Anthony Heinsbergen: Film Palace Forgotten

Collage of Anthony Heinsbergen (Dutch-born American, 1894-1981)  and various designs Let Bygones be Restored In the golden age of film, when cinemas were the vehicles of choice for transporting us to universes unknown, every city in the United States had at least one brilliant theater at its center. Though many have since been demolished, repu...
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Little Hands Waving Farewell

Women Riding a Horse on the Steps of a Building, 1960-1980Rene Laursen Photography (American); Irvine, California Photographic print; 10 x 8 in. 31704.138Gift of Mr. Rene Laursen The Ranking Time is an ocean and a river and a sun-dried puddle—there could always be more of it but most of the time we get by and appreciate what we’ve got. This week th...
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The Bonney Sketch Artist: Avoidant Glimpses of the Civil War

Rogers is So Sleepy, April 20, 1864William Henri Bonney (American, 1841-1867); Camp Nelson, KentuckyPencil on paper; 5 × 8 in.17450Gift of Mr. R. H. Hill Uncivil at Best Causes are just or unjust, but war is indisputably an awful thing for individuals. Fought over slavery and states’ rights, America’s Civil War was the bloodiest in the nation’s his...
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Welcome to Americana: Independence Day at the Bowers

Toile de Jouy Fabric Depicting America's Founding, 18th to 19th CenturyJouy-en-Josas, FrancePrinted linen; 21 x 21 in.7191a,bGift of Mrs. Thomas Walsh Independence Day Though every day is an opportunity to celebrate one’s patriotism, Independence Day is a special opportunity to enjoy things that truly are as American as apple pie. Given that the Un...
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The Bowers Father-Watchers Handbook

J.M. Wyne with Daughter, c. 1918Unknown Photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 7 x 5 1/8 in.34843AGift of Mrs. Charles Snow Dad-ubon Society As Father’s Day again rolls around, this year the Bowers Blog attempts to offer a rare bit of insight into some of the more common variants of fathers endemic to North America. Rarely studied f...
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Eureka: Inventions of the Bowers Museum

The State Exclamation The 7th to 13th of June is Museum Week, an annual global event which celebrates museums. The different days of the week are marked with hashtags or themes through which museums can share their collections. Today’s is #EurekaMW, an opportunity to look at some innovations in our collections which may have prompted the maker to s...
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Flora Batson: The Queen of Song

Detail of 37521Gift of Mr. Carl French Burns Santa Ana Stars Santa Ana has been home to many stars, and a venue for far more. For example, the city’s stages were graced in the late years of the 19th century by the presence of perhaps the best Shakespearean actress of her day, Poland’s Madame Helena Modjeska. However, in those days it would have bee...
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Test of Medal: Charles J. Shaw and the Montford Point Marines

New exhibition on the life of Charles J. Shaw II, running from November 11, 2020 to January 10, 2021 Veteran’s Day Originally marking the armistice ending World War I, Veteran’s Day has become an annual reminder to thank all the brave men and women in the United States armed forces. The Bowers Museum has celebrated this Veteran’s Day with an exhibi...
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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. Fink Halloween in May With 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 definit...
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Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Detail of 2003.50.37Gift of William R. Moran  Weird and Just Downright Weird As 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...
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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 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 that it...
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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. 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. More...
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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 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 East t...
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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. 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, and...
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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. Fink New England, Old American Carvings Independence Day is the annual celebration of all things American. For most, revelries might include fireworks, barbeque, throw...
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