Science and Race: History, Use, and Abuse This free series of five evening classes brought together over 25 internationally recognized experts from diverse backgrounds for an in-depth and powerful exploration intent on providing discussion tools to aid people in examining their beliefs about race, science, and justice. Panels examined race through the lenses of anthropology, biology, genetics, sociology, philosophy, and law, and collection workshops presented the Samuel Morton human cranial collection, reading materials, and other resources. Go to the Public Classroom Each class includes discussions on race through the lens of anthropology, biology, genetics, sociology, philosophy, and law as well as collection workshops presenting the Samuel Morton human cranial collection, reading materials, and other resources. Sign up for one, several, or all classes. The first Public Classroom series from the fall of 2016 is available online; additional series will be scheduled.
Join in the art of great conversation, fueled by food and wine, set in one of the Museum’s majestic galleries. The Curator’s Table provides a private table for up to 12 dinner guests with a Penn Museum Curator of your choice. After a focused tour and cocktail hour, take your seat at the curator’s table for an evening of excitement, intrigue, and inspiration. “Big World, Small Table” Great gift idea. Book the entire table, or book one seat at a time! Can’t make the above dates? Book your own Curator’s Table event. Book your table now for $2500! Price includes cocktails, starters, main dish, dessert, tour, and curator. Event subject to availability of date and curator. To view a list of our curators, click HERE. Past Events April 14, 2016, 6:30 pm Enjoy an evening with Dr. C. Brian Rose, the Penn Museum's Mediterranean Section Curator and Curator of the upcoming exclusive exhibition, The Golden Age of King Midas, at a private table for up to 12 dinner guests. After an exclusive curator-led gallery tour and cocktail hour, take your seat at the curator's table and continue an evening of excitement, insight, and intrigue. Space is limited and reservations are required. October 8, 2015, 6:30 pm Enjoy an evening with Dr. David P. Silverman, the Penn Museum's internationally renowned Egyptian Section Curator, at a private table for up to 12 dinner guests. After an exclusive curator-led gallery tour and cocktail hour, take your seat at the curator's table and continue an evening of excitement, insight, and intrigue. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Take a trip through Penn Museum history with Museum Archivists Alex Pezzati and Eric Schnittke as they investigate the many interesting and unusual stories from this vast collection of historical records. Unearthed in the Archives is free with General Admission. Guests can look for a new experience each week, as the archivists unveil expedition records, vintage photographs, fine drawings, manuscripts, personal letters, and much more. Join us Fridays from 1:30 - 2:30 pm for our weekly series "Unearthed in the Archives." Held in the Museum's beautiful old library.
Penn Museum shows culture films once per month on the Second Sunday of the month (October to March) at 2pm. The Culture Films Series is free with museum admission donation. 2018-2019: Actualities Culture Film Series Beginning in October 2018, the Second Sunday Culture Films series is all about materiality, we look at films which use archival film and video elements to trace nostalgia for the material world. Presented in association with the Wolf Humanities Center’s 2018-19 Forum on STUFF.
The popular Summer Nights Concert Series is back for its 8th annual season! Kick back, relax, and enjoy music, friends, and family in the Penn Museum’s outdoor Stoner Courtyard, with its gardens and grassy areas, fountains, outdoor tables, and concert-style seating. The galleries stay open—including the Museum’s new Middle East Galleries—with an optional guided tour (topics and galleries vary) at the set break. Outside, the Pepper Mill Café offers light foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests are invited to bring their own picnic foods and blanket (but no alcoholic beverages). Concerts move inside in inclement weather. Admission is just $10 (includes Museum admission); Pay-what-you-wish for PennCard holders, Penn Medicine Penn Medicine and CHOP employees with ID, and children under 6 years old; FREE for Penn Museum Members.
Join us on first Wednesdays at 6:00 pm from October 2015 through June 2016 for our "Great Myths and Legends" lecture series. Admission $10 At-the-door $5 Single Lecture Advance Ticket $2 Penn Museum Members Advance Ticket* $40 Series Subscription $15 Penn Museum Members Series Subscription* *To get the member discount online, you must log in as a member on the ticketing site. Member discount applies only to the amount of persons on your membership core benefits. 2015-2016 Past Lectures Imhotep: From Architect to Deity to Villain Dr. Jennifer Wegner, Associate Curator, Egyptian Section October 7, 2015 Watch on YouTube The historical figure Imhotep, who designed the remarkable Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara built during the reign of King Djoser (ca. 2687–2668 BCE), is the focus of the first talk in the “Great Myths and Legends” Lecture Series. After his death, Imhotep was regarded as a great sage and was later deified—one of the few human beings to join the Egyptian pantheon. As a god, Imhotep was regarded as a patron of healers. Dr. Wegner examines his rise from royal architect to divine being, concluding with an exploration of his appearance in pop culture today. Adapa the Sage: Flood, Myth and Magic in early Mesopotamia Dr. Steve Tinney, Associate Curator, Babylonian Section November 4, 2015 Watch on YouTube Thousands of years ago, scholar-priests in ancient Sumer told a tale about a man who lived long before them, a tale of Adapa, who was so clever that his magic could disable the winds, and who travelled to heaven to meet the gods. Recently published tablets shed new light on Adapa, starting with an evocation of the time just after the Great Flood had passed over. The evening will tell several stories: of the new discoveries and their decipherment; of Adapa himself; and of the ancient guardians of this strange and magical tradition whose writings have survived almost four thousand years. Genghis Khan: Barbarian Conqueror or Harbinger of Democracy Dr. Morris Rossabi, Senior Research Scholar, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University December 2, 2015 Watch on YouTube The world has generally viewed Genghis Khan as a barbaric conqueror whose troops raped and murdered hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, and pillaged and often destroyed villages, towns, and cities throughout Asia and Europe. However, several popular writers have recently portrayed him as an advocate of democracy, international law, and women's rights. This lecture seeks to provide a balanced depiction of Genghis, and to explain the reasons for the myths that have developed about the man and the people who established the largest contiguous land empire in world history. The Piltdown Fossil Forgery and the Search for the “First Englishman” Dr. Janet Monge, Keeper and Curator-in-Charge, Physical Anthropology Section January 6, 2016 Watch on Youtube In the early 20th century, hominid fossils were unearthed all over the mainland continent of Europe—but not a single fossil representing human evolution was found in Great Britain. The Piltdown fossil hoax was perpetrated by a forager who altered the bones of a modern human skull and an orangutan jaw, passing them off as a plausible fossil find. The question of who committed the forgery is considered one of the great mysteries of human evolutionary studies, but the question of why it was accepted by the British scholarly community is more broadly revealing of the nature of the scientific endeavor. Hero Twins of the Americas: Myths of Origin, Duality, and Vengeance Dr. Megan Kassabaum, Weingarten Assistant Curator, American Section and Dr. Simon Martin, Associate Curator / Keeper, American Section February 3, 2016 Watch on Youtube Myths concerning the “hero twins” are widespread from Canada to South America. In the archetypal Maya myth, a pair of twin brothers battle with a range of monsters and death deities as they seek to make the world safe for humankind. Instead of defeating their enemies in trials of strength, they outwit them in games of skill, ingenuity, and magic, offering role models of how best to survive death and ultimately attain rebirth into the sky. A variety of myths throughout North America draw on these same themes but differ dramatically in the details, thereby demonstrating the incredible antiquity of the basic story and the relationships between the diverse cultures of the New World. The Golden Age of King Midas Dr. C. Brian Rose, Curator-in-Charge, Mediterranean Section March 2, 2016 Watch on Youtube Midas was indisputably the most famous ruler of the Phrygian kingdom in central Turkey, and his Golden Touch made him an especially favorite subject in Greek legend. His first monumental project as king was a colossal tomb for his father (ca. 740 BCE) that was excavated by the University of Pennsylvania in 1957, and the finds from that tomb form the centerpiece of the Golden Age of King Midas exhibition at the Penn Museum (open February–November 2016). This lecture provides an overview of the city that he ruled, his diplomatic outreach to the Greeks, and his antagonistic relationship with the Assyrians. The Queen of Sheba in History and Legend Dr. Annette Y. Reed, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania April 6, 2016 Watch on Youtube Best known from the Bible's account of her marriage to the wise king Solomon, the Queen of Sheba has attracted the curiosity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims for millennia. The lecture traces tales about her from Israel to Ethiopia, and explores how traditions about her have traveled between different religions and connected different regions. Warrior Women: Amazons and the Greek Imagination Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania May 4, 2016 Watch on Youtube This lecture considers the Amazons in Greek legend and art. Who were these warrior women and why did they remain a source of curiosity, wonder and fear in the Greek imagination? The Arabian Nights: Medieval Fantasy and Modern Forgery Dr. Paul Cobb, Professor of Islamic History, University of Pennsylvania June 1, 2016 Watch on Youtube The Arabian Nights is probably the medieval Arabic book best known in the west, full of ripping yarns and vivid characters that have influenced film, music, and literature for centuries. But did you know that some of its most cherished tales, such as those of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Sindbad, and even Aladdin, were added by modern European translators? Dr. Cobb offers a walkthrough of the fascinating history of this rambling book from its origins in ancient Middle Eastern myths to its status as European bestseller during the Enlightenment.