Museum Exhibitions and Events

There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, September 7th from 4:30-6 pm at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, for the exhibition, Dragon: Tails of Myth and Mean

Dragons lurk in the collective imaginations of many cultures throughout the world. Some dragon stories embody the most terrible and horrifying aspects of humanity, while others represent the highest ideals of society.  From the Nordic epic of Beowulf to the mythic Aztec powers of Quetzalcoatl, the dragon motif captures cultural values and traditions in one recognizable, yet changeable, symbol, helping to explain the origin and fate of the world or provide social values. 

Discover and explore dragons of the world in this student-curated exhibit.  Local collector Bob Benner’s dragon collection inspired the student curators to examine this most ancient human fascination.  Nancy Ostrom, Maureen Fredrickson, and Valene Smith also contributed dragon artifacts from their many foreign travels. Showstoppers that will engage all visitors, include a Chinese Imperial Dragon Robe, a replica Viking Dragon Boat, and a five-year old’s toy dragon “Toothless.” 

Build a mythical beast, peek into a dragon’s cave, read a dragon tale, or touch a dragon’s claw in an interactive exhibit that will appeal to dragon lovers of all ages.

Image of a three headed dragon on exhibti poster - includes dates of exhibit as September 8 - October 8.     

Museum Events


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Museum Membership

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Museum Receives Statewide Education Award

Adrienne accepting award

Pictured above, Museum Curator, Adrienne Scott, accepting the Superindendent's Award.

California State University, Chico’s Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology has been selected for a 2016 Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Museum Education for its museum-in-the-classroom program at Hooker Oak Elementary School. The museum is among six statewide to be recognized. 

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Museum Hours

Tuesday–Saturday 11-3

Monday-Thursday 11-3

Closed between exhibitions.  See exhibition schedule for specific dates.

Note: The Museum of Anthropology is completely wheelchair accessible.

Our Location

The museum is located in the Meriam Library complex, next to the Janet Turner Museum


Museum of Anthropology
CSU, Chico 95929-0400

Contact Us
Phone: 530-898-5397

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