


SATURDAY AFTERNOON LECTURES by distinguished speakers at 3.30 F. M. in the Auditorium of the Museum.
The lectures are primarily for members and their friends, but unreserved seats are free to the general public.
The series for 1922-23 begins November 4th and is maintained throughout the winter and early spring months. The lectures will be illustrated by lantern slides and moving pictures.

The Winter Course will be as follows:

November 4. Robert Cushman Murphy, South Georgia, An Outpost of the Antarctic.
November 11. Dhan G. Mukerji, Pictorial India.
November 18. Vivien Gilbert, The Romance of the Last Crusade.
November 25. Wirt W. Barnitz, Scandinavia and the Far North.
December 2. Carveth Wells, My Six Years in the Jungle of Malay.
December 9. Gordon McCreagh, Exploring the Upper Amazon.
December 16. Donald MacMillan, The Baffin Land Expedition.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON LECTURES by distinguished speakers at 3.30 P. M. in the Auditorium of the Museum.
These free public lectures are held nearly every Sunday during the winter months. Some of the Saturday lecturers use this opportunity of meeting the demand for a repetition of their lectures. Illustrated by lantern slides and, frequently, moving pictures. These lectures will be announced in the daily papers.

DAILY LECTURE TOURS by the Docents at 3.30 P. M.
Every day in the week except Saturday. These gallery talks are free to the public. Groups are limited to twenty five persons and school children are not admitted. Groups assemble at the Sphinx, from which the tour starts.
Special calendar of daily subjects may be had at the Information Desk.

SPECIAL LECTURE TOURS by the Docents at 3.30 P. M.
Special gallery talks are held from time to time on those
Saturdays and Sundays when there are no lectures in the auditorium.
These are announced on the Bulletin Board.

MONDAY MORNING LECTURES FOR MEMBERS by the Chief Docent at 11 A. M. in the Auditorium.
A course of lectures on Art Appreciation and History. The series begins the first of November and lasts until the end of March. Only members and their guests are admitted. Illustrated by lantern slides.

From one to four talks will be devoted to each subjects in the following order:

The Nature of Art: Art Elements as Seen in the Art of All Times and Countries.
Study of Composition: Line, Dark and Light, and Colour.
Beginnings of Art: Prehistoric
Ancient Art: Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, China, Greek Art, Roman Art.
Values and Uses of Art.
Romanesque and Gothic Periods.
The Great Works of the Renaissance in Italy: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting.
Northern Painting.
Chinese and Japanese Art.
Modern Art.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON LECTURES FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN by Docents and Curators at 2.30 P. M. in the Auditorium.
The children arrive at two o’clock and are taken around the Museum. They then go to the auditorium for talks on subjects related to their work in art, history and geography. Illustrated by lantern slides and followed by motion pictures.

Fall Course: October to December.
Spring Course: Middle of March to end of May.

The program of the Fall Course is as follows:

October 4. The American Indian.
October 11. The Greeks as Builders and Artists.
October 18. China and Her People.
October 25. Russia and Siberia.
November 1. Egypt of Today.
November 8. Japan and Her People.
November 15. Daily Life in Colonial Times.
November 22. Cook’s Voyages of Discovery.
December 6. The Story of Rome.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON LECTURES FOR HIGH SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS by Docents and Curators at 3.15 P. M. in the Auditorium.
On subjects arranged to correlate with High School courses in History, Art, Literature, and the Classics. Illustrated by
lantern slides.

Fall Course: October to December.
Spring Course: March to May.

The program of the Fall Course is as follows:

October 24. Prehistoric Man and His Art.
October 31. Appreciation of Art.
November 7. Ancient Egypt to the Conquest of Assyria.
November 14. Crete, the Birthplace of Greek Civilization.
November 21. The Greatness of Greece.
December 5. Alexander the Great and His Empire.


FOR CHILDREN OF MEMBERS by the Docents, Saturday mornings from November to May from 11 to 12 o’clock.
Stories for children of about seven to twelve years of age, told in the galleries and illustrated by pictures and by the Museum collections.

The talks for the months of November and December will be as follows:

November 4. Why the Birch Tree Wears the Slashes in its Bark; Big-Boy-Chief; The Spirit of the Corn and Other Indian Stories.
November 11. The Japanese Story of Urashima.
November 18. The Adventures of Theseus and Other Classic Myths.
November 25. Pilgrim Stories: The Voyage of the Mayflower; The First Thanksgiving; Two Little Captives.
December 2. The Guatemala Story of Li Poo, the Moon.
December 9. The King’s Magic Drum and South African Folk Lore.


Visitors who wish to see the Museum as a whole or any of its collections in particular under expert guidance may secure the services of a docent by applying at the Information Desk.


Clubs or Societies wishing to see the Museum collections under expert guidance may secure the services of a docent by applying at the Information Desk. It is advisable to make appointments in advance if possible.

Any teacher in the Public Schools, High Schools, Private Schools, or Colleges may bring a class to the Museum and, by applying for a docent, secure free guidance and instruction in those collections in which the class is interested, correlation being made with the subjects the pupils are studying in school or college. Special appointments should be made in advance.

Classes from Art Schools are welcomed and talks on the Museum collections along the lines of Design, Craft Work, or Art History are given by the docents upon previous request.
Also there is usually on hand a docent who is prepared to give technical aid to any art student who is designing or painting from the collections and desires advice or assistance.

Are especially invited to make use of the collections and the Docent Service, and special privileges and facilities for serious study are offered them.


At present the Museum has six expeditions in different parts of the world, conducting excavations or making collections. They are as follows.

An expedition in Alaska studying the customs of the Indians and making collections of their primitive arts for the Museum.

An expedition in Central America making a study of the ancient civilizations and of the customs and languages of the living tribes.

An expedition to Peru which is making excavations among the ruins of extinct civilizations.

The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition to Egypt which, under concessions from the Egyptian Government, is conducting excavations at Memphis and at Thebes.

An expedition to Palestine which is engaged in excavating the site of Beisan, the ancient Biblical Beth-shan.

Under the joint auspices of the British Museum and the University Museum, an expedition has been organized for exploration and excavation in Mesopotamia. Work to be begun in the autumn of 1922 contemplates the excavation of ancient Ur of the Chaldees.

The collections sent to the Museum by these various expeditions will be placed on exhibition. Reports received from the workers in the field will be printed and sent to members from time to time, either in the Museum Journal or in other forms.


The Museum Library contains 10,000 volumes relating to art, archaeology, travel, exploration, and the life and customs of primitive peoples or early man. Current magazines on the same subjects are always on hand. Readers are always welcome.


Students from art and architectural schools are made welcome and facilities provided for them. Classes or individuals may come at any time to draw, paint, or design from the collections. A docent with art school training is on hand to give assistance when desired.

Invitations are heartily extended to Workers in the Crafts and to Designers and Manufacturers of machine made products to make use of our collections in the production of modern design. Rugs, textiles, pottery, glass, jewelry, metal work, ivories, wood carvings, enamels, tiles, mosaics, bead work and costumes are all represented in the collections and afford inspiration for modern Industrial Art. The resources of the Museum are at the service of any professional designer who makes known his needs.

Cite This Article

"Museum News." The Museum Journal XIII, no. 3 (September, 1922): 238-247. Accessed February 21, 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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