Adopt an Object

By A&S Magazine

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Every object in the Archaeological Museum’s collection—each delicate pair of emerald earrings or Attic red-figure vase—has its own back story, its own particular secrets to be unearthed. That research on these objects is time-consuming and meticulous is a given. That funding is steadily available is not.

To combat this disparity, the museum offers the Adopt-an-Object program. Prospective sponsors select objects in the museum’s collection for which they have a particular passion. Their donation, which varies depending on the object, funds the necessary research, examination, and conservation in preparation for the object’s exhibition.  In return, sponsors receive updates about the research. Recent sponsors include an art history class from Notre Dame Preparatory School that raised money through campaigns such as polishing their peers’ shoes to support research of their object—an Egyptian “magic wand” (ca. 1750 B.C.E.) used by nurses to draw protective circles around mothers during childbirth.

“Most objects require additional work before they can be put on view,” says Sanchita Balachandran, the museum’s curator/conservator, and Adopt an Object is a way to get patrons intimately involved in the museum’s work. “We’re interested in people having a passionate and personal connection with the ancient past.”

For more information, visit the Archaeological Museum’s website.

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The Egyptian “magic wand” (ca. 1750 B.C.E.) adopted by the art history class of Christine Plumer at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore. [Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum]