The Colorful Visions of Mary Louise Baker - Atlas Obscura
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Colorful Visions of Mary Louise Baker

Draw inspiration from the stunning archaeological watercolors of Mary Louise Baker and try your hand at watercolor painting in this after-hours workshop in the Penn Museum galleries.

Dating back to before color photography, Mary Louise Baker's watercolor artifact documentation is a true testament to the power of the artist's unique insight and eye. The ancient artifacts Baker painted seem to leap off the pages, taking on a new life through her brush.

Join head archivist Alex Pezzoti at the Penn Museum after hours to see and learn how Mary Louise Baker's work took her where few women had gone before, and how her impact at the museum remains one-of-a-kind. We'll also have the opportunity to visit and draw inspiration from the Middle East galleries with artist Rosae Reeder. Then, utilizing the very medium that Baker redefined, we'll explore the singular experience that comes from engaging with archaeological artifacts through art. 

Your ticket covers after hours access to the Penn Museum galleries, watercolor supplies and workshop instruction designed for all skill levels.


  • This event is open to attendees of all skill levels!
  • All artistic materials will be provided; attendees are not permitted to bring and use their own.
  • Please plan to enter through the Penn Museum’s Main Entrance (Kamin) between 6:15-6:30 pm. This is the entrance located on South Street, with a staircase leading up to it and the large courtyard/koi pond.
  • Due to the museum's construction schedule, there is a chance that this visit may not be accessible for those who are unable to use the stairs. Please email us if this is a concern.


Email John Pettit at

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.