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January AT PENNExtras!

Almanac - December 22, 2009, Volume 56 No. 16

Morris Arboretum


Winter Wellness Walks take place at the Morris Arboretum every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. from November until March. Wellness Walks encourage visitors to step outside and get some exercise by walking the Arboretum’s paved paths, in a beautiful, safe environment. Guides point out specimen trees and other features during the brisk, two mile journey. Walkers meet at the Visitor’s Center.

Above: At the Morris Arboretum, a snow covered Katsura tree, which are native to Japan and China and known for their delicate heart shaped leaves and bright autumn colors.


Holiday Garden

Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway is back for its 9th annual season. The display features a quarter mile of track, with 15 different rail lines for the model trains, which run alongside replicas of Philadelphia-area landmarks made of natural materials. The display runs from November 27 through January 3.


Kroiz Gallery

Ben's House: Designing History at Franklin Court

Through January 22

Ben's House

This exhibit explores the making of Franklin Court through a selection of original sketches, models and period photographs.


Penn Museum

The Goodlands: Young Photographers Inspiring Hope in North Philadelphia

Through May


Now through May, the Penn Museum will present The Goodlands: Young Photographers Inspiring Hope in North Philadelphia, a selection of more than 40 color photographs of people and places in the community, including the one above, taken between 2000 and 2009 by neighborhood children aged 5 to 13. The photography exhibition, on view in the Museum’s Kress gallery, challenges stereotypes and negative biases by highlighting hopeful images in the local community.

Penn Museum

Righteous Dopefiend: An Anthropological Installation on Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America

Through May

Righteous Dopefiend

Righteous Dopefiend: An Anthropological Installation on Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America, December 5 through May 2010 at the Penn Museum. © Jeff Schonberg 2009

Penn Museum

Fulfilling a Prophecy: the Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania

Through July

lenape 1 Lenape2

Lenape Meesing Candle holder made of metal and paint. Each year, the Lenape of Pennsylvania honor Meesing, the protector of the woodlands, with a fall Meesing ceremony. At the ceremony, a member of the Medicine Society, a group of men responsible for organizing and performing the Meesing ceremony, represents Meesing as a dancer. The Meesing dancer prepares for his task during the year preceding the ceremony by meditating on Meesing and making objects with Meesing’s image, which are given to the Medicine Society.  

A Lenape fan made of beads, deerskin and feathers rests in the hands of Shelley DePaul, director of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania and co-curator of Penn Museum’s new exhibition, Fulfilling a Prophecy: the Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania.

Photos: Lauren Hansen-Flaschen.


Penn Museum

Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetary



Gold bull amulet (Height: 1.5 cm; Width: 1.5 cm) originally part of a necklace of gold. The bearded bull, considered divine in early Mesopotamia, is made of a thin sheet of gold wrapped over a bitumen core. Found loose in the soil at the Royal Cemetery, ca 2550 BCE.


Penn Museum

Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya

Through January 2010



A world-renowned collection of ancient Maya painted pottery, excavated by the Penn Museum nearly a century ago and reinterpreted in light of recent research in the field, provides the centerpiece for Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya.

Pictured is a Mayan Incense Burner from the exhibit.

Penn Museum

His Golden Touch: The Gordion Drawings of Piet de Jong

September 26 - January 10, 2010


Watercolor reconstruction by Piet de Jong of a group of figures from the Painted House, ca. 500 BCE, excavated at Gordion, Turkey.


Penn Presents


The Grammy-Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir (above) will appear at the Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center on January 30. This South African ensemble performs tribal, traditional and popular African gospel in eight different languages.

RIver North

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of River North Chicago Dance Company, January 14-16 at the Annenberg Center, with five new works created by Artistic Director Frank Chaves and choreographers Robert Battle and Lauri Stallings. Enjoy Broadway to ballroom, jazz to contemporary, and everything in between, performed by a company of dancers. Program highlights include Chaves’ Habaneras, the Music of Cuba, an homage to his heritage, set to music by Cuba’s most popular composers including Ernesto Lecuona, and Sherry Zunker’s original signature work, Reality of a Dreamer. See On Stage.

American Composers Orchestra will perform Conversations, January 30 at the Annenberg Center. Cuban-born composer/saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera joins Orchestra Underground in a concerto for saxophone and double bass. Sebastian Currier and Pawel Wojtasik evoke New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with murmurs of water and Dixieland, in their new multimedia work Next Atlantis.


On January 22 at the Annenberg Center, experience The Bald Soprano—six actors, 24 performances and no breaks. Eugene Ionesco’s “one-hour masterpiece of metaphysical nonsense” will be performed every hour, on the hour, for 24 hours! Suburban life gets an extreme makeover when the Smiths and Martins find themselves trapped in a world of conformity, social manners and paranoid suspicions. Identities shift, secrets are revealed and all sense of decorum and communication breaks down in a delirious rush of words and gestures. As the clock strikes the hour, The Bald Soprano ends where it began.


Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

Interplay: Art*Audience*Architecture

Through February 26


Sculptures from nine artists including Lanny Bergner, Fritz Dietel and Nancy Graves; first floor, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Institute of Contemporary Art


Dance with Camera is an exhibition and a screening program that explores a crossover between artists and dancers who make choreography for the camera. The exhibition features art works in film, video, and still photography that exemplify the ways dance has compelled visual artists to record bodies moving in time and space. Through March 21.

Wistar Institute

Nikon Small World Photography Contest

Through March 12


Nikon’s annual Small World photography contest, now in its 35th year, celebrates the complexity and beauty of the world as captured through the microscope. Today’s advanced microscopes are opening new windows on the intricate structures and subtle processes of life, leading to scientific discovery and medical progress. Winning images will be displayed in the main atrium at the Wistar Institute from January 8-March 12, and information will be presented on microscopy and photographic techniques. Seminars regarding advanced imaging technologies will take place on January 7 beginning at 1 p.m.

Above: 2009 Fourth Place winner: Anglerfish Ovary, 2-Channel Autofluorescence, 4X objective by James Hayden, The Wistar Institute Microscopy Core Facility.

Van Pelt-Dietrich Library


Image courtesy of the Historical Society of PA

Francis Johnson: Music Master of Early Philadelphia; Celebrating the acquisition of Francis Johnson sheet music from the collection of Kurt Stein.

Eugene Ormandy Gallery through Fall 2009.

Morris Arboretum

meta Metasequoia


Morris Morris 2
Nestled within the dawn redwood grove, meta Metasequoia will provide a fresh perspective of these wonderful trees. The exhibit will elevate visitors up into the tree canopy of the dawn redwoods by means of an artistic structure with stairs leading to the "basket," an open-air room whose floor is 12 feet above ground. Climbing up into the structure, nicknamed the "Grasshopper," visitors will be able to revisit the childhood feeling of being in a tree house, enjoy the views and relax in unusual intimacy with these majestic trees.

Student Lounge , GSE
A Wonderful Life:
A Daughter's Tribute to a Family of Educators


Pennsylvania Daughter

Pennsylvania Daughter by Joan Myerson. Digital "painting" of the artist's mother as Penn student.