Raising Flags: The Stars and Stripes of the Bowers

Raising Flags: The Stars and Stripes of the Bowers
Quilt, c. 1920Maker unknown; United StatesCotton, fabric and flannel; 47 1/4 x 40 1/4 in.32147AGift of the Fredda Barger EstateMurky TerritoryAside from the places we have traditionally seen the American flag since it was first introduced in 1777, it seems like every year it appears in more and more unexpected situations. In 2020 one is as likely t...
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Taking Root and Stock: Naturally Formed Fijian Clubs

Taking Root and Stock: Naturally Formed Fijian Clubs
Rootstock Club (Vunikau), mid 19th CenturyFiji, MelanesiaWood; 46 x 3 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.2020.5.1Bowers Museum PurchaseHit Square with a RootThe fundamentals of warfare are in large part the same across all cultures and all times: there is a point of contention and so the sides—whatever they might be—rally a force and attack an enemy with weapons. As a...
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Illustrated Sports: OC History Edition

Illustrated Sports: OC History Edition
Santa Ana Rats, early 20th CenturyB.F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic Print; 8 x 10 in.8484Bowers Museum CollectionThis One’s for You, PopIt is difficult to make any sort of overarching generalizations about fathers, but all the same most would agree that the fatherly gestalt is a sports fan. Whether it is abruptly yelling at a TV about...
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Paper Monuments: Lithographs and Drawings of Francisco Zúñiga

Paper Monuments: Lithographs and Drawings of Francisco Zúñiga
Impresiones de Egipto, Plancha 6, 1982Francisco Zúñiga (Costa Rican-born Mexican, 1912-1998)Lithograph on Arches; 13 ¾ x 19 ¾ in.2016.5.13Anonymous GiftA Man of Many RenaissancesPart of the incredible nature of art is the scope of what it depicts. From nonrepresentational paintings capturing feelings to photorealistic portraits, artists define them...
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Following Townsend to Abstraction

Following Townsend to Abstraction
Turbulence, 1960sMildred Scott Townsend, American, (1897-1985)Mixed media on silk; 40 x 50 in.F80.40.5Gift of the ArtistA BlurYou can lose the forest for the trees, and sometimes it takes getting farther away from something to really be able to see it. Mildred Scott Townsend, an early and mid 20th century Californian painter likely understood this ...
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From Caverns Beneath the Earth: Two Taíno Carvings

From Caverns Beneath the Earth: Two Taíno Carvings
Deity Figure (Zemí), 1100-1500Taino culture; Dominican RepublicWood; 13 3/8 x 5 3/4 x 6 1/4 in.2005.38.1Gift of Nancy Nicola and Warren Lampkin, In memory of Armand LabbeFar from HomeMany of us were first taught about Columbus’ new sea route to the Americas in a fun limerick, but the fallen explorer’s time in the western hemisphere is problematic t...
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Spring Spookfest: Creepy Objects from the Bowers

Spring Spookfest: Creepy Objects from the Bowers
Prisoner of War Guillotine Model, 1770-1825Maker UnknownBone and pigment; 15 1/2 x 14 x 5 3/4 in. 2011.25.73Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkHalloween in MayWith the very possible exception of May gray, there is not much particularly unsettling about the spring months. In fact, they are stalwartly reputed to be upstanding months by most definitio...
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Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters 3: Triple Impact

Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters 3: Triple Impact
New Killers in Town, 1996Jonas Golden Boy (Ghanaian)Oil on cotton canvas; 62 × 47 in.2014.28.30Gift of Jay and Helen LavelyThree is the Magic NumberIn a world where movie theaters are threatened by a global pandemic, one group offers a respite from the doldrums of home quarantine: Ghanaian poster painters. Three long years have passed since the her...
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Wayside Madonna by Edith Catlin Phelps

Wayside Madonna by Edith Catlin Phelps
Detail of Wayside Madonna, 1939Edith Catlin Phelps (American, 1874-1961)Oil on canvas; 40 x 33 1/2 in.32158Gift of Mrs. Edith Catlin PhelpsWow, Upside-DownIn today’s world, it is more important than ever to have someone that is always in your corner of the ring, pushing you forward and supporting you. So, let us talk about moms. They not only fit t...
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Hand Solo: Armless Figures and Disembodied Hands of the Bowers

Hand Solo: Armless Figures and Disembodied Hands of the Bowers
Artist's rendition of 2004.66.1.1-.2 and 31901 in dialogue in a futuristic setting.Man: The Lore (ian)This coming Monday marks yet another May the Fourth (be with you) on the Galactic Standard Calendar. While it might be an unremarkable day for the least nerdy of us, for those of us raised on Star Wars the date is as sacred as the Jedi texts. And w...
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The Wachtel Watchers: The Earth in Plein Air

The Wachtel Watchers: The Earth in Plein Air
From Sunland Looking Across Valley to Big Tujunga, c. 1925Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel (American, 1875-1954)Watercolor on paper; 14 x 19 9/16 in.F7690Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionThis Little Planet Called HomeApril 22, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Originally held as rallies and walks in major cities throughout th...
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The Tooth Tech’s Tiny Tut

The Tooth Tech’s Tiny Tut
Tut Replica, c. 1930Unknown PhotographerPhotographic print99.27.4Gift of Ms. Katherine HotchkissLittle MysteriesHaving been a collecting institution for almost the past 80 years, the Bowers Museum’s collections are, in some cases, rather eclectic. Whether it’s a wreath made from Victorian-era hair art, a Polynesian breadfruit pounder discovered in ...
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Bowers in a Brush Stroke: Raúl Anguiano’s Untitled Mural

Bowers in a Brush Stroke: Raúl Anguiano’s Untitled Mural
Untitled (Artworks of the Bowers Museum), 1999Raúl Anguiano (Mexican, 1915-2006)Oil on canvas; 101 1/2 x 183 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.99.63.1Gift of Bowers Museum Collectors CouncilMemory PalaceIf you have been missing the Bowers Museum as much as we have, then perhaps you too have been walking its halls in your imagination and picturing the placements of ob...
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The Osborne Collection: Opening Ceremony Pt. 2

The Osborne Collection: Opening Ceremony Pt. 2
Frieda, Ellen and Carolyn performing at the opening of the Bai ra Nagsechel ar Cherchar, 1969Image courtesy of Frieda WrayBeginning of the EndThe electric opening of the Palau Museum’s Bai ra Nagsechel ar Cherchar was marked with dancing and music, but there is always more going on than meets the senses. In last week’s post the Bowers Blog explored...
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The Osborne Collection: Opening Ceremony Pt. 1

The Osborne Collection: Opening Ceremony Pt. 1
The Bai ra Ngesechel ar Cherchar shortly after being constructedImage courtesy of Frieda WrayGrand OpeningOpenings are extravagant affairs. If all goes to plan they only happen once, so to commemorate the moment there should be a grand party with musicians, speakers thanking all those involved and, most importantly, there should be a pair of comica...
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The Osborne Collection: Return to Palau

The Osborne Collection: Return to Palau
Bai Model, mid 20th CenturyPalau, MicronesiaWood; 5 1/4 × 3 × 11 3/4 in.2019.17.5Gift of Frieda O. Wray from the Estate of Dr. & Mrs. Douglas and Carolyn OsborneIf You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by NowPeople can meet one another anywhere, but almost all cultures build specialized buildings in which community members can come together to discuss ...
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The Osborne Collection: To Begin, A Biography

The Osborne Collection: To Begin, A Biography
Carolyn and Dr. Douglas Osborne, 1968 passport photographsImages courtesy of Frieda WrayTolúk BackIn a previous blog post we showcased two rare tolúk currency pieces from the Osborne Collection which originates from the island country of Palau in southwest Micronesia. Though the post focused more on the objects than their provenance, the donation c...
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Doing it by the Brooks: A Foray into Modernist Jewelry

Doing it by the Brooks: A Foray into Modernist Jewelry
Necklace, 1964George Brooks (Czechoslovakian-born American, 1925-); Santa Barbara, CaliforniaSilver, 18 kt yellow gold, ebony and pearls2020.3.1Gift of Mr. George BrooksJade Laden, Never JadedModernist jewelry exploded into popularity between the 1930s and 1960s as a counterculture movement to the highly organic Art Nouveau and rigid Art Deco style...
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All Swords of Things: Five Decorative Short Swords from the Congo

All Swords of Things: Five Decorative Short Swords from the Congo
Swords, 19th to 20th Century Ngombe or Poto culture; Democratic Republic of the CongoWood, leather, metal, fur and fiberF79.58.2, F80.49.26, F79.59.2, 2003.42.29 and 2013.12.3Gifts of Dr. and Mrs. Myron Klapper, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Herman, Dr. and Mrs. Iwao Kawakami, Susan Lerer and David PoiryOld Knives TaleSwords once played a vital role in warfare ...
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The Tooled Trunk: A Leatherwork Chest from the Viceroyalty of Peru

The Tooled Trunk: A Leatherwork Chest from the Viceroyalty of Peru
Chest, 17th to 18th CenturyPeruLeather, wood and iron; 20 1/2 x 36 x 19 3/4 in.2020.1.1aGift of The Nesselrod FamilyTrunk ShowLuggage is probably most on the mind when you’ve been told by an airline that it’s just barely oversized and that you’ll have to check it, but its history dates as far back as human migration. Longtime visitors to the Bowers...
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A Budai By Any Other Name Would be Just as Compassionate

A Budai By Any Other Name Would be Just as Compassionate
Hotei Relaxing in a Field, mid to late 20th CenturyMaker Unknown; ChinaPainting on porcelain tile96.52.34Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herb HansenLots of LovesLove is a fairly complex force that can (often insufficiently) be defined as an intense feeling of affection towards family; friends; a significant other; a childhood pet gerbil named Scruffy, rest in...
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Magamaog’s Lashed Logs: Yami Canoes of Orchid Island

Magamaog’s Lashed Logs: Yami Canoes of Orchid Island
Fishing Canoe (Taratara), 20th CenturyYami culture; Lanyu (Orchid) Island, TaiwanWood, paint and feather; 81 × 204 × 36 in. 97.8.1Gift of Leon ChenWhen a Gangway’s Raised a Porthole OpensWhile the hopes of the Bowers most nautically inclined visitors may be sunk following the departure of Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea this past weekend, rest assu...
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William Wendt: Transcendentalist

William Wendt: Transcendentalist
Sycamores, 1918William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)Oil on canvas; 26 3/4 x 42 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.F7678Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionTranscendental State of MindThe great transcendentalists had come and gone by the time the William Wendt first arrived in California with a brush in hand and love of nature in heart and began painting this golden...
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Carved Cushions: Headrests of New Guinea

Carved Cushions: Headrests of New Guinea
Headrests, 20th CenturyNew Guinea, MelanesiaWood2019.22.23; 2015.7.11; 2018.14.37 and 2019.22.29Gifts of Mr. Michael Hamson and Anonymous DonorIsland DreamsBarring Boris Karloff’s 1932 rendition of a mummy caught in eternal vertical slumber and perhaps a few other standing sleepers throughout history and literature, most of us sleep in a decidedly ...
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Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs
Detail of 2003.50.37Gift of William R. Moran Weird and Just Downright WeirdAs part of an ongoing project to classify the Bowers Museum’s collections, our Collections team has reached many an oddball object that does not easily fall into standard categories. Many more have outlandish or wonderfully rare names. Today’s post is a celebration of t...
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Visions of 2020: Eyeglasses of the Bowers Museum

Visions of 2020: Eyeglasses of the Bowers Museum
Glasses, 18th to 20th CenturyVarious Manufacturers; North America and EuropeGlass, metal, plastic and tortoiseshell2000.8.13,.39,.80,.95.,113,.170,.176,.225,.244,.251,.284,.537Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard PrestonTo See or Not to SeeTwenty-Twenty is perfect vision, it’s said that it is hindsight, and mostly importantly it’s the new year. To better p...
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Shine Bright Like a Star of Bethlehem Quilt

Shine Bright Like a Star of Bethlehem Quilt
Star of Bethlehem Pattern Quilt, c. 1840Maker unknownCotton; 100 x 100 in.2002.14.86Gift of Mr. William R. MoranHindsight is This YearWith the holiday season now tragically in our rearview, and with us either already returned to our weekly lives or soon to reenter the fray, sometimes it is nice to take one last gander at an aspect of the late annum...
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Weighing in on Steelyard Scales

Weighing in on Steelyard Scales
Steelyard Scales, 19th to 20th CenturyLaosWood, metal, fiber and tortoiseshell2019.23.71-.80Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihScales of JusticeWhen most think of scales, they likely summon an image of Lady Justice, perhaps guarding the entrance of a courthouse, with golden scales for balancing the deeds of the good, the evil and the neutrally aligned...
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That’s Got to Sting: Barbed Blades from the Admiralty Islands

That’s Got to Sting: Barbed Blades from the Admiralty Islands
Dagger, 19th Century Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood, stingray barb, fiber and beads 2019.20.2Bowers Museum PurchaseBlade with a BarbThe Bowers Blog has previously spent a lot of time focusing on the art of Admiralty Islands, a small chain located in Papua New Guinea’s Bismarck Archipelago. I...
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Legally Fond: The Old Orange County Courthouse

Legally Fond: The Old Orange County Courthouse
Orange County Courthouse after Completion, 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.7019.21Gift of Mr. Terry Edward Stephenson, Sr.Justice Just IsThis year has been one of remembrance and celebration as 2019 marks Santa Ana’s sesquicentennial. With posts on the city’s earliest land holders, the origins of...
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Thanks for the Memories: Brittany Boats Painted by Edgar Payne

Thanks for the Memories: Brittany Boats Painted by Edgar Payne
Marine, Boats in Brittany, c. 1929Edgar Payne (American, 1882-1947)Oil on canvas; 16 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 2 1/2 in.F7600Gift of Mrs. Edgar PayneNot Just FoodsgivingThanksgiving is a no-nonsense holiday because—as much as we try to take it as a moment to reflect and honor the things in our lives that we are thankful for—the holiday is perhaps most-loved a...
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Wood that Can be Beat: Fijian Barkcloth Beaters

Wood that Can be Beat: Fijian Barkcloth Beaters
Barkcloth Beater (Ike), 19th Century Viti Levu, Fiji, PolynesiaWood; 10 ¼ x 2 5/16 x 2 1/8 in. 2019.20.1Bowers Museum PurchaseMarch to the Beat of your Own BeaterWhether made from the sheared wool of adorably cloud-like animals, pulled from cotton plants or spun from the gossamer silk of worms; textiles are made with a variety of methods throughout...
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Tolúk: Palauan Women’s Currency Trays

Tolúk: Palauan Women’s Currency Trays
Woman's Valuables (Toluk), early to mid 20th CenturyPalau, MicronesiaTortoiseshell2019.17.32-.33Gift of Frieda O. Wray from the Estate of Dr. & Mrs. Douglas and Carolyn OsborneHave Tolúk and See ThemThe Bowers Museum recently acquired the Osborne Collection, an assemblage of objects originating from the island country of Palau—an archipelago lo...
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Prequel to the Origin Story: A Prehistory of Santa Ana’s Foundation

Prequel to the Origin Story: A Prehistory of Santa Ana’s Foundation
Don Bernardo Yorba’s House, c. 1910Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana Canyon, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 10 in.8478Gift of Mr. Terry Edward Stephenson, Sr.Variations of a CityIn both Forged in Fire Safety: The First Santa Ana Fire Department and A Beginner’s Guide to Santa Ana Street Names the Bowers Blog has previously looked at the ...
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Bowers Museum Ghost Stories Vol. II

Bowers Museum Ghost Stories Vol. II
A somewhat edited photograph of the Bowers home (32154B.3)Bowers Museum CollectionBowers Spook FactoryIt’s that time of year once again… again! Spooks and eeriness lurk at every maligned corner; costumed kids, hidden hooligans and scary skateboarders with tricks (never treats) roam as far as the eye can see; an unreasonable number of black cats sta...
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Cheating Death with Arthur Beaumont

Cheating Death with Arthur Beaumont
Death of an Ignoble Enemy, 1946Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978)Watercolor and tempera on paper; 24 1/2 x 28 1/2 in.98.58.1Gift of John E. SeabernDon’t Fear the Reaper, Ignore HimSome of us may have at one point in our lives found ourselves in a precarious situation such as a near-miss car accident that could just as easily...
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Angling for Answers: A Bowers Procedural Investigation

Angling for Answers: A Bowers Procedural Investigation
Mystery Box, late 19th to early 20th CenturyXiamen, Fujian Province, ChinaTin, ivory, felt and string 2019.16.1.1-.47Gift of Jan G. WoodSome Sleuthing RequiredNot everything has an easy answer. Previous Bowers Blog posts have explored a range of open-ended mysteries including Native American cogged stones, an apparent relic from the Portola Expedit...
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TASS List: Russian World War II-era Propaganda Posters

TASS List: Russian World War II-era Propaganda Posters
Our One Thousandth Blow (TASS Poster 1000), June 5, 1944Pavel Sokolov-Skalia (Russian, 1899-1961), Nikolai Federovich Denisovskii (Russian, 1901-1981), Vasilli Lebedev-Kumach (Russian, 1891-1949); Moscow, RussiaInk on Paper2019.14.6Bowers Museum Permanent CollectionComrade in ArmsWhen we think of war our first thought is likely of the battlefield, ...
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Officers and Offices: History of the Santa Ana Police Department

Officers and Offices: History of the Santa Ana Police Department
Motorcycle Officer, early 20th CenturyUnknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 10 x 8 in.37057.2Leo Tiede Photography CollectionPolice StoryCalifornia at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries was very much a part of the frontier, with justice often poorly exacted by unqualified parties. In its earliest iterat...
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Feathered Funds: Solomon Island Currency Rolls

Feathered Funds: Solomon Island Currency Rolls
Feathered Currency Roll (Tevau), late 19th-mid 20th CenturySanta Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, MelanesiaFeather, bark, shell, fiber, resin and bead; 6 x 15 5/8 x 16 3/4 in.2001.74.14Gift of Mr. William MoranRed the Feather that CoilsWith the Bowers Museum’s recently opened Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografía, many visitors w...
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Forms in Dimensions: Tamayo and Zapotec Sculpture

Forms in Dimensions: Tamayo and Zapotec Sculpture
Detail of Seated Deity Figure, 300-600 ADZapotec culture; MexicoCeramic; 14 1/2 x 10 in.2000.56.7The Dr. Eli B. and Aimee Cohen Memorial CollectionUniverses of MeaningThis week marks the opening of Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografía, an exhibition primarily about a series of three-dimensional prints made by Rufino Tamayo, one of the most inf...
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The Immaculate ‘Art of Mary

The Immaculate ‘Art of Mary
Detail of Heart of Mary, c. 1750Miguel Ballejo y Mandirano; MexicoOil on canvas; 30 x 22 in.89.22.2Donated by Mr. Gene R. WoodFeast of the HurtPain 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 self-sacr...
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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, 1921Unknown photographer; Santa Ana, Orange County, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 7 x 5 in.34636Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston WalkerPaying the TollBack 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 Love Shac...
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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 CenturyKayapo Mebêngôkre culture; Xingu River area, Para, BrazilMacaw and waterfowl feather, string and cotton; 68 x 57 in.91.34.1.1-.2Bowers Museum Acquisitions Fund PurchaseAs the Crow Flies, Not So FarBird feathers are surprisingly intricate structures: leaflike in nature with a rigid or semi-rigid midrib call...
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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 CenturyTonga, PolynesiaWood; 45 ½ in.2019.19.1Bowers Museum Purchase; Photograph courtesy of Michael HamsonEndless BufferingThe 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 unfinished pr...
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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. 1970JordanianGold and elephant hair; 1 1/8 x 2 1/2 in.77.4.8Gift of United States GovernmentThe Gift that Keeps on TakingIn 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 that it i...
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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 CenturyBaining culture; Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaBark cloth, bamboo cane and paint; 65 x 53 x 148 1/2 in.2007.6.1Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihSparks Like Stars in the SkyHeld at torch-point against a pressing sea of night or built as a pyre to be encirc...
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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, 1915Clyde D. Butler and Geo L. Bates; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPaper and ink; 20 × 25 5/8 in.17481Bowers Museum Permanent CollectionSpurgeons, Surgeons and Spurred DonsFor 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 seat’s m...
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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 LeapOn 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’s...
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Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh

Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh
Headdress (Perak), late 20th CenturyLadakhi culture; Ladakh Region, Jammu and Kashmir State, IndiaCotton, lambskin, yak hair, turquoise, coral, carnelian and silver; 54 × 20 × 1 3/4 in.2019.7.1Anonymous GiftCrown of the Roof of the WorldLadakh is a region of India located in the barren mountainous foothills between the Himalayas and the Karakoram M...
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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. 1910Navajo; probably Ganado, ArizonaDyed wool; 65 x 105 in.2019.5.1Gift of Dennis J. AignerWhite HatThere 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. More t...
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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, 1890Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8 x 5 in.2983Gift of Mr. William McPhersonJuly the Fourth Be with YouThere 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, plentiful dr...
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Buff’s Bluffs: Buffing up on Conrad Buff

Buff’s Bluffs: Buffing up on Conrad Buff
Ocean Vista, c. 1925Conrad Buff (Swiss-born American, 1886-1975); Southern CaliforniaOil on Masonite; 36 x 24 in.91.47.4Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Christian and Joyce Title(Con)Rad, With Bodacious Later WorksRugged individualism remains an ingrained facet of American identity, but it is the combination of individualism and collaboration that create true ...
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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 CELaiagam Valley, Central Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaStone; 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 × 7 1/2 in.2019.8.1Bowers Museum PurchaseSet in StoneWhen 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 feathers...
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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 CenturyIñupiaq culture; Seward Peninsula Area, AlaskaWalrus ivory, lead, iron and cotton thread; 2 1/4 × 4 1/8 in.39352Gift of Winifred P. MorganLet’s See What’s Biting, ChampSome dads fit all the clichés. They are handy when something needs fixing, quick with a pun but otherwise tactful enough to let mom handl...
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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, 1888Photo by B. F. Conaway; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 8.5 x 5 ¼ in. 2821Gift of John LuxembourgerSunny Santa Ana CaliforniaWilliam 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 East to ...
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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 CenturyAbelam and Iatmul culture; East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, OceaniaCassowary bone and pigment2010.22.5-.31Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihThey do Move in HerdsUnassuming dinosaurs of the modern era that they are, cassowaries are incredible creatures. For example, though flightless they ...
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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 CenturyI-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, MicronesiaPalm wood, shark teeth and sennit; various dimensions2019.6.1-.2Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihInto the MawThe Bowers Museum’s continued efforts to improve our Oceanic Collections has driven the acquisition of several shark tooth weapons from the ...
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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 CenturyMiao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, AsiaCotton and silk; 23 x 30 in.2008.9.71Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihMiao Mom Weightlifting ClubWe 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 the ta...
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Much Naboo About Nothing

Much Naboo About Nothing
Sculpture, late 20th CenturyPossibly Kwoma culture; Middle Sepik River Region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood, pigment and cowrie shell; 55 in.98.18.10Gift of the Jordan Community TrustReturn of the FourthYounglings, padawans and Jedi masters, it is time to force the important issues once more! In previous years the Bowers Blo...
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I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi

I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi
Shoulder Cloth (Hinggi), late 20th CenturySumba culture; Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Lesser Sunda Islands, IndonesiaCotton; 96 × 112 in.2016.15.45Anonymous GiftSyncretic DyeingArt has always been a chorus of different groups reacting to, influencing, inspiring and drawing upon one another’s creations. On the small East Indonesian isl...
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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 CenturyJerusalem, modern-day IsraelMother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in.31521Gift of Mrs. John CarruthersGetting a Rise out of SpringSpring 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 life, q...
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Dragon Glass: Taking Stock at the Bowers Museum

Dragon Glass: Taking Stock at the Bowers Museum
Battle and Hunting Weapons, 300-1519Michoacán, MexicoObsidian; various dimensions2003.10.42C-IAnonymous GiftThe Night King ComethAs 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 not ye...
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Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered

Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered
Detail of Untitled, c. 1924Thomas Hunt (Canadian-born American, 1882-1938)Oil on paper on board; 10 x 12 in.F7742Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionAnti-Entropic RelayLegacy 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 is per...
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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 YouAs 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, br...
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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 101Recent 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 vi...
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Saint Patrick’s Day Snake Parade

Saint Patrick’s Day Snake Parade
Armlet, c.1885Paris, FranceGold, emerald and stone; 5 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 4 1/8 in.2884Gift of Mr. & Mrs. James Willis RiceBalancing the ScalesWhile 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 resident s...
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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 CenturyI-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, MicronesiaPalm wood, tiger shark teeth (galeocerdo cuvier) and sennit; 6 1/2 in.2019.3.1Bowers Museum PurchaseWar Changes Quite a BitIf humans have consistently been innovative in any one field, it is in the discovery of more effective ways to injure one another. Often heavi...
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Blankets of the Chilkat Tlingit

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

Bamana Ciwarakunw: Icons of Agrarian Society
Headdress (Ciwarakun), 20th CenturyBamana culture; Western MaliWood and metal; 11 × 17 5/8 × 3 in.2018.13.28Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihOn Demigods and FarmersAgrarian 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 grows fro...
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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, 1920sEdward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print35558.7Gift of Mr. Eldon G. McNeilValentine’s DayIt’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 cherubbed by a...
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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, 1960Milford Zornes (American, 1908 - 2008); Corona Del Mar, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 14 7/8 × 21 1/2 in.2018.6.48Ann 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 haven'...
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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; ChinaBronze and silver; 1/2 x 6 1/8 in.2005.28.1In Memory of Armand J. LabbeThe World in BronzeMirrors today are multi-layered compositions of metal and glass, but historically the only requirement was a reflective surface. In China, a country whose complex manufacturin...
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Progenitor Protection: Wooden Shields of the Asmat

Progenitor Protection: Wooden Shields of the Asmat
War Shields, 20th CenturyCentral and Northern Asmat culture; Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaWood, pigment and sago-frond; Various Dimensions2017.10.148, L.2010.4.4, F75.16.1 and 2006.19.1Anonymous Gift, Bowers Museum General Acquisition Fund Purchase, Loan courtesy of Gayle and Edward P. Roski and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer BelloY...
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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.1900Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, WisconsinSilk and velvet; 60 x 75 in.80.35.1Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. CarrQuilty as ChargedOne 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 20th Ce...
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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 CenturyNoel Quinn (American, 1915 - 1993); June Lake, Mono County, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 19 1/4 × 26 7/8 in.2018.6.24Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial CollectionQuintessential ArtistThis post harkens back to the Bowers Blog’s 6-part series on the artists of the Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection, now f...
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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 Ireland, 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 worl...
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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, 1946Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH; Göppingen, GermanyMetal; 7 in.80.78.21Gift of Mr. Richard D. LuschAll AboardThe 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, and i...
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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), 1949Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978); Carmel, CaliforniaWatercolor and tempera on paper; 15 x 12 in.96.65.1Gift of Rae and Sandra YoungBombshell ArtistThe Bowers Blog has previously examined the works of the English-born American artist, Arthur Edwaine Beaumont, looking at his time ...
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Shell to Pay: Boiken Wamayuwa and Weingga

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

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

Fibers of History: Tongan Tapa Cloths
Detail of Tapa Cloth (Ngatu), 20th CenturyTongan culture; Tonga, PolynesiaPounded tree bark and pigment; 78 x 152 in.93.18.1Donated by Jeff and Laura BlackieCloth With a BarkTapa 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 of Pacif...
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Under the Hilt: Identifying Three Japanese Swords

Under the Hilt: Identifying Three Japanese Swords
Short Sword (Wakizashi), 15th to 19th CenturyTsuguhiro (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, JapanSteel, manta ray skin, lacquer, silk and iron; 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 x 27 1/4 in.200...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Dong Kingman

The Ann Cullen Collection: Dong Kingman
Bridge and Tugboats, mid 20th CenturyDong Kingman (American, 1911 - 2000); New York City, New YorkWatercolor on paper; 19 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.2018.6.11Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial CollectionDelightful, DiligentAs 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 friendsh...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 2

The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 2
Girl by Candlelight, 1942-1962Muggs Van Sant (American, 1898 - 1964)Watercolor on paper; 3 x 4 in.2018.6.34Gift of Ann CullenCovered by SheetsThe 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 him mos...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 1

The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 1
Family Flats, 1932Millard Sheets (American, 1907 - 1989); CaliforniaLithograph; 16 x 22 1/2 in.2018.6.26Gift of Ann CullenThree Sheets to the BlogSo 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-charismatic Mi...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Phil Dike

The Ann Cullen Collection: Phil Dike
Waves Spilling Over Rocks, 1976Phil Dike (American, 1906 - 1990); CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in.2018.6.6Gift of Ann CullenSomething Else EntirelyIn 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 drawn to ...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Emil Kosa Jr.

The Ann Cullen Collection: Emil Kosa Jr.
Bunker Hill, mid 20th CenturyEmil Kosa Jr. (French-born American, 1903-1968); Los Angeles, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 22 x 28 in.2018.6.17Gift of Ann CullenFirst Kosa’s FirstFull… 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 Cullen C...
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The Ann Cullen Collection: Rex Brandt

The Ann Cullen Collection: Rex Brandt
Autumn Day, 1976Rex Brandt (American, 1914-2000); Temecula, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in.2018.6.2Ann Cullen CollectionAn Open BookThe 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 Historic Wing,...
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Ceramics of Western Mexico: Dog Edition

Ceramics of Western Mexico: Dog Edition
Sitting Dog, 200 BC-300 ADColima culture; Colima, MexicoClay and slip; 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.99.82.8Gift of John Ross, D.D.S.All Bite, No BarkDogs 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 coroll...
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McCloskey: Return of the Medieval Revival

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

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

The Clay Day of Papuan Vessels
Ceremonial Vessel (Kwam), 19th to 20th CenturyAbelam culture; Wambisa Village, Maprik District, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaClay, red, white and orange ochre; 3 ¼ x 9 3/8 x 7 3/8 in.2018.7.16Gift of Michael HamsonVessel VarietyPerhaps above all else, Papua New Guinea is best-known for its variety. As many as 850 languages are sp...
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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 CenturyI-Kiribati culture; Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati, MicronesiaWood, shark teeth, fiber, tapa and human hair; 34 1/2in.2018.9.1Gift of Mark BlackburnWhirling DervishBarring the outlandish Sharknado franchise, when we hear the phrase “shark attack,” the assumption is that we would have to be in the ocean...
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McCloskey to a Heart

McCloskey to a Heart
Detail of Untitled (Portrait of Eleanor with Wreath), c. 1892Alberta Binford McCloskey (American, 1855-1911) or William Joseph McCloskey (American, 1859-1941)Watercolor; 15 7/8 x 14 1/874.22.9Gift of Mrs. Eleanor RussellOnce Upon a TimeAny visitor to the Bowers Museum will recognize the works of Alberta Binford and William Joseph McCloskey by the i...
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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 CenturyNellie Gail Moulton (American, 1878-1972)Oil on masonite; 12 × 14 × 3/4 in.F7736Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionStevens Start-offOne 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 currently acc...
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Moana Materials: Polynesian Art in Disney’s Moana

Moana Materials: Polynesian Art in Disney’s Moana
Tapa Cloth (Ngata), 20th CenturyTongan culture; Tonga, PolynesiaPounded tree bark and pigment; 78 x 152 in.93.18.1Donated by Jeff and Laura BlackieTrip to MotunuiWhen 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 recognition within...
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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, MexicoShell; 12 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 5 1/8 in.34076Gift of Mr. Graciano BernalTooting Their Own HornsShells 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 purposes....
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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 CenturyChokwe culture; AngolaWood, metal and leather; 19 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 13 in.2007.4.55Gift of the Roschen Family TrustHave a SeatDriving 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 thrones, ch...
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Yam Digging Sticks of the Abelam

Yam Digging Sticks of the Abelam
Digging Sticks, 20th CenturyAbelam culture; East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood and paint99.76.141; 2011.13.4; 97.138.1; and 2015.7.2Anonymous Gift; Bowers Museum Purchase; Anonymous Gift; and Gift of Mr. Michael HamsonInductionIn the United States we understand competition all too well. We compete with neighbors over having the s...
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Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night

Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night
Detail of Summer Night, c. 1925Aloys Bohnen (American, 1889-1967) Oil on canvas; 34 x 27 in.31163Gift of the James Earl Fraser EstateInto the GroveDuring 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 found in...
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Oh, Say Can You Scrimshaw

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

Hawaiian Lei Niho Palaoa
Necklace (Lei Niho Palaoa), early 19th CenturyHawaiian culture; Hawaii, United States, PolynesiaHair, fiber and walrus ivory; 11 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 2 1/2 in.2018.5.1Bowers Museum PurchasePhotograph courtesy of BonhamsA New AcquisitionWhen it comes to Hawaiian necklaces, the subject can be a somewhat hairy one, though perhaps not for the reasons one migh...
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The Niue Club in Town

The Niue Club in Town
Cleaving Club (Ula-fumiti), early to mid 19th CenturyNiuean culture; Niue Island, PolynesiaWood; 68 7/8 x 5 x 1 ¼ in.2018.4.1Bowers Museum PurchaseBehold the Cook-o-nutCaptain 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 tropical ...
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Father’s Day Pipe Dream

Father’s Day Pipe Dream
Pipe, 1000-1700Chumash culture; CaliforniaSteatite and clam shell beads; 1 9/16 x 1 x 12 3/16 in.80017Fred Randolph Aldrich CollectionThis is a PipeDoes 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 around wit...
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Hewes-ed from Stone

Hewes-ed from Stone
Busts of David Hewes and Franklina Gray, 1877Giuseppe Andreoni (Italian, 19th Century); Pisa, ItalyMarble; Various Dimensions2697, 32782Gifts of Mrs. D. Eyman Huff and Mr. & Mrs. James A. MooreTotal BustWith American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times having just left the Bowers Museum this past weekend, the portraits section of the much-b...
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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; ChinaWood and pigments; 49 x 16 x 11 in.2005.37.1Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihMercy MeWhether 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. Wooden ...
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Kept in Suspense: The Samban of the Iatmul

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

Manilla Portfolio: West African Worn Currency
Manillas, 19th CenturyUnknown Manufacturer; probably Birmingham, EnglandLeaded brass; Various Dimensions2003.43.72-.79Anonymous GiftWho 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 until ...
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Maud “The Mom” McBroom

Maud “The Mom” McBroom
Basketry Olla, early 20th CenturyPima culture; Arizona, United StatesBear grass, willow and devil’s claw; 11 3/4 × 9 1/4 in.2018.3.3Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John and Elizabeth StahrThat’s MomsMoms 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 schola...
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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 CenturySukuma culture; TanzaniaWood, metal and hair; 63 in.2002.58.1Gift of Heather SacreMay 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 a hol...
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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California
Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 11 x 14 in.38107.11Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. BordersSame Blog, New HomeThis 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 take t...
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The O'odham Maze of Life and Personhood

The O'odham Maze of Life and Personhood
Plaque with "Labyrinth" Design, 20th CenturyPima culture; Southern ArizonaWillow, devil's claw and tule; 15 1/2 in.30070Gift of Mrs. Mary J. NewlandTheseus, He Pleases UsLabyrinths 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 a maze wh...
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2617 Hits
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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn
Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in.3953Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank CoburnBeginningFor 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 picturesque...
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Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols

Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols
Parasols, 19th and 20th CenturiesPossibly Paul Poiret (French, 1879-1944) and Unknown Makers; France and EnglandWood, metal, silk, cotton and pigments; Various dimensions32172C, 7992D and 7992AGift of Mrs. G. W. Pike (32172C) and Irene P. Cutter Memorial Doll Collection (7992D and 7992A)Parasols for Paris SoulsThe science of selecting the...
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1457 Hits
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The Magnificent Floyd

The Magnificent Floyd
Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; Various Dimensions36247.3,.4Gift of Mrs. Weston WalkerApril Fools bring May LOL’sIt takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The prefe...
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1506 Hits
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The First Warbles of Spring

The First Warbles of Spring
Scene from Tale of Genji Chapter 23, “Hatsune (First Warbler)”, 1890Yōshū Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838-1912); Tokyo, JapanWoodblock print on paper; 21 1/2 x 33 in.94.64.8Gift of Mr. William DrellTale of the EquinoxSpring is in the air! The spring equinox, which occurred Tuesday, March 20th, provides the possibility for rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. ...
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1686 Hits
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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, 1930-1939Western Lithograph Company (American, 1908-1985); Los Angeles, CaliforniaChromolithograph; 10 x 10 ¾ in.82.59.2Gift of Mr. Andrew E. CoenSt. Patrick’s DayStereotypical symbols like leprechauns and their pots of gold may seem hackneyed, but the shamrock—characteristically a species of three-leaf clover—sta...
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1523 Hits
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Lucy Lewis (1898-1992)

Lucy Lewis (1898-1992)
Jar, c. 1981Lucy Lewis (1898-1992); Acoma Pueblo, New MexicoClay and paint; 5 x 10 1/4 in.F81.61.1Gift of the ArtistPotter of the CenturyPhotograph of Lucy Lewis painting a vessel.With the influx of western products that the pueblos of the American Southwest saw during the 19th Century, many traditional Native American art forms such as pottery onl...
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1691 Hits
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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 CenturyFulani culture; MaliGold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in.97.13.1.1-.2Gift of Bowers Museum Collector's CouncilWakanda ForeverMarvel 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 traditional Afric...
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2221 Hits
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Grand Admiralty Island Feast Bowl

Grand Admiralty Island Feast Bowl
Feast Bowl, late 19th CenturyMatankol culture; Lou Island, Admiralty Islands, Manus Province, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood and parinarium nut paste; 24 ½ x 54 ½ x 41 in. 2018.1.1Bowers Museum PurchaseHomes on the neighboring M'Buke Island.Photograph by Peter Keller, 2006.King of BowlsOf the many types of wooden bowl from th...
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2320 Hits
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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 CenturyProbably New Curiosity Shop (1879-1925); Bridgetown, BarbadosShell, wood and adhesive; 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. 2011.25.80Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkFrom a Whaler’s HeartDespite whaling now being a somewhat romanticized New England tradition, romance was hard to keep alive during multi-year hunting ex...
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Swiss Army Pillows: Headrests of Eastern Africa

Swiss Army Pillows: Headrests of Eastern Africa
Headrest, 20th CenturyKaramojong culture; UgandaWood; 7 5/8 x 6 ¼ x 5 7/82017.11.31Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Sleep Like a LogSleep 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 recent ...
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Gardner and the Groundhog

Gardner and the Groundhog
Winter Landscape—Sunlit Hill, c. 1925George Gardner Symons (American, 1863-1930)Oil on canvas; 41 x 47 x 1 1/2 in.F7680Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionGeorge Gardner Symons, c. 1920Groundhog Day CelebrationWith Groundhog Day soon to bring Punxsutawney Phil from his winter abode to predict an early spring or six more weeks of cold weather, ...
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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, 1868Henry J. Frey (American, b?-d?)Oil on canvas; 24 x 20 in.3513Gift of Mrs. John ForsterRepairing a Rogue’s Ranchero RepresentationAbout 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” label, bu...
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1554 Hits
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Viper Vessels of Taiwan's Paiwan

Viper Vessels of Taiwan's Paiwan
Vessel with Snake Motifs, 18th CenturyPaiwan culture; Pingtung or Taitung County, TaiwanClay and wood; 15 x 11 1/2 in.2017.11.28-.29Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihOne Hundred PacesThe 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 creati...
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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 CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood; 7 1/2 x 22 7/16 x 21 in. 99.43.7Donated by Rear Admiral Ralph and Sara GarrisonKava ChameleonWithin 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 liver dama...
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2543 Hits
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Shields of Mendi Valley

Shields of Mendi Valley
Shields (Wörrumbi), 20th CenturyMendi culture; Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood, pigments and fiber; Various Dimensions2017.10.163, 2003.43.3, 2017.10.143Anonymous GiftOn the MendiIn an early 20th Century effort to pacify Papua New Guinea, Australian colonial administrators began a campaign of suppressing tribal warfare....
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1709 Hits
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Dusk | Dawn

Dusk | Dawn
Evening on the River, 1883George Inness (American, 1825-1894)Oil on canvas; 33 3/4 x 48 x 3 in.F7664Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionSunset: 2017 EndsTwilight, c. 1860George 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 contest the ...
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1371 Hits
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Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
Consul the Educated Monkey, 1916-1918William Henry Robertson (Educational Novelty Company)Tin; 5 ½ by 6 in.30780aGift of Mrs. Anita L. AlexanderFor a Fistful of DollarsOriginal 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. Especially c...
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1463 Hits
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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 CenturyMiao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, ChinaSilver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in.2015.26.59Anonymous GiftGlance at the MoonAlternate 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 began ...
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1634 Hits
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Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency

Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency
Throwing Knife, 19th CenturyKapsiki culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, rubber and cloth; 24 1/8 x 5 3/8 in.2003.43.91Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (ngwolo), 19th CenturyNgombe culture; Democratic Republic of the CongoIron, wood; 19 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.2003.43.92Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (sengese), 19th CenturyMafa culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, fib...
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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. 1920Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New MexicoWool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in.2016.12.4Gift of Dennis Aigner            Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920            Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico  &nbs...
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1514 Hits
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Tami Feast Bowls and Yam-ey Thanksgivings

Tami Feast Bowls and Yam-ey Thanksgivings
Feast Bowl, 20th CenturyCape Gloucester, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood and pigment; 9 × 44 1/2 × 25 1/4 in.2014.15.14Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Danny and Anne ShihBird is the WordThanksgiving is now upon us. Even in its earliest rendition, it was a celebration of thanks through the sharing of food with friends, family, and ne...
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1652 Hits
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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
Jar, 1931Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942); Hano Pueblo, Hopi Reservation, ArizonaClay and paint; 7 x 8 x 4 1/2 in.36809.3Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Earl SandersWhat the Railway BroughtThe late 19th 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 East Coa...
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2170 Hits
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Car Fit for an Empress Dowager

Car Fit for an Empress Dowager
Empress Dowager Cixi's 1901 Duryea SurreyDuryea Motor Wagon Co.; Reading, PAJanuary 1902 advertisement for the Duryea Surrey.Climb InEmpress 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 throne in...
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2077 Hits
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Kingdom of the Quartz Skull

Kingdom of the Quartz Skull
Izok, 2010Harold Van Pelt (American, 1925-)Quartz and izoklakeiteL.2016.21.34a,bLoan courtesy of Harold and Erica Van Pelt© 2010 Harold and Erica Van PeltVan PeltOne 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 years maste...
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2782 Hits
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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, 1905Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867–1945)Etching on paper; 21 1/2 x 18 in.33542 Gift of Mr. Howard GrahamKäthe Käthe Kollwitz, 1919Fascination with the moribund can come from any number of circumstances. For Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1942) it stemmed from a lifetime of tragedy, enshroudi...
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2091 Hits
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Dewing's Depictions of Disappearing Debutantes

Dewing's Depictions of Disappearing Debutantes
Standing Woman (pastel no. 124), 1918-1925Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American, 1851-1938)Pastel on brown paper; 15 x 12 in.F7724Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionOdd Thomas Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1861–62James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)Oil on canvas; 84.5 in × 42.5 inNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Th...
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1529 Hits
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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. 1870United StatesSperm whale ivory, silver and ink2011.25.18Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkSnuff Bottle, date unknownKenyaWood, metal and horn2013.7.9Gift of Doris L. BuckSnuff Bottle, late 20th CenturyJapanAntler97.11.2Gift of Dr. Murray and Brett ViaAround the WorldAt the height of its popularity, snuff was used throug...
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1724 Hits
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The Enduring Photographer: Hurley's Last Camera

The Enduring Photographer: Hurley's Last Camera
Folding Pocket Camera No. 3A, 1903-1914Eastman Kodak Co.; Rochester, New YorkMetal, glass, wood, and leather; 9 ½ x 4 ¾ x 1 ¾40633Gift of Mr. Gurdon WattlesExpedition 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 Sir Er...
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1583 Hits
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Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats

Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats
Children’s Festival Hats, 19th to 20th CenturyChinaCotton, silk, foil appliqué, wire and metal2001.1.13, .50, .16Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne ShihChildren of Many HatsRural China during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) saw many of the same problems that developing nations still see today. Unfortunately, poor hygiene standards meant that man...
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1854 Hits
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Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs
Dance Clubs (Kiakavo), 19th CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood, fiber and pigment97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin CollectionTwo late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum CollectionGift of Mr. E. Morgan StanleyFijian Club SceneUp until and in the few d...
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2285 Hits
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House of the Head

House of the Head
Orí, the HeadOrí, 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 lik...
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1280 Hits
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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay
Glass Earrings (Dimbo), 19th CenturyWaropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaGlass2017.8.1-.5Bowers Museum PurchaseThough 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 to comm...
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1476 Hits
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What Became of the Floating World

What Became of the Floating World
Two Prints from The Fifteen Views of Kyoto, 1950-1960Tomikichiro Tokuriki (Japanese, 1902–1999)Woodblock print on paper; 15 x 13 in.81.8.1J, KGift of Mr. Kerwin JacobsBeauty Reading a Letter, late 18th CenturyUtamaro (Japanese 1753-1806)Woodblock print on paper; 19 x 13 in.36124.1Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial CollectionUkiyo-e, the term for a s...
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Society through the Looking Glass

Society through the Looking Glass
Lorgnettes, 18th to early 20thCenturiesProbably France and United StatesMetal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass2000.8.37, .39, .123Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.”–Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding.Lorgnettes, spectacles held in plac...
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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, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. SpragueMost 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, Robe...
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On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels

On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels
Corbels with Phoenix and Crane, 19th CenturyQing Dynasty; ChinaWood and pigments; 27 x 14 x 5 in.2001.58.13a,bGift of Kevin BranchDiagram 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 this polari...
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