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The Immaculate ‘Art of Mary

The Immaculate ‘Art of Mary
Detail of Heart of Mary , c. 1750 Miguel Ballejo y Mandirano; Mexico Oil on canvas; 30 x 22 in. 89.22.2 Donated by Mr. Gene R. Wood Feast of the Hurt Pain is an awful thing. It can come from a variety of sources, but it is perhaps most punishing when it attacks us through a loved one. The Christian faith is in part based around the suffering and se...
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Bebe in the Woods: Santa Ana’s Jailed Star

Bebe in the Woods: Santa Ana’s Jailed Star
Detail of Bebe Daniels Imprisoned in Orange County Jail, 1921 Unknown photographer; Santa Ana, Orange County, California Photographic print; 7 x 5 in. 34636 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston Walker Paying the Toll Back in February the Bowers Blog looked at one reason why Hollywood stars were stopping by early Santa Ana in Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Lov...
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Birds of a Feather: Plumed Headdresses from Around the World

Birds of a Feather: Plumed Headdresses from Around the World
Detail of Feathered Headdress, 20th Century Kayapo Mebêngôkre culture; Xingu River area, Para, Brazil Macaw and waterfowl feather, string and cotton; 68 x 57 in. 91.34.1.1-.2 Bowers Museum Acquisitions Fund Purchase As the Crow Flies, Not So Far Bird feathers are surprisingly intricate structures: leaflike in nature with a rigid or semi-rigid midri...
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Two-Face: An Unfinished Tongan Paddle Club

Two-Face: An Unfinished Tongan Paddle Club
Details of Paddle Club ( Mougalaulau ), mid 19th Century Tonga, Polynesia Wood; 45 ½ in. 2019.19.1 Bowers Museum Purchase; Photograph courtesy of Michael Hamson Endless Buffering The towering spires of Antoni Gaudí’s Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, the fragmented narrative of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Love of the Last Tycoon or Michelangelo’s unfin...
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Every Federal Employee Deserves Favor: Gifts of State in the Bowers’ Collections

Every Federal Employee Deserves Favor: Gifts of State in the Bowers’ Collections
Gold Bracelet, c. 1970 Jordanian Gold and elephant hair; 1 1/8 x 2 1/2 in. 77.4.8 Gift of United States Government The Gift that Keeps on Taking In the United States there is a price that can be put on changing someone’s mind. It exists in the form of an upper limit for the value of gifts that can be accepted from foreign dignitaries and, given tha...
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Night’s Bane: Fire Dance Masks of New Britain's Baining Culture

Night’s Bane: Fire Dance Masks of New Britain's Baining Culture
Fire Dance Mask ( Vungvung ), 20th Century Baining culture; Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Bark cloth, bamboo cane and paint; 65 x 53 x 148 1/2 in. 2007.6.1 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Sparks Like Stars in the Sky Held at torch-point against a pressing sea of night or built as a pyre to b...
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A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names

A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names
Map of Santa Ana, 1915 Clyde D. Butler and Geo L. Bates; Santa Ana, California Paper and ink; 20 × 25 5/8 in. 17481 Bowers Museum Permanent Collection Spurgeons, Surgeons and Spurred Dons For those of us who live in, work in or enjoy any of the myriad offerings of Santa Ana, we have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours traversing the county se...
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Five Faces of the Moon

Five Faces of the Moon
Composite image of the moon and objects in this post. One Giant Leap On July 20, 1969 three humans boarded an aluminum and stainless-steel rocket, rose into the heavens and collectively became the first group to set foot on another celestial body. Taking his first apprehensive steps on the alien scape of the moon, Neil Armstrong famously said “that...
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Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh

Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh
Headdress ( Perak ), late 20th Century Ladakhi culture; Ladakh Region, Jammu and Kashmir State, India Cotton, lambskin, yak hair, turquoise, coral, carnelian and silver; 54 × 20 × 1 3/4 in. 2019.7.1 Anonymous Gift Crown of the Roof of the World Ladakh is a region of India located in the barren mountainous foothills between the Himalayas and the Kar...
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J.L. Hubbell: Silver Tongue, Golden Heart and Wool Rugs

J.L. Hubbell: Silver Tongue, Golden Heart and Wool Rugs
Rug, c. 1910 Navajo; probably Ganado, Arizona Dyed wool; 65 x 105 in. 2019.5.1 Gift of Dennis J. Aigner White Hat There is good cause for the romanticizing of the American West: it is a breathtaking part of this nation. Mesas rise from the red earth like monolithic and silent guardians; the skies are distilled blue, endless and not cloudy all day. ...
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Fourth and Fourth: Santa Ana’s 4th Street Independence Day Celebrations

Fourth and Fourth: Santa Ana’s 4th Street Independence Day Celebrations
School Children on Float, July 4, 1890 Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, California Photographic print; 8 x 5 in. 2983 Gift of Mr. William McPherson July the Fourth Be with You There is a lot to like about the Fourth of July. Family, friends and neighbors all come together for a day of celebrating this country’s birth with sumptuous barbeque, plenti...
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Buff’s Bluffs: Buffing up on Conrad Buff

Buff’s Bluffs: Buffing up on Conrad Buff
Ocean Vista , c. 1925 Conrad Buff (Swiss-born American, 1886-1975); Southern California Oil on Masonite; 36 x 24 in. 91.47.4 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Christian and Joyce Title (Con)Rad, With Bodacious Later Works Rugged individualism remains an ingrained facet of American identity, but it is the combination of individualism and collaboration that creat...
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Out of the Pouch: Shedding Light on a Papuan Marsupial Figure

Out of the Pouch: Shedding Light on a Papuan Marsupial Figure
Marsupial Figure, 1500 BCE-1600 CE Laiagam Valley, Central Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Stone; 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 × 7 1/2 in. 2019.8.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Set in Stone When it comes to the art of Papua New Guinea, very few things are literally set in stone. Bags are made from fiber or coir, shields and clubs from wood, ornaments from fe...
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Gone Fishing: Catching Neptune’s Bounty on Father’s Day

Gone Fishing: Catching Neptune’s Bounty on Father’s Day
Fishing Hook, late 19th to early 20th Century Iñupiaq culture; Seward Peninsula Area, Alaska Walrus ivory, lead, iron and cotton thread; 2 1/4 × 4 1/8 in. 39352 Gift of Winifred P. Morgan Let’s See What’s Biting, Champ Some dads fit all the clichés. They are handy when something needs fixing, quick with a pun but otherwise tactful enough to let mom...
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Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department

Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department
Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firemen of Santa Ana, May 1, 1888 Photo by B. F. Conaway; Santa Ana, California Photographic print; 8.5 x 5 ¼ in. 2821 Gift of John Luxembourger Sunny Santa Ana California William H. Spurgeon and his wife spent a few years in the early 1860s living in Los Angeles until she passed away. Heartbroken, he moved back to the Eas...
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Blade with a Beak: New Guinean Bone Daggers

Blade with a Beak: New Guinean Bone Daggers
Bone Daggers ( Yina and Amia Ava ), 20th Century Abelam and Iatmul culture; East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Oceania Cassowary bone and pigment 2010.22.5-.31 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih They do Move in Herds Unassuming dinosaurs of the modern era that they are, cassowaries are incredible creatures. For example, though flightle...
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At Harms Length: Shark Tooth Spears of the Gilbert Islands

At Harms Length: Shark Tooth Spears of the Gilbert Islands
Spear Heads ( Tataumanaria ), late 19th Century I-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, Micronesia Palm wood, shark teeth and sennit; various dimensions 2019.6.1-.2 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Into the Maw The Bowers Museum’s continued efforts to improve our Oceanic Collections has driven the acquisition of several shark tooth weapons f...
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Baby Back Cribs: Embroidered Carriers of the Miao

Baby Back Cribs: Embroidered Carriers of the Miao
Baby Carrier with Pleated Ties, 20th Century Miao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, Asia Cotton and silk; 23 x 30 in. 2008.9.71 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Miao Mom Weightlifting Club We should be thankful to the wonderful moms in our lives every day, but Mother’s Day is the one day a year we have chosen to distill that love into ...
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Much Naboo About Nothing

Much Naboo About Nothing
Sculpture, late 20th Century Possibly Kwoma culture; Middle Sepik River Region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood, pigment and cowrie shell; 55 in. 98.18.10 Gift of the Jordan Community Trust Return of the Fourth Younglings, padawans and Jedi masters, it is time to force the important issues once more! In previous years the Bowe...
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I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi

I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi
Shoulder Cloth ( Hinggi ), late 20th Century Sumba culture; Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Cotton; 96 × 112 in. 2016.15.45 Anonymous Gift Syncretic Dyeing Art has always been a chorus of different groups reacting to, influencing, inspiring and drawing upon one another’s creations. On the small East Indone...
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To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers

To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers
Pilgrimage Souvenir, 19th Century Jerusalem, modern-day Israel Mother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in. 31521 Gift of Mrs. John Carruthers Getting a Rise out of Spring Spring is a time of rebirth. Winter’s chill recedes, new flowers bloom and trees seemingly come back from the dead. Branches which for all the world appeared to be deceased are given Lazaran l...
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Dragon Glass: Taking Stock at the Bowers Museum

Dragon Glass: Taking Stock at the Bowers Museum
Battle and Hunting Weapons, 300-1519 Michoacán, Mexico Obsidian; various dimensions 2003.10.42C-I Anonymous Gift The Night King Cometh As most fantasy buffs are well¬-aware, HBO’s Game of Thrones returns for the first of its final six episodes this upcoming Sunday. Not to spoil too much of the show for those who are interested in watching but have ...
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Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered

Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered
Detail of Untitled, c. 1924 Thomas Hunt (Canadian-born American, 1882-1938) Oil on paper on board; 10 x 12 in. F7742 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Anti-Entropic Relay Legacy is without a doubt one of the constant thought worms throughout history, and we can all agree that it is not distributed in equal measure to the deceased. While it ...
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Utagawa Yoshiiku and the Blooming World

Utagawa Yoshiiku and the Blooming World
Detail of 94.64.10. Gift of Mr. William Drell. Love to Spring this On You As all living in southern California are acutely aware, this winter’s deluge has brought with it the happy occasion of a Californian super bloom. The hillsides and shallow valleys of California’s inland deserts—so often entirely devoid of flora—have sprung to life, ...
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Dharma Wheels and High Heels: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan in Dialogue

Dharma Wheels and High Heels: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan in Dialogue
Guo Pei's Garden of Soul collection backed by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan's paintings. Fashion 101 Recent visitors to the Bowers Museum will have noticed a few new faces—placid as they may be—in the Freedman Galleria, the long hallway travelling between our main desk and the Bowers Museum’s changing gallery spaces. Of course, these seven new, poised ...
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Saint Patrick’s Day Snake Parade

Saint Patrick’s Day Snake Parade
Armlet, c.1885 Paris, France Gold, emerald and stone; 5 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 4 1/8 in. 2884 Gift of Mr. & Mrs. James Willis Rice Balancing the Scales While St. Patrick’s Day has evolved over time to take on a character of its own, the original Saint Patrick was canonized as the patron saint of Ireland for—among many other feats—purging Ireland of its resi...
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Bring a Shark to a Knife Fight: Short Blades of the Gilbert Islands

Bring a Shark to a Knife Fight: Short Blades of the Gilbert Islands
Knife ( Tebutu ), 19th Century I-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, Micronesia Palm wood, tiger shark teeth (galeocerdo cuvier) and sennit; 6 1/2 in. 2019.3.1 Bowers Museum Purchase War Changes Quite a Bit If humans have consistently been innovative in any one field, it is in the discovery of more effective ways to injure one another. Oft...
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Blankets of the Chilkat Tlingit

Blankets of the Chilkat Tlingit
Blanket, early 20th Century Maggie Kadanaha (Chilkat Tlingit, 1873-1959); Alaska, Northwest Coast, United States of America Mountain goat’s wool with cedar bark warp strands and pigment; 54 × 74 × 1 in. 2016.14.1 Gift of the Herbert W. Clark Trust Alaska For Directions At the turn of the 20 th Century the Chilkat Tlingit lived along the painfully s...
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Bamana Ciwarakunw: Icons of Agrarian Society

Bamana Ciwarakunw: Icons of Agrarian Society
Headdress ( Ciwarakun ), 20th Century Bamana culture; Western Mali Wood and metal; 11 × 17 5/8 × 3 in. 2018.13.28 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih On Demigods and Farmers Agrarian cultures often have myths about the origin of their farming practices. As the primary source of subsistence for these groups, farming is a lifeline that everything else g...
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Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Love Shack

Saint Ann’s Inn: Santa Ana’s Love Shack
Saint Ann's Inn and Grounds, 1920s Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, California Photographic print 35558.7 Gift of Mr. Eldon G. McNeil Valentine’s Day It’s that day we love to love! Measured in bouquets of flowers, squares of chocolate and cards swarming with weapon-toting winged babies, Valentine’s Day is truly a holiday cherubbe...
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The Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection: Milford Zornes

The Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection: Milford Zornes
Detail of Corona Del Mar , 1960 Milford Zornes (American, 1908 - 2008); Corona Del Mar, California Watercolor on paper; 14 7/8 × 21 1/2 in. 2018.6.48 Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection
Milford Zornes
“The fact is that you never lick watercolor painting, and you can't very well give it up as long as you feel you ...
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Reflections on Early Chinese Mirrors

Reflections on Early Chinese Mirrors
Mirror with Animal, Leaf, and Fruit Designs, Tang Dynasty (618-907) Han culture; China Bronze and silver; 1/2 x 6 1/8 in. 2005.28.1 In Memory of Armand J. Labbe The World in Bronze Mirrors today are multi-layered compositions of metal and glass, but historically the only requirement was a reflective surface. In China, a country whose complex manufa...
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Progenitor Protection: Wooden Shields of the Asmat

Progenitor Protection: Wooden Shields of the Asmat
War Shields, 20th Century Central and Northern Asmat culture; Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia, Melanesia Wood, pigment and sago-frond; Various Dimensions 2017.10.148, L.2010.4.4, F75.16.1 and 2006.19.1 Anonymous Gift, Bowers Museum General Acquisition Fund Purchase, Loan courtesy of Gayle and Edward P. Roski and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Be...
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Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum

Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum
Crazy Quilt, c.1900 Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, Wisconsin Silk and velvet; 60 x 75 in. 80.35.1 Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. Carr Quilty as Charged One of the earliest, largest, and most-often exhibited collections of Americana at the Bowers is the museum’s collection of quilts, ranging in date from our nation’s independence to the end of the 2...
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Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection: Noel Quinn

Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection: Noel Quinn
Detail of June Lake , mid to late 20th Century Noel Quinn (American, 1915 - 1993); June Lake, Mono County, California Watercolor on paper; 19 1/4 × 26 7/8 in. 2018.6.24 Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection Quintessential Artist This post harkens back to the Bowers Blog’s 6-part series on the artists of the Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection...
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Death and the Ideal Man: New Ireland Tatanua Masks

Death and the Ideal Man: New Ireland Tatanua Masks
Men wearing tatanua masks at a sing-sing in Libba Village, New Hanover Island, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. Taken during the Roski-Keller-Martin Expedition to the New Ireland Province in 2008. Acceptance When we think of masks in western culture, we most often think of tools used to disguise one’s identity. In most other cultures in the ...
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Well Trained: The Bowers Museum’s Model Train Collection

Well Trained: The Bowers Museum’s Model Train Collection
Märklin SK800 Steam Locomotive, 1946 Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH; Göppingen, Germany Metal; 7 in. 80.78.21 Gift of Mr. Richard D. Lusch All Aboard The winter holidays bring with them an array of traditions and customs, most of which date back hundreds and hundreds of years. The tradition featured in this post is a newer one, roughly 130 years of age,...
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A Mission Impossible: Arthur Edwaine Beaumont’s Carmel Mission

A Mission Impossible: Arthur Edwaine Beaumont’s Carmel Mission
Detail of Untitled (The Carmel Mission), 1949 Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978); Carmel, California Watercolor and tempera on paper; 15 x 12 in. 96.65.1 Gift of Rae and Sandra Young Bombshell Artist The Bowers Blog has previously examined the works of the English-born American artist, Arthur Edwaine Beaumont, looking at his...
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Shell to Pay: Boiken Wamayuwa and Weingga

Shell to Pay: Boiken Wamayuwa and Weingga
Shell Currency ( Wamayuwa ), 19th Century Yangoru Boiken culture; Prince Alexander Mountains, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Shell ( tridacna gigas ); 9 7/8 x 8 ¼ in. 2018.13.63 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih All the Money in the World The Bowers Blog has spent a great deal of time exploring currency in its myriad shapes and siz...
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Splash of Color: Massim Canoe Prow Boards

Splash of Color: Massim Canoe Prow Boards
Splashboard ( Lagim ), 20th Century Massim culture; Trobriand Islands, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Oceania Wood and paint; 32 5/8 x 25 5/8 x 2 5/8 in. 2011.11.2 Collected on behalf of the Bowers Museum by the Roski-Keller-Martin Expeditions 2000-2008 Art of the Deal When it comes to making deals, everyone wants a leg up on the ...
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Fibers of History: Tongan Tapa Cloths

Fibers of History: Tongan Tapa Cloths
Detail of Tapa Cloth ( Ngatu ), 20th Century Tongan culture; Tonga, Polynesia Pounded tree bark and pigment; 78 x 152 in. 93.18.1 Donated by Jeff and Laura Blackie Cloth With a Bark Tapa cloth, a barkcloth made from the inner bark of trees, is one of the most distinctive products made by the cultures of the Pacific Islands and remains at the heart ...
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Under the Hilt: Identifying Three Japanese Swords

Under the Hilt: Identifying Three Japanese Swords
Short Sword ( Wakizashi ), 15th to 19th Century Tsuguhiro (Japanese, active 1469-1521), Jiryūsai Tomohide (Japanese, 1778-1847) and Seiyōken Akitada (Japanese, active 19th Century); Fukui Prefecture, Chūbu Region, Japan and Nagasaki, Kyushu Region or Tokyo, Kantō Region, Japan Steel, manta ray skin, lacquer, silk and iron; 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 x 27 1/4 in...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Dong Kingman

The Ann Cullen Collection: Dong Kingman
Bridge and Tugboats , mid 20th Century Dong Kingman (American, 1911 - 2000); New York City, New York Watercolor on paper; 19 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. 2018.6.11 Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection Delightful, Diligent As this series winds to a close, we end by looking at an artist who—perhaps out of all of the artists in the collection had the closest f...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 2

The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 2
Girl by Candlelight , 1942-1962 Muggs Van Sant (American, 1898 - 1964) Watercolor on paper; 3 x 4 in. 2018.6.34 Gift of Ann Cullen Covered by Sheets The last post in this series on the Ann Cullen Collection left off with Millard Sheets still as a relatively young man working still to create a unique style and find the subjects that would appeal to ...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 1

The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 1
Family Flats , 1932 Millard Sheets (American, 1907 - 1989); California Lithograph; 16 x 22 1/2 in. 2018.6.26 Gift of Ann Cullen Three Sheets to the Blog So far in this series we have examined the close ties between the various painters of the Ann Cullen Collection. In this post we look at the noble heart at the center of the group, the ever-charism...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Phil Dike

The Ann Cullen Collection: Phil Dike
Waves Spilling Over Rocks , 1976 Phil Dike (American, 1906 - 1990); California Watercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in. 2018.6.6 Gift of Ann Cullen Something Else Entirely In the Bowers Museum’s recently acquired paintings by Phil Dike (American, 1906-1990), we see birds suspended in motion over breaking waves. Dike was drawn to the ocean just as he was dr...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Emil Kosa Jr.

The Ann Cullen Collection: Emil Kosa Jr.
Bunker Hill , mid 20th Century Emil Kosa Jr. (French-born American, 1903-1968); Los Angeles, California Watercolor on paper; 22 x 28 in. 2018.6.17 Gift of Ann Cullen First Kosa’s First Full… absolutely full to the brim with life and a love for painting. Is there any other way to describe Emil Kosa Jr.? In the second post of this series on the Ann C...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Rex Brandt

The Ann Cullen Collection: Rex Brandt
Autumn Day , 1976 Rex Brandt (American, 1914-2000); Temecula, California Watercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in. 2018.6.2 Ann Cullen Collection An Open Book The Bowers Museum’s California Bounty: Image and Identity 1850-1930 has been quietly boasting the triumphs of Californian artists since its opening in 2016. Housed in the halls of the museum’s Histori...
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Ceramics of Western Mexico: Dog Edition

Ceramics of Western Mexico: Dog Edition
Sitting Dog, 200 BC-300 AD Colima culture; Colima, Mexico Clay and slip; 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. 99.82.8 Gift of John Ross, D.D.S. All Bite, No Bark Dogs have remained versatile, benevolent additions to human society for as long as they have been domesticated. The same is very much true for the Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless, with the tragic ...
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McCloskey: Return of the Medieval Revival

McCloskey: Return of the Medieval Revival
Detail of Untitled (Renaissance Man in Garden), c. 1901 Alberta Binford McCloskey (American, 1855-1911) Oil on canvas; 13 1/2 × 9 1/4 in. 74.22.27 Gift of Mrs. Eleanor Russell Galahad to Have You Romanticized histories have always captured the hearts of those looking to the past. Of all the periods nostalgically viewed through rose-colored lenses, ...
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Beaumont and Los Angeles' Chinatowns

Beaumont and Los Angeles' Chinatowns
Pagoda, Old Chinatown, Los Angeles , 1949 Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978); Los Angeles, California Watercolor on paper; 14 x 21 x ½ in. 86.40.1 Gift of Mr. Paul J. Knaak A Perfect Beau… As one among many artists who painted the California Style watercolors that developed during the early and mid 20th Century, the English-...
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The Clay Day of Papuan Vessels

The Clay Day of Papuan Vessels
Ceremonial Vessel ( Kwam ), 19th to 20th Century Abelam culture; Wambisa Village, Maprik District, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Clay, red, white and orange ochre; 3 ¼ x 9 3/8 x 7 3/8 in. 2018.7.16 Gift of Michael Hamson Vessel Variety Perhaps above all else, Papua New Guinea is best-known for its variety. As many as 850 language...
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Blade with a Bite: The Shark Tooth Swords of the Gilbert Islands

Blade with a Bite: The Shark Tooth Swords of the Gilbert Islands
Club Sword ( Te Toanea ), mid 19th Century I-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Micronesia Wood, shark teeth, fiber, tapa and human hair; 34 1/2in. 2018.9.1 Gift of Mark Blackburn Whirling Dervish Barring the outlandish Sharknado franchise, when we hear the phrase “shark attack,” the assumption is that we would have to be in t...
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McCloskey to a Heart

McCloskey to a Heart
Detail of Untitled (Portrait of Eleanor with Wreath) , c. 1892 Alberta Binford McCloskey (American, 1855-1911) or William Joseph McCloskey (American, 1859-1941) Watercolor; 15 7/8 x 14 1/8 74.22.9 Gift of Mrs. Eleanor Russell Once Upon a Time Any visitor to the Bowers Museum will recognize the works of Alberta Binford and William Joseph McCloskey b...
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Plein to See: Nellie Moulton and the Bequest that Began It All

Plein to See: Nellie Moulton and the Bequest that Began It All
Detail of Coastline , early 20th Century Nellie Gail Moulton (American, 1878-1972) Oil on masonite; 12 × 14 × 3/4 in. F7736 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Stevens Start-off One of the lesser-known facts about the Bowers Museum’s remarkable Fine Art Collection is that we have only paid for one painting. The rest of the Bowers’ 1543 curren...
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Moana Materials: Polynesian Art in Disney’s Moana

Moana Materials: Polynesian Art in Disney’s Moana
Tapa Cloth ( Ngata ), 20th Century Tongan culture; Tonga, Polynesia Pounded tree bark and pigment; 78 x 152 in. 93.18.1 Donated by Jeff and Laura Blackie Trip to Motunui When Walt Disney Animation Studios released Moana (2016) to a tidal wave of good reviews, the Bowers Museum was overjoyed to see Polynesian culture and art achieve broad recognitio...
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Call of the Sea: Shell Instruments from Western Mexico

Call of the Sea: Shell Instruments from Western Mexico
Incised Shell Trumpet, 900-1200 Michoacán culture; Puruándiro, Michoacán, Mexico Shell; 12 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 5 1/8 in. 34076 Gift of Mr. Graciano Bernal Tooting Their Own Horns Shells take the sea with them wherever they go. Maybe this is the reason why so many cultures utilized and still utilize shell as a medium for both artistic and utilitarian purp...
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Seat of Power: Prestige Chairs of the Chokwe

Seat of Power: Prestige Chairs of the Chokwe
Chair ( Ngundja ), early 20th to mid Century Chokwe culture; Angola Wood, metal and leather; 19 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 13 in. 2007.4.55 Gift of the Roschen Family Trust Have a Seat Driving to and from work, sitting at a desk, relaxing on the couch—we spend much of our time sitting down without paying too much attention to what we are sitting in. But as thr...
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Yam Digging Sticks of the Abelam

Yam Digging Sticks of the Abelam
Digging Sticks, 20th Century Abelam culture; East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood and paint 99.76.141; 2011.13.4; 97.138.1; and 2015.7.2 Anonymous Gift; Bowers Museum Purchase; Anonymous Gift; and Gift of Mr. Michael Hamson Induction In the United States we understand competition all too well. We compete with neighbors over having ...
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Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night

Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night
Detail of Summer Night , c. 1925 Aloys Bohnen (American, 1889-1967) Oil on canvas; 34 x 27 in. 31163 Gift of the James Earl Fraser Estate Into the Grove During the day Californian summers can become oppressively hot—to the point of us wondering if the day’s warmest hours wouldn’t be better passed in siesta. The few respites from this heat can be fo...
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Oh, Say Can You Scrimshaw

Oh, Say Can You Scrimshaw
Scrimshaw of George Washington, early 19th Century Unknown artist (American); North America Sperm whale ivory and ink; 5 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. 2011.25.56 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink New England, Old American Carvings Independence Day is the annual celebration of all things American. For most, revelries might include fireworks, barbeque, t...
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Hawaiian Lei Niho Palaoa

Hawaiian Lei Niho Palaoa
Necklace ( Lei Niho Palaoa ), early 19th Century Hawaiian culture; Hawaii, United States, Polynesia Hair, fiber and walrus ivory; 11 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 2 1/2 in. 2018.5.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Photograph courtesy of Bonhams A New Acquisition When it comes to Hawaiian necklaces, the subject can be a somewhat hairy one, though perhaps not for the reasons...
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The Niue Club in Town

The Niue Club in Town
Cleaving Club ( Ula-fumiti ), early to mid 19th Century Niuean culture; Niue Island, Polynesia Wood; 68 7/8 x 5 x 1 ¼ in. 2018.4.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Behold the Cook-o-nut Captain Cook was the first European to travel to Niue, a small island in the middle of Polynesia, when he landed ashore late in the spring of 1774. His welcome to the small t...
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Father’s Day Pipe Dream

Father’s Day Pipe Dream
Pipe, 1000-1700 Chumash culture; California Steatite and clam shell beads; 1 9/16 x 1 x 12 3/16 in. 80017 Fred Randolph Aldrich Collection This is a Pipe Does the apotheotic father smoke a pipe? Perhaps he has not since at least the 1950s. Still though, a dad casually puffing on a pipe—maybe on a Sunday morning while reading the paper, fooling arou...
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Hewes-ed from Stone

Hewes-ed from Stone
Busts of David Hewes and Franklina Gray, 1877 Giuseppe Andreoni (Italian, 19th Century); Pisa, Italy Marble; Various Dimensions 2697, 32782 Gifts of Mrs. D. Eyman Huff and Mr. & Mrs. James A. Moore Total Bust With American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times having just left the Bowers Museum this past weekend, the portraits section of the ...
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Who Answers the Cries: Guanyin at the Bowers

Who Answers the Cries: Guanyin at the Bowers
Guanyin Seated on a Lotus Flower, late Ming Dynasty (1600-1643) Han culture; China Wood and pigments; 49 x 16 x 11 in. 2005.37.1 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Mercy Me Whether or not you recognize the name, if you have been to the Bowers you have seen at least one representation of Guanyin, the adopted Chinese bodhisattva and goddess of mercy. W...
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Kept in Suspense: The Samban of the Iatmul

Kept in Suspense: The Samban of the Iatmul
Suspension Hook (Samban), c. 1930 Iatmul culture; Suapmeri Village, Middle Sepik River region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Oceania Wood and pigment; 25 1/4 × 14 1/2 × 4 in. 2017.1.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Whoa Black Betty, Tshambwan Save perhaps for weekend trips to big box Swedish furniture stores, we generally do not spend m...
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Manilla Portfolio: West African Worn Currency

Manilla Portfolio: West African Worn Currency
Manillas, 19th Century Unknown Manufacturer; probably Birmingham, England Leaded brass; Various Dimensions 2003.43.72-.79 Anonymous Gift Who wants to be a Manillionaire? Some might like to make a grand show of wealth, but along the cost of West Africa, one could literally wear their net worth on their sleeve up until the mid 20th Century. At least ...
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Maud “The Mom” McBroom

Maud “The Mom” McBroom
Basketry Olla, early 20th Century Pima culture; Arizona, United States Bear grass, willow and devil’s claw; 11 3/4 × 9 1/4 in. 2018.3.3 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John and Elizabeth Stahr That’s Moms Moms are a fairly universal force of good in the world, seeking more often than not to safeguard their children’s wellbeing and ensure their happiness. Top ...
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These Are Not the Sculptures You’re Looking For

These Are Not the Sculptures You’re Looking For
Ancestor Figure, 20th Century Sukuma culture; Tanzania Wood, metal and hair; 63 in. 2002.58.1 Gift of Heather Sacre May the Fourth… In an annual celebration of culture, science fiction, and a beloved galaxy not too near to here, the Bowers Blog once again uses May the Fourth to take the hyperspace plunge. Last year we featured a miniature made from...
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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California
Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932 Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, California Photographic print; 11 x 14 in. 38107.11 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Borders Same Blog, New Home This week the Bowers Blog is happy to announce a re-release on a new platform! As we continue to improve the way in which we share our collections, we ...
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The O'odham Maze of Life and Personhood

The O'odham Maze of Life and Personhood
Plaque with "Labyrinth" Design, 20 th  Century Pima culture; Southern Arizona Willow, devil's claw and tule; 15 1/2 in. 30070 Gift of Mrs. Mary J. Newland Theseus, He Pleases Us Labyrinths play important roles in many cultures’ stories, persisting into modern pop culture with novels, film, and television. In HBO’s hit series Westworld , it is ...
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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn
Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921 Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938) Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in. 3953 Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank Coburn Beginning For painters like Frank Coburn, capturing beauty began with finding it in places where few others could see it. Much of Coburn’s oeuvre is represented by the bright and pictu...
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Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols

Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols
Parasols, 19th and 20th Centuries Possibly Paul Poiret (French, 1879-1944) and Unknown Makers; France and England Wood, metal, silk, cotton and pigments; Various dimensions 32172C, 7992D and 7992A Gift of Mrs. G. W. Pike (32172C) and Irene P. Cutter Memorial Doll Collection (7992D and 7992A) Parasols for Paris Souls The science of selecti...
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The Magnificent Floyd

The Magnificent Floyd
Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936 Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, California Photographic print; Various Dimensions 36247.3,.4 Gift of Mrs. Weston Walker April Fools bring May LOL’s It takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The...
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The First Warbles of Spring

The First Warbles of Spring
Scene from Tale of Genji Chapter 23, “Hatsune (First Warbler)”, 1890 Yōshū Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838-1912); Tokyo, Japan Woodblock print on paper; 21 1/2 x 33 in. 94.64.8 Gift of Mr. William Drell Tale of the Equinox Spring is in the air! The spring equinox, which occurred Tuesday, March 20 th , provides the possibility for rebirth, renewal, and re...
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Shamrocks for a Glam Box: Placentia Mutual's Signature Brand

Shamrocks for a Glam Box: Placentia Mutual's Signature Brand
Shamrock Brand Citrus Crate Label, 1930-1939 Western Lithograph Company (American, 1908-1985); Los Angeles, California Chromolithograph; 10 x 10 ¾ in. 82.59.2 Gift of Mr. Andrew E. Coen St. Patrick’s Day Stereotypical symbols like leprechauns and their pots of gold may seem hackneyed, but the shamrock—characteristically a species of three-leaf clov...
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Lucy Lewis (1898-1992)

Lucy Lewis (1898-1992)
Jar, c. 1981 Lucy Lewis (1898-1992); Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico Clay and paint; 5 x 10 1/4 in. F81.61.1 Gift of the Artist Potter of the Century Photograph of Lucy Lewis painting a vessel. With the influx of western products that the pueblos of the American Southwest saw during the 19 th Century, many traditional Native American art forms such as pot...
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Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther

Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther
Gold Ear Ornaments ( Kwottenai ), 20th Century Fulani culture; Mali Gold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in. 97.13.1.1-.2 Gift of Bowers Museum Collector's Council Wakanda Forever Marvel Studios’ newly released Black Panther (2018)—a film about T’Challa, the superhero monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda—features an incredible fusion of tradition...
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Grand Admiralty Island Feast Bowl

Grand Admiralty Island Feast Bowl
Feast Bowl, late 19th Century Matankol culture; Lou Island, Admiralty Islands, Manus Province, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood and parinarium nut paste; 24 ½ x 54 ½ x 41 in. 2018.1.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Homes on the neighboring M'Buke Island. Photograph by Peter Keller, 2006. King of Bowls Of the many types of wooden bowl ...
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They Sold Shell Hearts by the Sea Shore

They Sold Shell Hearts by the Sea Shore
Sailor's Valentine, late 19th Century Probably New Curiosity Shop (1879-1925); Bridgetown, Barbados Shell, wood and adhesive; 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. 2011.25.80 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink From a Whaler’s Heart Despite whaling now being a somewhat romanticized New England tradition, romance was hard to keep alive during multi-year hunti...
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Swiss Army Pillows: Headrests of Eastern Africa

Swiss Army Pillows: Headrests of Eastern Africa
Headrest, 20th Century Karamojong culture; Uganda Wood; 7 5/8 x 6 ¼ x 5 7/8 2017.11.31 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih   Sleep Like a Log Sleep is one of those fundamental human needs all peoples of the world unconsciously share in, but the trappings of sleep outside of beds, pillows, sheets, blankets, and duvets are rarely covered. Up until ...
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Gardner and the Groundhog

Gardner and the Groundhog
Winter Landscape—Sunlit Hill , c. 1925 George Gardner Symons (American, 1863-1930) Oil on canvas; 41 x 47 x 1 1/2 in. F7680 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection George Gardner Symons, c. 1920 Groundhog Day Celebration With Groundhog Day soon to bring Punxsutawney Phil from his winter abode to predict an early spring or six more weeks of cold w...
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Frey-ed Canvas: Conserving the Bowers' Pio Pico Painting

Frey-ed Canvas: Conserving the Bowers' Pio Pico Painting
Don Pio Pico , 1868 Henry J. Frey (American, b?-d?) Oil on canvas; 24 x 20 in. 3513 Gift of Mrs. John Forster Repairing a Rogue’s Ranchero Representation About a year and a half ago the Bowers Museum Collections Blog published a post on our resident painting of Pio Pico. For years the painting had been exhibited by a perfunctory “Unknown Artist” la...
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Viper Vessels of Taiwan's Paiwan

Viper Vessels of Taiwan's Paiwan
Vessel with Snake Motifs, 18 th Century Paiwan culture; Pingtung or Taitung County, Taiwan Clay and wood; 15 x 11 1/2 in. 2017.11.28-.29 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih One Hundred Paces The hundred-pacer snake is a venomous pit viper indigenous to the same region occupied by the Paiwan of southern Taiwan. Hailed as an ancestor in several of their...
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Kava Drink: Fijian Yaqona Bowls and Dishes

Kava Drink: Fijian Yaqona Bowls and Dishes
Yaqona Bowl ( Tanoa ), late 19th to early 20th Century Fiji, Polynesia Wood; 7 1/2 x 22 7/16 x 21 in. 99.43.7 Donated by Rear Admiral Ralph and Sara Garrison Kava Chameleon Within the last few decades, kava has found its way into the American social scene as a niche alternative to alcohol in being both a mild relaxant and an avenue to potential liv...
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Shields of Mendi Valley

Shields of Mendi Valley
Shields ( Wörrumbi ), 2 0 th Century Mendi culture; Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood, pigments and fiber; Various Dimensions 2017.10.163, 2003.43.3, 2017.10.143 Anonymous Gift On the Mendi In an early 20 th Century effort to pacify Papua New Guinea, Australian colonial administrators began a campaign of suppressing trib...
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Dusk | Dawn

Dusk | Dawn
Evening on the River , 1883 George Inness (American, 1825-1894) Oil on canvas; 33 3/4 x 48 x 3 in. F7664 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Sunset: 2017 Ends Twilight , c. 1860 George Inness (American, 1825-1894) Every day comes to day’s end. In this twilight painted rivers, seas and skies—aching with shades of red, violet, and orange—all co...
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Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
Consul the Educated Monkey, 1916-1918 William Henry Robertson (Educational Novelty Company) Tin; 5 ½ by 6 in. 30780a Gift of Mrs. Anita L. Alexander For a Fistful of Dollars Original 1915 patent for Consul the Educated Monkey. Festive and wonderful as they all are, the holidays can be a time of much consternation when it comes to gift-giving. Espec...
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Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao

Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao
S-Shaped Counterweight, 20th Century Miao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, China Silver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in. 2015.26.59 Anonymous Gift Glance at the Moon Alternate image of 2015.26.59. Silver was used as a currency in China as early as the turn of the common era. It is unclear when exactly the Dong and Miao of southern China...
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Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency

Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency
Throwing Knife, 19 th Century Kapsiki culture; Cameroon or Nigeria Iron, rubber and cloth; 24 1/8 x 5 3/8 in. 2003.43.91 Anonymous Gift Throwing Knife ( ngwolo ), 19 th Century Ngombe culture; Democratic Republic of the Congo Iron, wood; 19 3/8 x 12 1/2 in. 2003.43.92 Anonymous Gift Throwing Knife ( sengese ), 19 th Century Mafa culture; Cameroon o...
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J.B. Moore: More than One Way to Sell a Rug

J.B. Moore: More than One Way to Sell a Rug
Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, c. 1920 Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico Wool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in. 2016.12.4 Gift of Dennis Aigner              Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920              Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico &n...
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Tami Feast Bowls and Yam-ey Thanksgivings

Tami Feast Bowls and Yam-ey Thanksgivings
Feast Bowl, 20th Century Cape Gloucester, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood and pigment; 9 × 44 1/2 × 25 1/4 in. 2014.15.14 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Danny and Anne Shih Bird is the Word Thanksgiving is now upon us. Even in its earliest rendition, it was a celebration of thanks through the sharing of food with friends, family, ...
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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
Jar, 1931 Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942); Hano Pueblo, Hopi Reservation, Arizona Clay and paint; 7 x 8 x 4 1/2 in. 36809.3 Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Earl Sanders What the Railway Brought The late 19 th Century’s introduction of the rail to the Southwest was a gift and a curse for Southwestern United States’ Pueblo Territories. The immediate influx of cheap E...
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Car Fit for an Empress Dowager

Car Fit for an Empress Dowager
Empress Dowager Cixi's 1901 Duryea Surrey Duryea Motor Wagon Co.; Reading, PA January 1902 advertisement for the Duryea Surrey. Climb In Empress Dowager Cixi is arguably the most influential figure in late dynastic China. Coming from humble beginnings as a low-ranking concubine for the Emperor, she managed to leverage a legitimate heir to the thron...
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Kingdom of the Quartz Skull

Kingdom of the Quartz Skull
Izok , 2010 Harold Van Pelt (American, 1925-) Quartz and izoklakeite L.2016.21.34a,b Loan courtesy of Harold and Erica Van Pelt © 2010 Harold and Erica Van Pelt Van Pelt One need not be an explorer-archaeologist to come across incredible artifacts. For experts like Harold Van Pelt they can be made in the workshop. Van Pelt has spent the last 45 yea...
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Käthe Kollwitz: Don't Fear the Reaper

Käthe Kollwitz: Don't Fear the Reaper
Whetting the Scythe  from The Peasants' Revolt, 1905 Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867–1945) Etching on paper; 21 1/2 x 18 in. 33542  Gift of Mr. Howard Graham Käthe   Käthe Kollwitz, 1919 Fascination with the moribund can come from any number of circumstances. For Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1942) it stemmed from a lifetime of tragedy, ...
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Dewing's Depictions of Disappearing Debutantes

Dewing's Depictions of Disappearing Debutantes
Standing Woman (pastel no. 124), 1918-1925 Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American, 1851-1938) Pastel on brown paper; 15 x 12 in. F7724 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Odd Thomas Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl , 1861–62 James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903) Oil on canvas; 84.5 in × 42.5 in National Gallery of Art, Washingto...
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Up to Snuff: Smokeless Tobacco Bottles from Around the World

Up to Snuff: Smokeless Tobacco Bottles from Around the World
Scrimshaw Snuff Box, c. 1870 United States Sperm whale ivory, silver and ink 2011.25.18 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink Snuff Bottle, date unknown Kenya Wood, metal and horn 2013.7.9 Gift of Doris L. Buck Snuff Bottle, late 20 th Century Japan Antler 97.11.2 Gift of Dr. Murray and Brett Via Around the World At the height of its popularity, snuf...
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The Enduring Photographer: Hurley's Last Camera

The Enduring Photographer: Hurley's Last Camera
Folding Pocket Camera No. 3A, 1903-1914 Eastman Kodak Co.; Rochester, New York Metal, glass, wood, and leather; 9 ½ x 4 ¾ x 1 ¾ 40633 Gift of Mr. Gurdon Wattles Expedition Prep.   The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) stands to date as one of the greatest survival tales of all time. Best told in Endurance: The Antarctic Legacy of...
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Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats

Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats
Children’s Festival Hats, 19th to 20th Century China Cotton, silk, foil appliqué, wire and metal 2001.1.13, .50, .16 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne Shih Children of Many Hats Rural China during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) saw many of the same problems that developing nations still see today. Unfortunately, poor hygiene standards meant th...
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Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs
Dance Clubs ( Kiakavo ), 19th Century Fiji, Polynesia Wood, fiber and pigment 97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10 Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin Collection Two late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum Collection Gift of Mr. E. Morgan Stanley Fijian Club Scene Up until and in...
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House of the Head

House of the Head
Orí, the Head Orí , the Yoruba word for head is also the complicated god of the head and destiny in the Yoruban pantheon. In the traditional Yoruba religion of southwest Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, before one is born they stand before a wall of potential destinies and choose their own ìbòrí , which directly translates to ‘inner head’ but as with Orí ...
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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay
Glass Earrings ( Dimbo ), 19 th Century Waropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, Melanesia Glass 2017.8.1-.5 Bowers Museum Purchase Though we may think of it now as an isolated, inaccessible part of the world, New Guinea has always been rich in organic and mineral resources; the peoples of its coasts welcome partners...
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What Became of the Floating World

What Became of the Floating World
Two Prints from The Fifteen Views of Kyoto,  1950-1960 Tomikichiro Tokuriki (Japanese, 1902–1999) Woodblock print on paper; 15 x 13 in. 81.8.1J, K Gift of Mr. Kerwin Jacobs Beauty Reading a Letter, late 18 th Century Utamaro (Japanese 1753-1806) Woodblock print on paper; 19 x 13 in. 36124.1 Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial Collection Ukiyo-e , the...
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Society through the Looking Glass

Society through the Looking Glass
Lorgnettes, 18 th to early 20 th Centuries Probably France and United States Metal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass 2000.8.37, .39, .123 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston  “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.” –Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca 2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding. Lorgnettes, spectacles h...
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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America
Weapons for Liberty, 1917 Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951) Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. Sprague Most everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, ...
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On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels

On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels
Corbels with Phoenix and Crane, 19 th Century Qing Dynasty; China Wood and pigments; 27 x 14 x 5 in. 2001.58.13a,b Gift of Kevin Branch Diagram dougong  holding up a multi-inclined roof, from the architectural treatise Yingzao Fashi, 1103. To one degree or another, all objects run the gamut between form and function. In architectural terms thi...
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Silkwood: The Glue that brought Orange County Together

Silkwood: The Glue that brought Orange County Together
Silkwood 2:07 , 1893 Ella Congdon (American, 1871 - 1920) Oil on canvas R.2014.4.100 Bowers Museum Collections First Annual Fair Life Membership Ticket Orange County Fair Association; Santa Ana, California Paper; 2 x 4 1/2 in. 36164.1 Gift of Miss Gertrude Montgomery The creation of Orange County in 1889 was not universally well received, and its u...
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Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana

Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana
Wrap-Around Garment ( Kente ), early to mid 20th Century Akan or Ewe culture; Ghana Cotton and silk; 66 1/2 × 105 in. 2016.15.30 Anonymous Gift Like words composing complex thoughts, the colors and patterns of Ghana’s kente cloth work together to symbolize intricate ideas. The vibrantly-colored fabric not only tells of Ghana’s history; these textil...
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Crimped on these Jagger Seas

Crimped on these Jagger Seas
Pie Crimper, c. 1890 Unknown artist (American); North America Sperm whale ivory and wood; 4 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 6 in. 2011.25.15 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink Pies are made all over the world in sizes ranging from large table pies to small palm-sized pies, and for every size twice as many flavors exist. With all the variations, bakers need a way of...
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Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware
 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view  in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda. Globalization in the 19 th  and early 20 th  Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art a...
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Frank Lloyd Wright and the Bowers' Historic Wing

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Bowers' Historic Wing
The Historic Museum Hallway in the Bowers Museum's Mary Muth Historic Wing. Visitors to the Bowers often ask about the origins of the museum’s Mary Muth Historic Wing which deceptively bears a striking resemblance to an old rancho home or a forgotten Santa Ana mission. With Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior just recently op...
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Order in Identity: Masks of Ivory Coast's We People

Order in Identity: Masks of Ivory Coast's We People
Judgement Mask ( Gla Kla’a ), mid 20 th Century Guéré People; Ivory Coast, Africa Wood, fabric, hair, metal, feather and paint; 13 in. 2002.59.4 Gift of James Carona Chaos is part and parcel of the world in which we live. Entropic forces can take any number of forms, and though they usually cannot directly be battled, the We peoples of the southwes...
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Shave and Sound: A Father's Day Examination of Straight Razors

Shave and Sound: A Father's Day Examination of Straight Razors
Straight Razors, 19 th to early 20 th Century Various makers; Various countries Steel and horn; 6 x 7/8 x 3/8 in. 31403.4-.6 Harry and Mabel Duffill Collection Albert Duffill, 1891 Unknown photographer; Toronto, Canada Photographic print; 12 x 10 1/2 in. 31370.3 Harry and Mabel Duffill Collection Although specific traditions and dates for Father’s ...
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Now on View: Taiwanese House Façade

Now on View: Taiwanese House Façade
House Façade, mid 18th Century Probably Ketagalan; probably Gongliao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan Camphor wood; 94 × 107 × 1 in. L.2017.1.1a,b Loan Courtesy of the Pomona College Museum of Art Gift of Dr. William Kirk There is in my possession a plank which a hundred years ago was the end of a native chief's house. It is a single piece of more...
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A Great Wish

A Great Wish
A Great Wish, 1998 Loretta Yang, Liu Li Gong Fang (USA), Inc. Pate de verre and glass; 11 1/2 x 12 x 25 in 2001.19.1 Gift of Liu Li Gong Fang (USA), Inc. Loretta Hui-Shan Yang’s A Great Wish rests luminously in the Bowers Museum’s Thompson Foyer, a larger-than-life-size glass sculpture of an infant nestled safely in the palm of a hand. Located in t...
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Living Music: Garamut Drums of the Middle Sepik River

Living Music: Garamut Drums of the Middle Sepik River
Slit Gong Drum (Garamut), late 18th-19th Century Govermas village, Blackwater River, Middle Sepik River region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Garamut wood; 19 x 17 x 77 in. 2004.64.1 Anonymous Gift Music plays a role in every human culture on earth, and often musical instruments are culturally just as rich as the sounds they prod...
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Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters 2: Rebirth... Again

Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters 2: Rebirth... Again
Cyborg Cop, 1993 Joe Mensah (Ghanaian, 1966 - ) Oil on cotton canvas; 68 × 45 in. 2014.28.25 Gift of Jay and Helen Lavely A raised fishing net reveals the TV set that will become the focal point for the evening's activity at this modest courtyard video club. Note the calm blue sea of the Cape Coast in the background, and the cord from the TV leadin...
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Mother's Baskets: The Cradleboards of California's Klamath River Tribes

Mother's Baskets: The Cradleboards of California's Klamath River Tribes
Baby Cradle, 19th century Yurok, Karok or Hupa people; Northern California Hazelnut shoots and leather; 12 x 24 in. 39635 Gift of Mrs. George Tsuda Moms carry us, it’s just what they do. Whether it’s a shoulder to lean on after a stressful week or watching our own kids to let us have a night out, we should be thankful for loving mothers year-round;...
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Let the Walnut Win: May the 4th at the Bowers

Let the Walnut Win: May the 4th at the Bowers
Miniature Carved Face, 20 th Century Wax and walnut shell; 1 1/4 x 1 1/8 x 1/2 in. 99.36.42 Gift of Mrs. Katherine Hotchkiss The Bowers Museum prides itself in many things. Fantastic collections from Oceania and China, world class exhibitions and a slice of Orange County all under one roof. Only rarely though does the Bowers bring contemporary Amer...
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The Cast Iron Castaway

The Cast Iron Castaway
Cannon, mid 18 th to early 19 th Century Possibly Spanish Wood and cast iron; 22 1/2 x 35 3/4 x 22 1/2 in. 82.2.1 Bowers Museum Purchase Buried treasure unearths a secret yearning to explore in the hearts of sailors and landlubbers alike. The truth though, is that if treasure hunting was easy or especially rewarding the entire world would be combin...
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Richardt's Redwoods: Earth Day and a Hudson River School Painter

Richardt's Redwoods: Earth Day and a Hudson River School Painter
Untitled, c. 1885 Ferdinand Richardt (American, [b. Demark] 1819-1895) Oil on canvas; 71 1/4 x 47 3/4 x 5 in. 40722 Anonymous Gift "Suddenly, from behind the rim of the Moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, r...
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A Carrier for Easter Eggs: John G. Elbs' Crate Invention

A Carrier for Easter Eggs: John G. Elbs' Crate Invention
Star Egg Carriers and Tray’s Egg Carton, c. 1906 Rochester, New York Wood and jute board; 2 ¾ x 6 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. 32845A, B Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Emory S. Moore Many things are not made to be broken: paintings, sculptures, Bowers Museum’s rare artifacts from Oceania and Asia; these cultural objects demand proper handling techniques. Eggs on the ot...
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The Cure-all Doll

The Cure-all Doll
Hoko-san "Good Luck" Doll, 20th Century Japanese; Takamatsu City, Shikoku Island, Japan Papier maché, paint and synthetic hair; 5 1/2 × 3 × 3 in. 87.4.42a Gift of the Clarence and Evanda Perry Trust Good luck charms are used in a variety of cultures to ward off evil spirits and diseases. These talismans can take many forms: rings, pendants, human a...
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Topsy-Turvies: Trick Images Reveling in Foolishness

Topsy-Turvies: Trick Images Reveling in Foolishness
Ambiguous Image of Three Men, Two Women and a Goat, early 20 th  Century Artist unknown Possibly chromolithograph; 5 3/4 x 5 1/4 x 1/2 in. 6490 Gift of Mrs. H. Merritt Adamson He lived as a devil, eh? It’s far from often that we come across palindromes like the preceding sentence, phrases which can be inverted to spell out the same message as ...
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Carving Past and Future from Soapstone

Carving Past and Future from Soapstone
Sculpture of Man with Seal, c. 1950 Abraham Pov (Inuit, 1927-1994); Canada Soapstone; 7 1/4 x 10 x 10 1/4 in. 92.20.8 Gift of the Les Aikman Family Hauntingly staring directly at onlookers, this Inuit soapstone carving made by the indigenous artisan Abraham Pov is an important artifact in the 20 th century’s history of Inuit peoples. Prior to the e...
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Clover in the Orchard: Orange County's First Irish Teacher

Clover in the Orchard: Orange County's First Irish Teacher
Photograph of Thomas J. Scully, date unknown Unknown photographer Photographic print; 9 7/8 x 7 in. 8119 Gift of Miss Mary Scully In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we honor one of America’s many influential Irish immigrants, Thomas J. Scully. Today he’s not a household name, but in the early years of California’s statehood his name would certain...
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It's Time to Spring Ahead!

It's Time to Spring Ahead!
In honor of the belief that Daylight Saving Time was designed to benefit farmers, here is one of the paintings from our collection of California artworks. Rural California, 1940 Evylena Nunn Miller (American, 1888-1966) Oil on Canvas; 30 x 36 1/2 in. F7711 Gift of Evylena Nunn Miller  This landscape with white barn, tall eucalyptus trees, farm...
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Two Miquelet Pistols

Two Miquelet Pistols
Miquelet Pistol, c. 1750  Ripoll, Catalonia, Spain Wood, engraved brass, iron and steel; 10 3/4 in. F80.65.1 Bowers Museum Foundation Acquisitions Fund Purchase Miquelet Pistol, c. 1750  Ripoll, Catalonia, Spain Wood, engraved brass, iron and steel; 2 x 10 3/4 x 5 in. F80.65.2 Bowers Museum Foundation Acquisitions Fund Purchase Detail of ...
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Much Ado About Flatware

Much Ado About Flatware
Spoons, mid 19th Century Duhme & Co.; Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America Coin silver; Various dimensions 19939, 19940, 19951, 19955 Gift of Ms. Sarah Jane Brittenham Estate In honor of President’s Day, we present to you a set of silver spoons used during the Van Buren administration in the mid-19 th Century. One may not automatically th...
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White Doves, Pretty Ladies and Mischievous Cupids: Valentine's Day Postcards

White Doves, Pretty Ladies and Mischievous Cupids: Valentine's Day Postcards
A “Heart” Shot, Late 19 th Century Unknown Artist; United States of America Paper and Ink 31055.4 Gift of Mrs. John S. Helmken The late 19th Century in the United States presented many burgeoning technologies, such as the steam engine and electricity to name a few examples. Methods of communication seemed to move more rapidly, with the ease of the ...
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新春快樂 (Happy Spring Festival!)

新春快樂   (Happy Spring Festival!)
Spirit Jar, Western Jin Dynasty (281-316 A.D.) China Ceramic; 16 1/2 x 8 3/8 in. 2000.65.2 Gift of Heather Sacre The Spring Festival refers to the lunar calendar, yet also pertains to folklore referring to the period beginning with the ceremony for worshipping the Kitchen God on the twenty-third day of the twelfth lunar month, and ending with the L...
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A Slice of California History

A Slice of California History
Living in Southern California has its perks; the most obvious one being the invariably warm climate. It does not take much effort to stumble upon California in popular culture, as certain words flash in our minds such as Hollywood, the film industry, or Los Angeles. “Silver Moon” Lemon Crate Label Print, c. 1945 San Fernando Heights Lemon Associati...
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A Controversial Costume

A Controversial Costume
In this uncharacteristically chilly cold weather in Southern California, are you dreaming of a beachside getaway as much as we are at the Bowers? Women's Swimsuit, early 20th Century United States of America Cotton; 19 3/4 x 35 3/4 in. 2010.20.1 Gift of Mrs. Bunny Lawson By 1900, people were flocking to the beach for popular seaside-oriented activi...
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Merry Modjeska

Merry Modjeska
Photograph of Madame Modjeska, 1894 Photographed by Jan W. Idzikowski; Chicago, Illinois Sepia-tone Photograph on Paper; 6 ½ x 4 ¼ in. 30926a.2 Gift of Percy and Tony Dickel Madame Helena Modjeska wishes you all a Happy New Year from the Bowers Museum! Here she is above, regally dressed for the occasion. In this photograph, Helena Modjeska is featu...
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Christmas Greenings: A Brief History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas Greenings: A Brief History of the Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree Topper, early 20th Century Europe Ceramic and fabric; various dimensions 75.22 Gift Maxine A. Miller   The practice of bringing trees and outdoor greens into the household has been done for centuries during the winter season. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, and Druids, for example, all focused on celebrating the Winter S...
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Mount of the Spectators at the Holy Land

Mount of the Spectators at the Holy Land
Before films came into being and after still photography garnered world-wide popularity, there was a brief era when the stereoscopic image was the primary source for capturing all things exotic and lesser-known. Our featured image is a stereograph thematically appropriate for this Holiday season, titled, “Jerusalem from Mt. Scopus, Palestine,” that...
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A Daoist Priest's Robe

A Daoist Priest's Robe
Daoist Priest's Robe ( Daogongfu),  20th Century Yao culture; Possibly Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Cotton and silk Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Danny and Anne Shih In American popular culture, we have seen the Yin Yang symbol emblazoned on items from wallets to jewelry—but do we really know the cultural origin of this circular emblem? The answer ...
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Asmat Female Figure with Bone Nose Ornament

Asmat Female Figure with Bone Nose Ornament
Standing Female Figure, early 20th Century Asmat culture; Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia, Melanesia Wood and bone; 45 1/2 × 9 × 10 in. 2013.19.1 Bowers Museum Purchase With approximately 70,000 inhabitants living in hundreds of villages , the cultural region of Asmat is located along the southwestern coast and inland region of the world’s t...
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A Utopian Thanksgiving

A Utopian Thanksgiving
Each Thanksgiving, the tableware laid out on the dining table represents tradition and the sentimentality associated with those special objects. From the silverware, finest china, glassware, and linens, the tablescape conveys the values and aesthetic ideals pertaining to that particular family. Yet, an ideological shift occurred in the late 1920’s ...
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Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters

Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters
Cyborg Cop, 1993 Joe Mensah (Ghanaian 1966-) Oil on cotton canvas; 68x 45 in. 2014.28.25 Gift of Jay and Helen Lavely “World cinema is a lingua franca we all understand,” stated Ernie Wolfe, a Los Angeles based art dealer and collector of Ghanaian film posters in The Atlantic . Ghanaian movie posters are now considered art gallery-worthy in the U.S...
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The George Stanley Lodin Collection

The George Stanley Lodin Collection
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A Meissen Orchestra of Monkeys

A Meissen Orchestra of Monkeys
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Money, Magic, Booze and Death: 10 Not-to-miss Artworks at the Bowers Museum