Exciting change is coming. Long renowned for groundbreaking research and stellar international collections, the Penn Museum is building transformation, with plans for a dramatic reconfiguration of our historic building—and with it new signature galleries and new programming. We are creating new capacity to make connections, to inspire, and to transform perspectives on our shared human experience, as we reach a broad audience around the world and here in Philadelphia—America’s first World Heritage City.
A firm belief that the Museum should strive to transform the way our visitors see the past, and the way in which they understand the world and their place in it, is at the heart of everything we set out to achieve. Our Building Transformation will include a full renovation, in phased sequence, of our historic building—letting in the light, creating new pathways, and adding new heat and air-conditioning systems. It will also include a reinstallation of most of the Museum’s signature galleries, and the creation of two new, cross-cultural signature galleries that tell broad stories of human interactions and achievements. New visitor amenities, including elevators, stairwells, and restrooms, will make the Penn Museum fully accessible to all. And it will transform not only our physical spaces but also the ways in which visitors, from school children, to families, to scholars, engage with the extraordinary collection housed here—in our galleries, labs, and classrooms, through our programs, and through online discovery.
Our Penn Museum promise is to remain open throughout the building renovations—with a full range of programming for public and school group visitors alike, and access to galleries for enjoyment and events intact. The carefully developed phased sequence of our construction and gallery installation makes this possible, in addition to allowing time for fundraising. We will, of course, need to close off certain areas during each phase of construction and gallery installation. The Museum website will provide clear updates in advance of as well as during these changes.
As you navigate around our construction walls, we hope you will share our excitement at what is going on behind them. Our Building Transformation —a transformation possible only through the highest generosity of our family of supporters—will ensure the continuation of our Museum’s spirit of exploration and discovery for all of us, now and for new generations.
Thank you for joining the adventure!
Michael J. Kowalski
Chair, Board of Overseers
Julian Siggers, Ph.D.