Glencairn Museum

Glencairn Museum This is the official page for Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. http://www.glencairnmuseum.org Glencairn, built between 1928 and 1939, was the home of the Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn family for forty years.
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Today Glencairn serves as a museum of religious art and history. Visitors explore beliefs and practices through renowned art collections, including ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, medieval Christian, Islamic, Asian, and American Indian. Pitcairn’s collection of medieval stained glass and sculpture is considered to be one of the country's finest. Glencairn Museum is open for guided tours and events. See our website, glencairnmuseum.org, for more tour and event information. Glencairn Museum Social Media Code of Conduct

Our social media presence is designed to help visitors learn about Glencairn Museum’s public programs, our building and collections, and related research. We welcome your comments. Here are a few guidelines to ensure that our online visitors have a positive experience on our page. Please stay on topic. Keep your comments relevant to the post at hand. Do not advertise or self promote. Off-topic comments and advertisements are likely to be removed. Please be respectful. Treat others with civility, the same way you would want them to treat you. Do not post personal attacks (deliberately insulting comments directed toward a specific individual or group), racist or sexist comments, or profanity. Comments that do not meet this standard are likely to be removed. Please take responsibility for what you say by posting under your own name; we do not allow alias accounts (and neither does Facebook). Those who violate these guidelines repeatedly may be banned from our page.

Operating as usual

Have you ever noticed the large plaster cast of the Rosetta Stone just outside the entrance to Glencairn’s Egyptian Gall...
04/21/2021

Have you ever noticed the large plaster cast of the Rosetta Stone just outside the entrance to Glencairn’s Egyptian Gallery? Although not ancient, this reproduction, and several others on exhibit at Glencairn, are more than 100 years old. Plaster casts of ancient sculptures were widely collected by museums and universities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The British Museum and the Louvre made casts of important works in their collections and sold many to American museums and collectors. The casts at Glencairn were first acquired in 1914 by the Academy of the New Church’s museum, located on the top floor of the library in Bryn Athyn:

“The Academy's Archeological Museum has been enriched, recently, by the acquisition of a fine set of facsimile casts of treasures such as the Rosetta Stone, the black obelisque of Shalmaneser II; two beautiful statues of Osiris and Isis; large tablets showing the Siloam inscription in the ancient Hebrew characters; Ashurbanipal and his queen in their garden; Shamash, the Assyrian sun-god, in his temple, etc. The Reading Room in the Library, moreover, has been furnished with a series of fine busts of Greek gods and classical heroes and writers, which lend a delightful sphere and finish to the beautiful room. We need not mention the name of the generous friend who has provided these lovely additions to our educational equipment.” (_New Church Life_ 1914, pp. 159-160; we suspect that the “generous friend” was John Pitcairn.)

Have you ever noticed the large plaster cast of the Rosetta Stone just outside the entrance to Glencairn’s Egyptian Gallery? Although not ancient, this reproduction, and several others on exhibit at Glencairn, are more than 100 years old. Plaster casts of ancient sculptures were widely collected by museums and universities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The British Museum and the Louvre made casts of important works in their collections and sold many to American museums and collectors. The casts at Glencairn were first acquired in 1914 by the Academy of the New Church’s museum, located on the top floor of the library in Bryn Athyn:

“The Academy's Archeological Museum has been enriched, recently, by the acquisition of a fine set of facsimile casts of treasures such as the Rosetta Stone, the black obelisque of Shalmaneser II; two beautiful statues of Osiris and Isis; large tablets showing the Siloam inscription in the ancient Hebrew characters; Ashurbanipal and his queen in their garden; Shamash, the Assyrian sun-god, in his temple, etc. The Reading Room in the Library, moreover, has been furnished with a series of fine busts of Greek gods and classical heroes and writers, which lend a delightful sphere and finish to the beautiful room. We need not mention the name of the generous friend who has provided these lovely additions to our educational equipment.” (_New Church Life_ 1914, pp. 159-160; we suspect that the “generous friend” was John Pitcairn.)

Glencairn early this afternoon, from Cathedral Road.
04/19/2021

Glencairn early this afternoon, from Cathedral Road.

Glencairn early this afternoon, from Cathedral Road.

Ceremonial cauldrons decorated with attachments in various animal and human forms, like this one from North Syria or Ura...
04/18/2021
Syro-Hittite siren cauldron attachment - Google Arts & Culture

Ceremonial cauldrons decorated with attachments in various animal and human forms, like this one from North Syria or Urartu, were widely used throughout the Near East and Greece in the 7th and 8th centuries B.C. The attachments were mounted on the rim as symbolic protectors of the cauldron's liquid refreshments, used in communal feasts. Click below to read more and zoom in to see the details on Google Arts & Culture.

“Most scholars would identify this figure as female since there are attachments with bearded human-headed winged demons that are certainly male, and attach...

In a 2015 article in Glencairn Museum News, a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art explained the unique historic...
04/17/2021

In a 2015 article in Glencairn Museum News, a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art explained the unique historical connections between Glencairn and the Cloisters Museum in New York City. "Both Glencairn and the Cloisters’ buildings incorporate tall, Romanesque-inspired towers, chapels, halls and cloister spaces, and there are actual medieval pieces inserted into the walls throughout.” Read it here: https://bit.ly/3gfZCwd

In a 2015 article in Glencairn Museum News, a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art explained the unique historical connections between Glencairn and the Cloisters Museum in New York City. "Both Glencairn and the Cloisters’ buildings incorporate tall, Romanesque-inspired towers, chapels, halls and cloister spaces, and there are actual medieval pieces inserted into the walls throughout.” Read it here: https://bit.ly/3gfZCwd

Visit Glencairn for some family fun! Indoors you can check out our Sacred Adornment exhibition and design your own prote...
04/16/2021

Visit Glencairn for some family fun! Indoors you can check out our Sacred Adornment exhibition and design your own protective scarab amulet. Outdoors try out our photo scavenger hunt that will guide you through the gardens and grounds. More info on visiting here: bit.ly/3rd8pRn Can’t visit in person? No problem! Check out our family-friendly educational resources page for projects and activities from our collections here: bit.ly/308KDdR #GlencairnMuseumKids #MuseumFromHome #Spring #FamilyTime #Fun

Visit Glencairn for some family fun! Indoors you can check out our Sacred Adornment exhibition and design your own protective scarab amulet. Outdoors try out our photo scavenger hunt that will guide you through the gardens and grounds. More info on visiting here: bit.ly/3rd8pRn Can’t visit in person? No problem! Check out our family-friendly educational resources page for projects and activities from our collections here: bit.ly/308KDdR #GlencairnMuseumKids #MuseumFromHome #Spring #FamilyTime #Fun

Glencairn’s tulips are showing off this week! 🌷🌷🌷
04/15/2021

Glencairn’s tulips are showing off this week! 🌷🌷🌷

Glencairn’s tulips are showing off this week! 🌷🌷🌷

Today Google has replaced its homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Johannes Gutenberg, the German inventor who introduce...
04/14/2021
Virtual Medieval Festival- Kirsten Gyllenhaal- Gutenberg-Style Printing Press

Today Google has replaced its homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Johannes Gutenberg, the German inventor who introduced movable-type printing to Europe. Gutenberg’s invention marked the beginning of a revolution in printing that allowed everyday people to possess their own Bibles in their own native languages. Glencairn Museum's working replica of a Gutenberg-style printing press was made in 1990 by Richard Hicks of Cedar Crest, New Mexico. It is modeled on the smaller traveling presses of the sixteenth century, which were capable of being dismantled and carried in wagons from town to town. For a video of our press in action, click below!

*To donate to Glencairn Museum, visit us here :https://glencairnmuseum.org/donate *In this demonstration, Glencairn Museum researcher and educator, Kirsten G...

Glencairn's Cloister this afternoon. 🌷
04/13/2021

Glencairn's Cloister this afternoon. 🌷

Glencairn's Cloister this afternoon. 🌷

It’s #NationalPetDay! The dog relaxing on an oriental rug in Glencairn’s Great Hall is a Harlequin Great Dane named Hoov...
04/11/2021

It’s #NationalPetDay! The dog relaxing on an oriental rug in Glencairn’s Great Hall is a Harlequin Great Dane named Hoover. In this 1967 photo, Mildred Pitcairn celebrates her 81st birthday with her children and grandchildren (and Hoover, who is clearly an important member of the family).

It’s #NationalPetDay! The dog relaxing on an oriental rug in Glencairn’s Great Hall is a Harlequin Great Dane named Hoover. In this 1967 photo, Mildred Pitcairn celebrates her 81st birthday with her children and grandchildren (and Hoover, who is clearly an important member of the family).

Today is #SlowArtDay, an international day that invites people around the world to visit a museum and spend time with a ...
04/10/2021

Today is #SlowArtDay, an international day that invites people around the world to visit a museum and spend time with a work of art (at least 5 minutes is recommended). Because Glencairn Museum is now a partner with Google Arts & Culture, you can even visit us virtually from the comfort of your favorite chair. Pick a work of art from 160 “zoomable” entries on our Google Arts & Culture page. What do you notice when you look slowly and carefully at it?⁠ This innovative Google platform is an immersive way to experience art, history, and culture from more than two thousand organizations worldwide. Glencairn’s growing virtual collection may be viewed here:
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/glencairn-museum

Today is #SlowArtDay, an international day that invites people around the world to visit a museum and spend time with a work of art (at least 5 minutes is recommended). Because Glencairn Museum is now a partner with Google Arts & Culture, you can even visit us virtually from the comfort of your favorite chair. Pick a work of art from 160 “zoomable” entries on our Google Arts & Culture page. What do you notice when you look slowly and carefully at it?⁠ This innovative Google platform is an immersive way to experience art, history, and culture from more than two thousand organizations worldwide. Glencairn’s growing virtual collection may be viewed here:
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/glencairn-museum

Ancient Egypt has been in the news this week! This Egyptian shawabti in Glencairn’s collection, made from blue faience, ...
04/09/2021

Ancient Egypt has been in the news this week! This Egyptian shawabti in Glencairn’s collection, made from blue faience, is inscribed for a deceased woman named Isit-em-khet. Multiple shawabtis were placed in a tomb to serve as substitutes for the mummy in case it was damaged, and also to act as servants to do the agricultural work of the deceased in the Netherworld.

During her lifetime, Isit-em-khet served as a musician-priestess in the the temple of Amun. (From Deir-el Bahri, western Thebes. Dynasty 21, 1070-946 B.C.)

Ancient Egypt has been in the news this week! This Egyptian shawabti in Glencairn’s collection, made from blue faience, is inscribed for a deceased woman named Isit-em-khet. Multiple shawabtis were placed in a tomb to serve as substitutes for the mummy in case it was damaged, and also to act as servants to do the agricultural work of the deceased in the Netherworld.

During her lifetime, Isit-em-khet served as a musician-priestess in the the temple of Amun. (From Deir-el Bahri, western Thebes. Dynasty 21, 1070-946 B.C.)

04/08/2021

Spring has sprung and we can spy some flowers blooming in the Museum’s gardens! We also noticed some beautiful flowers and fruit trees in the medieval tapestries that hang on the Museum's walls. These tapestries show people from the Middle Ages hawking, boar hunting, and tending to sheep. What else can you spy in them? Click this link (bit.ly/39JWnc5) to try out our new Medieval Spring I-Spy activity and learn a little more about three medieval tapestries in Glencairn’s collections! Visit our website to find out how to visit the Museum’s gardens in person (bit.ly/3rd8pRn). #GlencairnMuseumKids #MuseumFromHome #Spring #Medieval #Flowers

Glencairn’s cherry tree is now in full bloom! 🌸
04/07/2021

Glencairn’s cherry tree is now in full bloom! 🌸

Glencairn’s cherry tree is now in full bloom! 🌸

Today, April 6th, is #NationalTartanDay. The day was officially designated in 2008 by Presidential Proclamation:"On Nati...
04/06/2021

Today, April 6th, is #NationalTartanDay. The day was officially designated in 2008 by Presidential Proclamation:

"On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life."

John Pitcairn, Raymond's father, was born in Johnstone, Scotland, in 1841. When John was five years old he emigrated with his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This photograph of Raymond Pitcairn and his sons was taken at Glencairn in December, 1960.

Today, April 6th, is #NationalTartanDay. The day was officially designated in 2008 by Presidential Proclamation:

"On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life."

John Pitcairn, Raymond's father, was born in Johnstone, Scotland, in 1841. When John was five years old he emigrated with his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This photograph of Raymond Pitcairn and his sons was taken at Glencairn in December, 1960.

Today is Easter, when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as described in the New Testament. Glencairn...
04/04/2021

Today is Easter, when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as described in the New Testament. Glencairn's fifth-floor chapel includes a stained-glass window with three scenes from the Easter story, all created in the Bryn Athyn Studios. The bottom panel shows an angel sitting on a stone beside the open door of the tomb where the body of Jesus had been laid:

"But the angel answered and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.'" (Matthew 28:5-6)

Hyacinths and daffodils on a beautiful spring day! 🌞 🌼
04/03/2021

Hyacinths and daffodils on a beautiful spring day! 🌞 🌼

Today is Good Friday, also called Holy Friday, a day when Christians worldwide commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Chri...
04/02/2021
The Glencairn Pietà: A 15th-Century Painting from Valencia — Glencairn Museum

Today is Good Friday, also called Holy Friday, a day when Christians worldwide commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For many years this 15th-century Pietà from Valencia, Spain, has been on exhibit in Glencairn’s Great Hall (just above the second-floor balcony). It was acquired by Raymond Pitcairn for his medieval collection. In this essay for Glencairn Museum News, Dr. Mercedes Gómez-Ferrer, Professor of Art History at the University of Valencia, will shed new light on this extraordinary painting. This Pietà is now also available online as a high-resolution, “zoomable” photo on Glencairn’s Google Arts & Culture page.

A Pietà acquired by Raymond Pitcairn, previously in the Demotte Collection, is an extraordinary panel from Valencia, Spain, painted around 1435-40. This essay by Dr. Mercedes Gómez-Ferrer, Professor of Art History at the University of València (Spain), sheds new light on this remarkable painting.

#Springtime 🌼
04/02/2021

#Springtime 🌼

Sunset this evening.
03/31/2021

Sunset this evening.

For Women’s History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate all the ways that women of the past and of today have contr...
03/30/2021

For Women’s History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate all the ways that women of the past and of today have contributed to history and culture, Glencairn Education would like to highlight one of the historic women represented in Glencairn’s collections—Julia Domna, Empress of Rome! Learn more by reading about her and trying some of the activities on the activity sheet here: bit.ly/3m32c9F #GlencairnMuseumKids #MuseumFromHome #WomensHistoryMonth

We found this carpet of blue Scilla blooming on the Glencairn grounds today. Most varieties of Scilla flower in the earl...
03/29/2021

We found this carpet of blue Scilla blooming on the Glencairn grounds today. Most varieties of Scilla flower in the early spring.

In Christian tradition the week before Easter is called Holy Week. Today is Palm Sunday, a day that marks Jesus' triumph...
03/28/2021

In Christian tradition the week before Easter is called Holy Week. Today is Palm Sunday, a day that marks Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Was this eighth-century ivory box, with scenes that seem to evoke Palm Sunday on one side, owned by a medieval king? Several years ago an international group of medievalists were given the opportunity to examine this object. Read about “one of the most tantalizing works of art encountered at Glencairn” in this 2013 issue of Glencairn Museum News: https://bit.ly/2XfjPZD

This week, at the request of an art history professor in Spain, we photographed the back of this 15th-century painting f...
03/26/2021

This week, at the request of an art history professor in Spain, we photographed the back of this 15th-century painting for her upcoming article about it in Glencairn Museum News. (We photographed the front, too!)

Spring is here, and for some of our #GlencairnMuseumKids this means it might be time for Spring Break! Wondering what to...
03/25/2021

Spring is here, and for some of our #GlencairnMuseumKids this means it might be time for Spring Break! Wondering what to do? We’ve got you covered! Check out our new Ancient Egypt Memory Game here: (bit.ly/2P5uVi2). You could also plan a visit to Glencairn with your family to try out our outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt or design your own protective scarab amulet in our Sacred Adornment exhibition! Visit our website for more details: (bit.ly/3rd8pRn). #GlencairnMuseumKids #MuseumFromHome #Homeschool #Spring

Today is #WhyILoveMuseums day! 🏛“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to muse...
03/24/2021

Today is #WhyILoveMuseums day! 🏛

“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.”
—Maira Kalman

Please feel free to take a moment to share with us what you love about museums.

This is the lower left-hand corner of a stained-glass window in Glencairn’s chapel. Made in the Bryn Athyn glassworks, t...
03/22/2021

This is the lower left-hand corner of a stained-glass window in Glencairn’s chapel. Made in the Bryn Athyn glassworks, the window’s border is decorated with a repeating botanical theme—with one notable exception. (Looks like someone was having fun!)

Glencairn as seen in this afternoon from the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a private, non-profit land conserva...
03/21/2021

Glencairn as seen in this afternoon from the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a private, non-profit land conservancy.

March 21st is #NationalFlowerDay 🌷 This photo of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn beside the south wall of Glencairn was tak...
03/21/2021

March 21st is #NationalFlowerDay 🌷 This photo of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn beside the south wall of Glencairn was taken in 1955. Mildred loved flowers and oversaw the planting of various gardens on the grounds. She also routinely sent gifts of flowers to friends and family from their greenhouses on the grounds of Cairnwood. The south wall was constructed in the late 1940s and was consciously designed to be used as a wall garden. Mildred carefully chose the plants that were used; by the time this photograph was taken the plantings were well established.

Happy #FirstDayofSpring! 🌼Let’s time-travel back to the 1950s and join Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn on a virtual garden ...
03/20/2021

Happy #FirstDayofSpring! 🌼

Let’s time-travel back to the 1950s and join Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn on a virtual garden stroll! How quickly can you assemble this online jigsaw puzzle? Click on this link to start (https://bit.ly/2xJ0Yvx) and then share your time with us in the comments below!

Have you ever noticed the amazing, hand-forged metalwork in Glencairn? This massive bronze double door leading from the ...
03/19/2021

Have you ever noticed the amazing, hand-forged metalwork in Glencairn? This massive bronze double door leading from the Cloister to the Great Hall features a hand-wrought Monel metal handle on each side. One side is in the form of a ram, and the other side in the form of a ewe. These doors were produced in the same Bryn Athyn blacksmith shop that made the doors, handles, locks, railings, screens, and grills for Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

Address

1001 Cathedral Rd
Bryn Athyn, PA
19009

Opening Hours

Tuesday 14:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 14:00 - 16:30
Thursday 14:00 - 16:30
Friday 14:00 - 16:30
Saturday 13:00 - 16:30
Sunday 13:00 - 16:30

Telephone

(267) 502-2600

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