blogs

Treasures from the Basement: Kumeyaay/Tipai Pottery

Treasures from the Basement: Kumeyaay/Tipai Pottery

In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that this subject is quite close to my heart. I grew up in the Anza Borrego Desert and spent a healthy portion of my early life scouring dunes for arrowheads and potsherds at the intersection of the Desert Cahuilla territory in the north, the Kumeyaay/Tipai land in the south and the ancient shore of lake Cahuilla to the east. I was mesmerized by the evidence that this place, which seemed so inhospitable and sparsely populated in my own time, was once positively buzzing with human activity. So, if I wax too romantic I hope you will forgive me.

Sandy's Story Part One

Have you been out spotting gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus)  as they head north? You don't have to step far from the Museum to see our celebrity gray whale, affectionately known as Sandy.  At January’s Science Saturday, migration was the theme, and true to tradition, Sandy was honored as adoring fans climbed on her and we sang Happy 35th, but what is the story behind her arrival? This seemed like a good time to share a little history of Sandy before Pacific Grove.  First, I gathered some information. Then I contacted the artist Larry Foster and enjoyed informative and entertaining conversations with him and his wife, Mary, who are now retired in Fort Bragg. 

 

Treasures from the Basement: The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo

Treasures from the Basement: The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo

This third entry is the first in the series to focus on pottery in the modern era, beginning around the mid-to-late 19th century. This may seem to be quite a chronological leap forward, considering the pottery we have discussed thus far came from around the time of Spanish contact or just after, but there is a very simple reason for this: the mission system.

Treasures from the Basement: Pottery of the Greater Ancient Southwest

Treasures from the Basement: Pottery of the Greater Ancient Southwest

As the first installment of this series focused exclusively on the most famous variety of ancient pottery from the Southwest, I think it is only fair that I round out the picture with a sampling of the other important contemporary styles to be found in our collection. While certainly not comprehensive, the following pieces provide an excellent sampling of the pottery traditions of the ancient Southwest.

Treasures from the Basement: Ancestral Puebloan Black-On-White Pottery

Treasures from the Basement: Ancestral Puebloan Black-On-White Pottery

As many of you may already know, our museum has an extensive and diverse collection - far beyond what we have on exhibit at any given time. Given this, the purpose of these Treasures from the Basement articles is to show off some of the incredible objects that we have not had the opportunity to exhibit. In addition, we hope it will draw attention to our ongoing effort to make information on, and images of the entire collection, available on our public online database.

Orchids in Del Monte Forest

Orchids in Del Monte Forest

Walk the trails of Del Monte Forest this summer, and you may find a wild orchid in bloom under the Monterey pines. The one you’re most likely to see is Yadon’s rein-orchid (Piperia yadonii). It’s named after Vern Yadon, a botanist, Director Emeritus of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, and also member of the Forest Open Space Advisory Committee.

Shell collection arrives at Museum

Shell collection arrives at Museum

In October, shells of every shape and color, size and distinction, hailing from all over the world, arrived at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. The collection, part of a large donation from Richard Anderson, constitute years of diligent work on the part of the Anderson family. The collection (called The Fern Georgia Anderson Shell Collection) is so large, in fact, that it took a moving truck to get them all to the Museum.