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Recent Acquisitions

Friday, December 28, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Top 10 Fascinating Museum Acquisitions of 2012

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:30 AM

From "In Masks the Times Proceed: The Works of Make-Up Artist Wolfgang Utz"
  • From "In Masks the Times Proceed: The Works of Make-Up Artist Wolfgang Utz"

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

The closing of the calendar year offers a moment of contemplation in the world, even that of collecting. Recent Acquisitions won't turn a whole year old until January 24, 2013, which will be commemorated with a panel at the Commonwealth Club, but I don't need another month to present my list.

See also:

Amazing Collection of Old Muni Fast Passes

1936 Scrapbook of a Mickey Mouse Inker

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Crepe Paper Dresses and Prohibition Raids in Richmond

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

richmond_dress_2.jpg

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

Are you a fan of Recent Acquisitions? Celebrate the series' one year anniversary with a panel discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California on Jan. 24.

During the Great Depression, unemployment in the United States rose to 25 percent. The city of Richmond was not exempt. While the opening of the Ford assembly plant in the 1930s improved the standard of living, many families still struggled to survive.

"People would often steal the shrimp that was being dried [at Kennedy Grove], and those shrimping camps put food on the table for many Richmond families," explained Melinda McCrary, who has researched the subject at the Richmond Museum of History.

See also:

Recent Acquisitions: John F. Kennedy and the Holy Grail of PEZ Dispensers

Recent Acquistions: Meet Louise Boyd, the Bad-Ass Bay Area Explorer You've Never Heard of

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Archives from the "Hero for the Planet" and the New Yorker of Car Mags

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale Test kit - STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
  • Stanford University Library
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale Test kit

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every Friday.

Christmas has come early for the Stanford University Libraries. In the last month, Stanford has announced three wildly different acquisitions: A portable Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale Test kit, the archives of environmentalist William McDonough, and 65 years of archives from Road & Track magazine.

See also:

There's Much More to Napa than Wine

Mammoths Once Ruled San Francisco

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: New Sculpture Brings Some Much-Needed Color to the Sunset District

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Pacific Breath by Bryan Tedrick - BRUCE DAMONTE
  • Bruce Damonte
  • Pacific Breath by Bryan Tedrick

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every Friday.

The Sunset can make a lot of big claims. San Francisco's largest district boasts Ocean Beach, 3.5 miles of white sand. There is nary a high-rise building in sight. Artist Richard Serra grew up on the Avenues. What it can't claim, however, is color. Proximity to the frigid Pacific Ocean ensures that the Sunset perpetuates this city's foggy reputation.

Bryan Tedrick's Pacific Breath, a new sculpture in the renovated Sunset Playground, brings much needed color to the area. "I don't typically use color. It was not a part of my original proposal, but I'm really happy that I did," said Tedrick.

See also:

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Picks from S.F. Booksellers

The Founding of Silicon Valley

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Recent Acquistions: Meet Louise Boyd, the Bad-Ass Bay Area Explorer You've Never Heard of

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Heiress Louise Boyd found arctic exploration far more interesting than Marin high society. - ARTIST MAËLLE DOLIVEUX
  • artist Maëlle Doliveux
  • Heiress Louise Boyd found arctic exploration far more interesting than Marin high society.

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every Friday.

The Marin History Museum has a home because of Louise Arner Boyd, and now Boyd is remembered because of the museum.

"There are so many women who are forgotten in history," said Scott Fletcher, the Boyd scholar who is cataloging the collection at the museum, which was once Boyd's childhood home. "Even people in San Rafael who go to Boyd Park don't know her."

See also:

John F. Kennedy and the Holy Grail of PEZ Dispensers

Freemasons and the Case of the Missing Jewel

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: The Founding of Silicon Valley

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

computer_history_museum_fairchild_notebooks.jpg

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

The hyperbole surrounding Texas Instruments' recent donation to the Computer History Museum is almost as staggering as the donation itself. The 1,100 patent notebooks dating from the founding of the Fairchild Semiconductor Company have been compared to the Magna Carta and the Constitution of the United States. In an e-mail, Paula Jabloner, director of collections at the museum, called them the "founding documents" of Silicon Valley.

See also:

San Francisco's Top 10 Offbeat Museums

Triple Threat: SFMOMA Opens Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Enormous, Wind-Driven Sculpture for Kids Is Anything but Child's Play

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 9:30 AM

p1010407.jpg

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every Friday.

What constitutes a successful art opening? If the elements include a packed house, people carrying political signs, and contending shrieks of revelry, then the unveiling of Aero #8 by Moto Ohtake was a resounding success.

There were also an abundance of time-outs, which is something this arts writer has never seen at an opening, no matter how bad the behavior. To be fair, most of the crowd was under four feet tall.

See also:

Oakland Museum Receives Haunted Dress and Shackles

1936 Scrapbook of a Mickey Mouse Inker

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Oakland Museum Receives Haunted Dress and Shackles

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

shackles_3.jpg
Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every Friday.

Anonymous donations are pari passu at cultural institutions, so when Veda Silva and Rick Moss found a cardboard box outside the African American Museum and Library in Oakland (AAMLO), they brought it in. To be clear, expectations were low. These kinds of anonymous donations left in the dead of night are usually full of items the owner has tried and failed to place elsewhere.

"We opened it up, and the smell was overwhelming," Silva, the museum project coordinator, recalled. When the odor subsided, they persevered, removing strips of old rags and ripped up newspapers until they felt something far more delicate: a woman's black and green lace dress.

See also:

Freemasons and the Case of the Missing Jewel

John F. Kennedy and the Holy Grail of PEZ Dispensers

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: John F. Kennedy and the Holy Grail of PEZ Dispensers

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Khrushchev and Kennedy at the 1961 Vienna Summit.
  • Khrushchev and Kennedy at the 1961 Vienna Summit.

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

The 1961 Vienna Summit was a disaster for President John F. Kennedy. Reeling from a meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Kennedy spoke with unprecedented candor to the New York Times columnist James "Scotty" Reston. According to the president, it was clear that the Bay of Pigs led Khrushchev to believe "that anyone who was so young and inexperienced as to get into that mess could be taken. And anyone who got into it and didn't see it through had no guts. So he just beat the hell out of me. I've got a terrible problem."

A problem indeed. Two months after the meeting, Khrushchev closed the East German border and ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall, the greatest symbol of the Cold War. A year later, the countries would have another confrontation, but instead of a two day summit, the Cuban Missile Crisis would last 13 days.

It was one thing for Khrushchev to treat Kennedy like a child, but it was quite another for PEZ to do so.

See also:

Monument to the Constitution Includes Security Cameras

40 Years Later, We Still Have Much to Learn From the Stanford Prison Experiment

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Mammoths Once Ruled San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM

woolly_mammoth1.jpg
Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

Last month, a crane operator was digging 110 feet below street level when an unusual rock in both shape and color gave him pause. Brandon Valasik called over his supervisor from the Transbay Transit Center, and in a subsequent whirlwind, nearly every publication in California excitedly reported the find to be a wooly mammoth tooth.

See also:

Steinhart Aquarium Staff Braved Dangers Off the Philipppines to Get 250 New Species
Sell a Work, Create a Scandal

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