Phoebe A.

Hearst Museum of Anthropology
By Jaclyn Nassrallah

-A philanthropist and UC regent named Phoebe Apperson Hearst founded the museum on September 10th 1901. -For seven years Hearst supported the museum until 1908 when the museum was taken over by the University of California. Today the museum continues to be a university museum. -The museum’s location has changed throughout time: 1901-1902 The collections were housed at UC Berkeley, where they were primarily stored. 1911 The museum was previously relocated to UC San Francisco and it officially opened at this time. 1931 The collections were transferred back to UC Berkeley. During this time the collections were primarily used for research and were rarely displayed to the public. 1959 The museum and its collections were moved into the museum’s current space within the Kroeber building at UC Berkeley. This building provided an

The Founding of the Museum

The Museum’s Mission
-Founding Mission: The primary reasons that lead to the founding of the museum was Hearst’s passion for traveling and anthropology and her thirst for education. In fact she was a teacher in her youth. However, Phoebe Hearst lacked a formal education and it seems that she made up for this through her devotion and support to Anthropology. Hearst had a vision of being “a great educator”, and the museum seemed to offer her this opportunity. -Mission of the museum when it was called the Lowie Museum of Antrhopology: To conduct research in anthropology and related disciplines. To provide a permanent record in time and space of human diversity through its collections. To present and interpret the facts, principles and controversies in the fields of anthropology and related disciplines to the university community and the public at large. -Current Mission Statement: To collect, preserve, research, and interpret the global record of material culture, so as to promote the understanding of the history and diversity of human cultures. *The main essence of the mission has remained constant throughout time,

Collections Strategy
*The museum’s diverse and unique objects come from various time periods and from regions across the globe. *The general collection strategy which directed the acquisition of such objects has remained constant throughout the museum’s history. The museum only accepts objects of material culture that have been ethically and legally obtained, and which have

Museum Collections Beginnings 1901-1920

The collections gathered during this era include: *The Hearst collection which includes 60,000 various objects that Phoebe Hearst personally purchased or collected from across the globe. *The collection from Guatemala includes textiles and artifacts obtained by Zoologist Gustavo Eisen during an exhibition to Guatemala. It is the largest collection of 19th century Guatemalan Maya textiles in the world. *The Californian Native collection found at the museum is also the largest in the world and was directed by the Anthropologist Alfred Kroeber who collected items that were of use to the natives. *The Ancient Peruvian collection includes 9,500 objects collected by the German Archaeologist Max Uhle. He collected the items during excavations and also purchased some. *The Ancient Egyptian collection was directed by the American Egyptologist George Reisner. He gathered his objects from tombs, commoner sites, purchases and donations which totaled to 17,000 catalogued objects.

Museum Collections Transition 1920-1945

*During this period collecting greatly diminished because of World War 2 and the depression. *However, graduate student collections and faculty and community donations contributed to the Californian collection. *The collections of North American Ethnology and Californian Archaeology were acquired at this time.

Museum Collections Expansion 1945-1960

*During this time the collections of California and Nevada archaeology were dramatically increased. *New collections also came from Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of Oceania.

Museum Collections Culmination 1960-1980
*This era is considered to be the second best collecting period throughout the museum’s history. *The African collection was expanded by William Bascom, an Africanist. *Collections also came from the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Australia. *Graduate students also contributed significant collections to the museum at this time.

Museum Collections Recent Years 1980-2001
*Unfortunately, during this time collecting had dramatically decreased because of a lack of funding and inadequate storage space. *Graduate students have continued to collect, enhancing the museum’s collections.

Museum Displays

*Since the founding of the museum its displays have continued to relate to the museum’s on going mission, as they consistently teach about the various cultures that have existed throughout time. *The exhibits seem to be representative of the diverse and various types of material culture that make up the museum’s collections. In the past and present displays appear to focus on different cultures or forms from one another, to portray the collection’s immense variation. However, the museum has experienced a

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