Monday, May 31, 2010

American Assocation of Museum Conference, part 2

Last Monday in LA was another whirlwind of activities. I left early in the morning to visit the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, my second "On-site Insight" tour. The SMAI is one of three institutions that make up the Autry .




A group of us walked up the Hopi Trail to get to the front door... that might have been a mistake! I didn't realize what a steep trek it was going to be. When we got to the top we were told they dug an entrance into Mt. Washington and built an elevator, after a past director had a heart attack walking up the stairs, getting to work. Not a lot of switchbacks here!




Charles Lummis was the founder of this Museum, another familiar name to me. I know him best for his photographs of Native American people. He has a very interesting story; his history in California started in 1884 when he left Ohio and walked all the way to California to take a job as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Many of his diaries entries tell about the Native Americans he encountered on his way across the country.


Except for the Library, the grounds of the Museum have been closed to the public since 1994 because of damage caused by the Northridge earthquake. We were lucky enough to have the staff open their doors to us. The Museum houses an enormous collection of Native American art and artifacts, "second only to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian." Quite an honor! There are 10 collections staff members, including 2 conservators and a woman who is their full-time NAGPRA representative. We hardly have 10 people on staff in our entire museum!

I stole away from my group to visit the Special Collections area for two tours. Kim, the Director of the Braun Research Library, showed us the area and had some great artifacts on tables for viewing. I was in heaven, or at least pretty high up in the air! Plans to reopen the Museum are scheduled for 2013, and the exhibit staff has been planning a number of in-house exhibits; the storyboard below is entitled "Katrinas in Hopi Life" - they've been working on it for over four years.



I met up with Jana in the exhibit hall back at the Convention Center. We had a quick lunch, then hopped a bus for Santa Monica. I just had to see the Pacific Ocean, since we were so close. The bus ride (all city buses run on natural gas) on Wilshire Blvd. took one hour, though we were only twenty miles away from our destination! Gave us a good view of the LA area.


Santa Monica Pier wasn't exactly what I expected. I thought it would be longer, and along the shoreline like Asbury Park, but the boardwalk just sticks out into the ocean.



There was a paved walkway on the beach, but we didn't make it down to the water. We DID do a little sightseeing, bought gifts and ate a great meal at the end of the pier! Some of you already know that I found the Zoltar box, but I have to show everyone a pic Jana took me getting my fortune. What a big thrill! Get it? "Big" lol

So that was my Monday; what did YOU do last week?

4 comments:

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I'm starting to think you were having more fun than doing any work...LOL :)

Beadwright said...

Looks like a great time. Wish I was in the sun.
Nicole/Beadwright

BeadedTail said...

The Indian museum sounds interesting! I haven't been to Santa Monica pier but it looks like fun as did your whole trip!

Splendid Little Stars said...

sounds like a fascinating trip!

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