Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This weekend I got free passes to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. As a child, this was the most magical place of all to my brother and I and we spent countless hours lost in its labyrinthine exhibits. Truly, a huge, huge influence on my life.
They tore down the old building about 5 years ago (it wasn't earthquake-safe, so they said) and built a new, thoroughly modern museum. Though I've been several times now, it doesn't hold the same majesty the old one held, and I don't think it's because I am older now. Simply put, it both holds less stuff, and modernity has stripped the soul of the place.
That said, it's not all bad, of course, and one of the major highlights of this latest visit for me was the unexpected discovery of a small exhibit called Evolving Traditions: Southwest Native Pottery and Silver, which produced much "ooh-ing" and "aaaaah-ing" from me.
Here I learned of the Elkus family, who collected thousands of artifacts while being legal advocates for Indians. Their collection is now owned by the Academy and is incredible, as you can see from the images included here (though some of the images are of objects not on display at this exhibit)! Glad to see the Academy highlight subject matter such as this.