University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
In the Artifact Lab Special Exhibition Penn Museum

Objects Speak: Media Through Time was open from March 17, 2017 through March 25, 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.

Caroline and Reggie are the student co-curators of Objects Speak: Media through Time, developed in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Year of Media. The new exhibition, presented in two large cases with adjacent banners in the second floor elevator lobby, features 17 objects from cultures around the world. The oldest object, an Akkadian cylinder seal, is dated to circa 2300 BCE; the newest, a Japanese woodblock print from the Sino-Japanese war, to 1894 CE. Drawn from the Penn Museum’s vast collection and created in a diverse range of materials, the objects were selected for the messages that they each impart—expressing power, influence, and status.

Read more about the exhibition, and the student curators who put it together, here.

In Objects Speak: Media Through Time you will discover:

Egyptian Canopic jar

Persian props used in dramatic reenactments.

Serpent Pendant

How the Kaagwaantaan clan gained the courage of the wolf.


How Egypian rulers controlled their image.

Rx Symbol

Mediums used in ancient media.

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