Special Exhibitions at the Penn Museum..

A visit to our special exhibitions will transform your understanding of the human experience through compelling narratives, unique objects and engaging interactives. The stories of diverse cultures throughout history and their varied perspectives are shared through a contemporary lens, making historical connections that are relevant to our lives today. We invite you to join us on a voyage of ongoing discovery!


Ancient Architects of North America

Moundbuilders explores the fascinating story of Native American moundbuilding through a variety of photographs, artifacts, archival materials, and excavation records.

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Cultures in the Crossfire

Stories from Syria and Iraq

Nimrud. Aleppo. Palmyra. Ebla. These ancient sites and many others in Iraq and Syria have found their way to the top of international news today, as the destruction of cultural heritage becomes both a by-product and a tactic of ongoing war.

The Artifact Lab:

Conservation in Action

Part exhibition, part working laboratory, a glass-enclosed conservation lab allows you to follow conservators as they protect, restore, and preserve pieces of Egyptian history.

Objects Speak:

Media Through Time

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.

Timely Exhibits of Interest to Everyone

Timely Exhibits features personal letters, manuscripts, news clippings, catalogues, and dozens of photographs representing a century of Penn Museum exhibitions.

Magic in the Ancient World

Ancient magic addressed many of the dreams, hopes, and passions humans grapple with today: desire for health and wellbeing, protection from evil—even revenge.

Native American Voices:

The People—Here and Now

Remarkable objects and contemporary voices combine to offer a new understanding of the first inhabitants of this land, as told through Native American perspectives.

Imagine Africa:

with the Penn Museum

How do you imagine Africa? This interactive exhibition invites you to explore your concept of Africa and the people who have inhabited the continent throughout history.

Making and Unmaking Race

Are racial categories useful ways to categorize humans? Explore the history of race in this display, which includes skulls from the notorious Morton Collection.

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