The Penn Museum, The University of Pennsylvania of Archaeology & Anthropology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
General Information: (215) 898-4000
Membership & Membership Events: (215) 898-5093
Public Programs: (215) 898-2680
Group Sales (adult, senior and college admission): (215) 746-6774
Education/K-12 Tours: (215) 746-6774
Museum Shop: (215) 898-4046
Facility Rentals: (215) 898-3024
Open: Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday 10:00am-5:00pm/Wednesday 10:00am-8:00pm (first Wednesday of the month otherwise 5:00pm)/Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm
Fee: Adults $18.00/Seniors $16.00 (over 65)/Children 17-5 $13.00/Military and Children under 5 and Members Free/Penn Museum Members/Penn Card Holders/HUP/CHOP Employees: Free
Looking for a tranquil place to study or relax? Try the Museum’s garden’s and galleries or the Museum Library. For a bite to eat, stop by the Pepper Mill Café. Come by during Reading Days and Exams for free coffee and tea and extra study space on campus.
Museum Library Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9:00am-9:00pm/Monday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm/Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm/Closed holidays
Pepper Mill Café Hours:
Monday: 10:00am-1:00pm/Tuesday through Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm/Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am-4:30pm
The University of Pennsylvania Museum and Gardens
Museum Shop: A wide selection of books, games, fine jewelry and crafts from around the world can be purchased at the Museum Shop. Open during Museum hours.
Group Tours: Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Private tours and lectures are offered. Call (215) 746-8183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and reservations.
Public Gallery Tours: Penn Museum docents offer tours most Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30pm and Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Please check our website, http://www.penn.museum, for topics (Tour topics are subject to change; cancellation of tours may occur).
Accessibility: The Museum is wheelchair accessible and provides other accommodations. http://www.penn.museum/visit/accessibility.
Parking & Transit: Visit http://www.penn.museum/directions-and-parking for parking information. Parking meters and lots are nearby. The Museum is near SEPTA bus routes 21, 30, 40 and 42 and the SEPTA University City Station (Regional Rail trains).
Rent the Penn Museum: Hold your next special event in our beautiful historic building. http://www.penn.museum/rentals.
I visited the Penn Museum on days I have come to Philly for the Penn versus Cornell games and for the Christmas holidays (the museum is across the street from the football stadium. The museum has three floors of exhibition space which is broken into different centuries. On the Upper floors is the Asian, Egyptian and Roman exhibitions on artifacts, the Mid-level is the Middle Eastern, African, Egyptian, Mexican and North American/Native American Galleries. The lower level was for a special exhibition entitled “The Stories We Wear”, a costume exhibition on times and places.
On my first trip to the museum, I had time to explore the Egyptian, Mexican and Native American galleries before the museum closed for the day. I also got a quick tour of the Sphinx Gallery on my way out. On my most recent trip to the museum, I only had about an hour so I concentrated on the Egyptian Galleries and the special exhibition “The Stories We Wear”.
The Egyptian Galleries
For a small museum, the Egyptian Galleries were pretty extensive. Much of the artifacts had come from Penn digs in Egypt back in the last century when museums used to sponsor and then fill their museums with artifacts. There is a selection of small statuary, jewelry and decorative objects. Some of the collection highlights are the Sphinx of Ramesses the Great from Memphis, Egypt 1293-1185 BC located in the Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery.
The Sphinx Gallery is very interesting
On my first trip to the museum as well as my most recent, I was able to quickly tour the Mexican Galleries with the statues of the Sun and Water gods and the stone calendars. The Standing Figure located in the Mexico and Central America Gallery from Veracruz, Mexico from 500-700 CE. The Gallery has one of the largest collections of Mayan Stone statues in the country.
The Mexican/Central American Galleries
In the Special Exhibition Gallery, “The Stories We Wear” is based on how what we wear and change into transforms us into someone new. The exhibition featured sports uniforms, Chinese Opera gowns, Princess Grace Kelly’s formal dress, drag performers costume as well as an array of accessories that adorn people.
“The Stories We Wear” exhibition
The museum is also a nice place to relax at after the games were over and walking all over the Penn Campus. The front of the museum has nice gardens and seating area right near the museum’s fountains and pool.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum front entrance
There is a lot more I want to explore at the museum but that is for my next trip to Philadelphia.
The History of the University of Pennsylvania Museum:
(from the College website)
The Penn Museum is one of the premier international museums of archaeology and anthropology right here on the University of Pennsylvania campus. An active research and teaching center, the Penn Museum has teams engaged in more than 50 expeditions and research projects worldwide. Three floors of public galleries feature art, artifacts and remarkable stories from every inhabited continent on earth.
From Groundbreaking excavations to ongoing innovation. Our journey as an institution began with an excavation of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nippur, the first American excavation in the Middle East and a groundbreaking undertaking in the history of archaeological research. Since that time, over 300 field excavations and anthropological research projects around the world have set us apart as an active research and educational institution. Today, our mission is fulfilled by 22 curators, 5 teaching specialists and over 150 affiliated consulting scholars.
We are stewards of our remarkable history and humanity. Out vast and varied collection of archaeological finds and ethnographic objects is organized in eleven curatorial sections documenting the peoples of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. These holdings as well as the Museum Archives of excavation and research projects, are used by researchers and borrowing institutions worldwide. And our curators and interpretive planners draw on these rich resources to provide compelling context to our galleries, where visitors can travel the globe in a day.
Transforming understanding of the human experience. Home to over a million extraordinary artifacts and archaeological finds from Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Mediterranean, the Penn Museum has been uncovering our shared humanity across continents and millennia since 1887. In bridging archaeology, the study of objects made by humans, with anthropology, the science of humanity, we chart a course for finding one’s own place in the arc of human history.
We are dedicated to telling powerful stories that emerge from excavations and research across the world. And nowhere else in the Western hemisphere will you be greeted by a 3000 year old, 15 ton Egyptian sphinx!
If there is one thing that 10,000 years of human history have taught us, it is that we have more in common than we think. In the canon of human existence, our past, present and future paths are inextricably intertwined. What does the Code of Hammurabi have to do with the U.S. constitution? How can archaeology help to predict climate change? And what radical social changes accelerated by ancient plagues could be replicated in a post-COVID world?
The Penn Museum sparks curiosity, wonder and endless exploration. We invite everyone to join our incredible journey of discovery and dig deeper.