Anthropology celebrates 100
Hearst Museum exhibit sheds light on cultures and collections

By Kathleen Maclay, Public Affairs



A cameraman for “Bay Area Backroads” films artifacts in Hearst Museum for a show on the Washoe Indians scheduled to air at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24 on Channel 4. The crew said it came to the Hearst because of its stellar native California collection.
Peg Skorpinski photo

20 February 2002 | An elegant, basalt image of the ancient Egyptian lion goddess Sekhmet will greet visitors entering the centennial exhibit that opens Feb. 28 at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

The display will feature 700 rarely seen artifacts — and a few never glimpsed by the public — selected from a trove of nearly 4 million objects gathered over the last 100 years for the world-class museum.

The exhibit is divided by time periods, taking visitors on a trek to the many continents and cultures explored by Berkeley anthropologists and archaeologists — professors and graduate students — over the past century.

“Behind everything here in this museum is this richness, this depth,” said Patrick Kirch, museum director and an archeologist.

Ira Jacknis, an associate research anthropologist and curator of the centennial exhibit, said he hopes visitors enjoy what they see and learn something at the same time. He hopes they leave with a clearer understanding of how and why collection choices were made and how acquisitions occurred, as well as a better sense of human culture and creativity, and what anthropology has become since its earliest days.

“Native Californian Cultures,” a separate and permanent exhibit featuring the Hearst’s California Indian collections, opens in a refurbished, permanent museum gallery at the same time as the centennial display.

Admission is free for museum members, UC students, staff and faculty, and to the public on Thursdays.


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