Special Events and Exhibitions at the Penn Museum


September 6
Wednesday, 5:00 pm
P.M. @ Penn Museum
Summer Nights Concert Finale: Farah Siraj
The Penn Museum’s popular outdoor series ends on a high note! Named Jordan's “Musical Ambassadress,” Farah Siraj balances a career that spans the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Farah performs her original compositions, fusing influences of Middle Eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa, and pop, with lyrics in Arabic, Spanish, and English. Admission: $10; free for Museum Members.

September 9
Saturday, 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Family Program: Special Needs
Evening Expedition
This new program for families with special needs invites families to the Penn Museum for an unforgettable night of sensory-friendly fun. For children ages 8 and older, teens, and young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families, Evening Expedition offers a look in to the lives of the ancients through hands on, engaging, multi-sensory activities. Evening explorers take part in an interactive game show, enjoy an introductory lesson on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, perform adaptive yoga, make crafts, and even touch artifacts from our ancient Peruvian mummy cart! The night culminates with a flashlight tour of select Museum galleries. The Museum offers a sensory-friendly map and a designated quiet space with low lighting, noise-reducing headphones, and fidgets. $15 per person. Advance reservations required. Contact Megan Becker, Access Programs Specialist, meganbe@upenn.edu, or 215.573.5309.

September 13
Wednesday, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Homeschool Day
Archaeological Adventures: Sensing History
The Penn Museum’s Archaeological Adventures Homeschool Days help groups and families use the international collection to spark their students’ learning. On September 13, guests are invited to a sensory-friendly adventure around the Museum! Whether families have special needs or like to explore with their senses, all are welcome to take part in this Homeschool Day. Attendees explore the past and travel around the world through guided tours or Storytime Expeditions in select galleries. Guests can participate in activities that bring history to life by activating the senses, and try out some hands-on history by taking part in an interactive workshop—investigating daily life in ancient cultures or the process of mummification. Homeschool Day admission and program costs: $12 per child/adult. One adult per family is free and children 3 and under are free. Advance reservations are required; reserve tickets on our website or call 215.746.6774 for more information.

September 13 - December 13
Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Drum Circle Workshop
It’s time to drum with Philly's own master world-percussionist Joseph Tayoun on Wednesdays, beginning September 13 through December 13. All sessions are held in a gallery space, surrounded by ancient artifacts. This class is for all ages and for all levels of drumming! Dancers welcome! A limited number of drums will be provided. BYOD (bring your own drum) recommended! Pay at the door: $15 general admission; $10 Museum members and students with ID.

September 15
Friday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Evening Event
Family Game Night
The whole family is invited to the Penn Museum to experience a game night extravaganza! Guests can choose their own adventure, engage in mental and physical challenges, and explore the Museum’s international galleries like never before! Activity Stations—with a chance to win prizes—invite guests to engage in everything from a puzzle race, to decoding hieroglyphs, a bounce house challenge, a game of knuckle bones, and more! Visitors can stop by for an ancient board game (Mancala, Pente, and Senet), explore Museum objects playing “What in the World?”, and take a family photo in a selfie booth! Snacks (light fare and beverages) available for purchase. The night is recommended for families with children 6 years and older. Cost: $50 for a family of 4; $15 per person.

September 17
Sunday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (open workshop); 5:00 - 6:00 pm (performance)
Dark Waters: 2,379 Days and Counting
Workshop with performance by Syrian-born Artist Issam Kourbaj
On September 17, 2,379 days will have passed since the Syrian uprising on March 15, 2011. Join the Penn Museum for Dark Waters: 2,379 Days and Counting, an interactive community project that continues acclaimed Syrian-born contemporary artist Issam Kourbaj’s exploration into creating art about his homeland. Through this afternoon drop-in workshop with the artist, people of all ages are asked to join in the creation of 2,379 small tin foil and plaster boats to be incorporated into a live-streamed performance of Kourbaj’s notable video piece titled Strike later that evening. See the artist’s work currently featured in the exhibition Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq. The workshop and performance, a Peace Day Philly program, are free in the Museum’s outdoor Stoner Courtyard; the exhibition is free with Museum admission.

September 22
Friday, 8:00 pm
2017 Fringe Festival Performance
‘a disruption’ by John Patrick Stewart
The Penn Museum’s Chinese Rotunda with its 90-foot-high walls topped by a self-supporting dome serves as a grand location for this 2017 Fringe Festival offering. ‘a disruption’ is a 50-minute musical performance of swirling, sputtering percussive dissonance. The latest composition by John Patrick Stewart, it was written for three cellists, four pianists, and four percussionists. The piece is performed in-the-round placing the audience in the center of the radially distributed musicians. Tickets are $20, available via the 2017 Fringe Festival website: fringearts.com.

September 23
Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Smithsonian Museum Day Live!
The Penn Museum is pleased to be part of Museum Day Live!—an annual, nationwide celebration of boundless curiosity, and museums’ extraordinary offerings, hosted by Smithsonian magazine. A Museum Day Live! ticket, downloadable from the Smithsonian.com website, provides free admission for two people. Come out and explore!

September 23 and 24
Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 pm
Special Peace Day Philly Tours
Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq
In honor of Peace Day Philly, the Museum offers timely special exhibition tours, a deeper look at the loss of, threats to, and efforts to save, cultural heritage in war-torn Syria and Iraq. Free with Museum general admission.

September 28
Thursday, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Evening Event
Mummies and Martinis
Enjoy the dramatic backdrop of the Museum's collections during an after-work happy hour in the Egypt (Mummies) Gallery. Admission: $9 per person, includes one free drink for guests 21 and older.

September 28
Thursday, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Evening Event
Sketch Night
Anyone can be an artist for the night! Guests are invited to bring their sketch pads and artist pencils and sketch among the world-renowned sculptures in the Penn Museum’s China Gallery after hours. Admission: $9 per person, includes one free drink for guests 21 and older.

Regularly Scheduled Programs:

Fridays, 1:30 pm
Unearthed in the Archives
Visitors can take a trip through Museum (and world) history in the Penn Museum Archives. Informal weekly chats investigate the many interesting and unusual documents safeguarded in this vast collection. Guests can look for a new experience each week, based on expedition records, vintage photographs, manuscripts, personal letters, and much more. Free with Museum admission.

Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:00 - 11:30 am and 1:30 - 2:00 pm
Weekends, 12:00 - 12:30 and 3:00 - 3:30 pm
The Artifact Lab: Conservation in Action
Lab conservators open the window, ready to answer questions about their conservation projects—anything from studying, documenting, cleaning, or mending an elegant Middle Eastern pot, an ancient Egyptian coffin lid, or other artifacts from the Museum's collections.

Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 pm
Gallery Tours
Penn Museum docents share stories behind the collections, special exhibitions, and cultures presented in the galleries on 45-minute gallery tours that leave from Pepper Hall (just above the Main Entrance desk) most weekend afternoons. Topics change. Check the Museum’s web calendar for current schedule: www.penn.museum/calendar

Special Exhibitions

September 9, 2017 through March 2018
“What in the World?” Early Television Meets the World of Archaeology, 1950-1966
The Penn Museum Archives’ new exhibition, offered in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Provost Office’s Year of Innovation, looks back at the pioneering Penn Museum television program “What in the World?” which aired on WCAU Philadelphia for more than a decade, and was syndicated nationally by CBS from 1951 to 1955. By means of photographs, letters, and other documents, as well as video clips from the few surviving episodes, the exhibition looks back at the highly original game show, offered to the public in the early days of television. Hosted by Penn Museum Director Froelich Rainey, the program featured a changing panel of experts from diverse fields, including such famous people as actor Vincent Price, artist Jacques Lipschitz, and anthropologist Carleton Coon, who worked together to puzzle out where in the world an artifact from the Museum’s collections came from. Second floor Archives Corridor.

Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America
Opened June 24. Now through December 2017
You might be familiar with the some of the more famous prehistoric monuments around the globe—the Great Pyramids in Egypt; Stonehenge in England; Macchu Picchu in Peru. But did you know we have our own impressive monuments right here in the United States? Some even older than the pyramids, these spectacular earthworks give us glimpses into more than 5,000 years of Native North American prehistory. Moundbuilders explores the fascinating history of Native American moundbuilding through a variety of photographs, artifacts, archival materials, and excavation records. Merle-Smith Galleries, First Floor.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq
Opened April 8, 2017. Now through November 26, 2018
Created in conjunction with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, this powerful exhibition sheds light on the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake—the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people—and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity. Fascinating ancient art and artifacts from the Penn Museum’s extensive Near East collection tell stories of the cultures of Syria and Iraq through time. Contemporary artwork from Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist based in Cambridge, UK, provides an art intervention—a modern-day response to the artifacts and themes. The exhibition features the work being done by the University of Pennsylvania and Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with individuals and groups in the Middle East to help combat the loss of irreplaceable cultural heritage. Third Floor.

Objects Speak: Media through Time
Now through March 4, 2018

This student-curated exhibition features 17 objects, drawn from the Penn Museum’s collection and spanning more than four millennia, that impart messages expressing power, influence, and status through diverse media. Presented in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania’s Year of Media, the exhibition makes connections between media of the past and of today. Second Floor Elevator Lobby.

About the Penn Museum

The Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

The Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and first Wednesdays of each month until 8:00 pm. Museum admission donation is $15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); free for U.S. Military; $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Penn Museum Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger.

Hot and cold meals and light refreshments can be purchased with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop offers a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. The Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183

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