The newly opened Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia represent the first phase of the most significant redevelopment of the Museum in over 100 years.
Set in 6,000 square feet of recently renovated exhibition space, the Middle East Galleries are the first of the Museum’s upcoming signature galleries to open. This suite of galleries invites the visitor to travel on a remarkable 10,000-year human journey ‘to the city’ – from life in the earliest villages and towns to increasingly complex and large-scale settlements.
Nearly 1,200 objects from the Museum’s iconic collections are on view. These include world-renowned treasures such as a Sumerian queen’s crowning jewellery from 4,500 years ago, the famed Ram-in-the-Thicket statuette, and one of the oldest known wine vessels in the world. The objects are the prime means of communication, enabling visitors to explore the wider social, cultural, commercial, artistic and political context in which these items were produced.
Large-scale video projections, scale models, illustrator’s renderings of scenes from the reconstructed past, smaller interactive stations, and touchable reproductions provide diverse avenues for visitors to engage with the collections and the stories they tell. We partnered with tgac to create the interpretation masterplan.