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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Go for the brewing objects, stay for the canoe

The small but dense exhibit, "99 Bottles of Beer: Global Brewing Traditions 2500 B.C. – Present" brought me to the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, and it's a wonderful museum to visit. (The objects in the beer exhibit are fascinating--everything from ancient brewing devices to modern cap lifters, from all over the world.) The museum is small, admission is free, and it's packed with exhibits, including "The Conservator’s Art: Preserving Egypt’s Past" which explains in detail differing conservation treatments, how they conserve objects, and just how much such operations cost.

A real treat, though, is a Yurok canoe from 1902 in the California gallery. Surrounded by photographs and explanatory text about the canoe, it's lovely to see in person. Since the museum is so small, there's a limited amount of interpretation, however UC Berkeley's Calisphere offers a lot of history, and the culture section of the official Yurok Tribe website provides more cultural context--worth reading before making a visit.

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