Current Exhibitions

Poster for Imprisoned at Home exhibit shows images of Tule Lake incarceration camp and says Persist Insist Resist

Visitors can follow the journey of several individuals and their families who were held behind barbed wire at the maximum security Tule Lake Segregation Center that housed more than 18,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the war. Students in the museum studies program at CSU, Chico, in collaboration with members of the Japanese American community, erected a replica barrack unit of the Tule Lake center. On display are interactive audio/visual installations and artifacts of daily life in the camp, such as identification pins, personal censored letters, hand-made playing cards, artwork, shell ornaments, wooden toys, and newspapers - all made by incarcerees in an effort to normalize their disrupted lives.

A documentary film about local resident Jim Tanimoto, 94 years old, is also featured in the exhibit. He tells his story so that the younger generation of Americans might continue to protect their civil rights. The exhibit ends with an art table to process the powerful messages contained in the exhibit.

The Grand Opening of Imprisoned at Home coincided with California’s Fred Korematsu Day, which commemorates the life and activism of a national civil rights advocate. Imprisoned during WWII, Mr. Korematsu spoke up about injustice and racism against the American citizens of Japanese descent who were forcibly imprisoned. In 1983 the US District Court overturned his conviction and in 1998 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the White House. In 2010 the California legislature declared Jan 30, Fred Korematsu Day.

The exhibit features a quilt that was thrown over the barbed-wire fence by a stranger into the arms of a Shizuko Ina, who was pregnant.

Learn more about this powerful story at the 50 Objects/Stories The American Japanese INCARCERATION

Read the story of "Shizuko's Quaker Quilt" on the website now.

The exhibition gives voice to significant questions that continue to have meaning in our democracy:  Who is a citizen? Are human rights universal? When can one dissent and is it a constitutional right? What can we learn from history?

Poster for Sacred Splendor exhibit shows a russian icon with madonna and child.

Sacred Splendor offers a glimpse into the expansive and rich collections of Judith E. Hilburg, an avid collector of all things art, culture, and natural history. Mrs. Hilburg’s collections are the summation of over 50 years’ worth of collecting. Her fascination with sacred objects has resulted in a diverse collection of Christian icons that span both time and space. Judith E. Hilburg is survived by her two daughters, Linda Barker and Lore Hilburg, who generously loaned the icons for display.

The 16 pieces selected for this exhibition chronicle a history of art, devotion and the influence of colonization on their imagery.  Syncretism, the blending of two or more religious traditions, is demonstrated in the pieces on display.  The Christian motifs are often combined with diverse cultural symbols  - underscoring the faith's movement across the globe.  Visitors will encounter a range of Christian icons - including an Albrecht Durer print, Indo-Portuguese carvings, paintings from the Cuzco Schools (Escuela Cuzqueña) of Peru, a William Morris cartoon, Russian traveling icons, and a textile from Paracas dated to 100-300 BCE. 

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Museum Summer Hours

June -August 2nd, 2018


11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Closed to Public August 6-19, 2018

Note: The Museum of Anthropology is completely wheelchair accessible.

Our Location

The museum is located in the Meriam Library complex, across from the main library entrance.

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Museum of Anthropology
CSU, Chico 95929-0400

Contact Us
Phone: 530-898-5397

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