On Dec. 6, 1887, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania resolved to send “an exploring expedition to Babylonia” (modern-day southern Iraq) with the stipulation that the University would build “suitable accommodations” to house any artifacts that the expedition team would bring back.
This act set the course for what would become the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
One hundred and twenty-five years (to the day) after its founding, the Penn Museum is celebrating its anniversary with an Open House on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The commemoration is free and open to the public.
Museum visitors will be able to take behind-the-scenes tours, and meet curators, archaeologists, and anthropologists. Guests can also join special flashlight-guided tours of the Ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean galleries after dark.
Julian Siggers, the Williams Director of the Penn Museum, has extended a personal invitation to the entire Penn community.
“The Penn Museum is a one-of-a-kind international museum, infinitely enriched by being a part of this extraordinary University,” he says. “Every person here is so much a part of our past, our present, and, most certainly, our future. We have activities programmed all day into the evening, and encourage you to drop by at lunch or after work.”
In the morning of the big day, visitors can meet Near East Collection Keeper Katherine Blanchard, Historical Archaeology Associate Curator Robert Schuyler, Mediterranean Association Curator Ann Brownlee, and Asian Collection Keeper Stephen Lang.
That afternoon, guests will get a chance to speak with Mediterranean Collection Keeper Lynn Makowsky, Egyptian Associate Curator Jennifer Wegner, Mediterranean Curator C. Brian Rose, and African Collections Keeper Dwuane Latimer. Visitors can also enjoy a tour led by Archivist Alessandro Pezzati, and an Education Open House featuring Penn Museum collection-inspired artwork by area students.
Evening highlights will include a visit with Egyptian Curator David Silverman, Cultural Heritage Center Director Richard Leventhal, Physical Anthropology Curator Janet Monge, as well as the flashlight tours.
All visitors are welcome to enjoy complimentary hot apple cider and cookies in the Museum Café.
For a complete schedule of events, visit the Penn Museum website.
Originally published on November 29, 2012