As a staff bonding experience, we could have gone bowling or had an ice cream social or seen a matinee of Wonder Woman. But the staff of the Social Sciences libraries have a curious affinity for cultural institutions. We chose to visit the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology instead. Closed since 2012, the Hearst Museum recently reopened with a new conference room and remodeled gallery space. Museum curators gave us a behind-the scenes tour of their vault, where we viewed just a few items from this collection of some 3.8 million objects. Among the highlights were personal adornments worn by the Maidu Indians of Butte County, Etruscan goblets, cuneiform tablets and Hopi-Tewa carved kachina.
The Hearst Museum was founded in 1901 and is a comprehensive anthropology museum supporting research in Archaeology, Art History, Classics, Egyptology and Folklore. It is located in Kroeber Hall (just below the Anthropology Library). For hours and directions see the Visit Hearst Museum page.
The Social Sciences Division highly recommends the current exhibit, People Made These Things: Connecting with the Makers of Our World. This interactive exhibit explores everyday objects and asks the viewer to think about who made those objects … and why.
Special thanks to Hearst Museum of Anthropology staff Katie Fleming, Ira Jacknis, Jordan Jacobs and Linda Waterfield for making our visit possible.
Images Courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology