Museum Exhibitions and Events

Hmong Reflections: Stories of Our Own

January 2017-July 2017

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11-3 pm.  Call 898-5397 to schedule a free school or group tour today!

We all want to know where we came from and where we are going; to reflect on our history and consider our future.

The story of the Hmong is one of survival and transition; it is a search for freedom.  Hmong culture, history, and identity is shaped by a myriad of hardships and triumphs experienced in Laos and Southeast Asia as well as the United States. Through the narratives of multiple generations of Hmong Americans, told from their own perspectives, this exhibition explores the changing lives of the Hmong people. The stories found here are of strength, courage, determination, dignity, and community. They are reflections of the Hmong – thinking back and looking forward.

Experience the journey.

Story cloth poster for Hmong REflections exhibition.

February 14 - July 27, 2017

Exquisite Endeavors: The Valene L. Smith Jewelry Collection

Take a trip around with world with Valene in the museum's new North Gallery space. The expansion of our museum facility was made possible by a $250,000 gift from Dr. Valene L. Smith. Thanks to her support, CSU, Chico continues to be one of the few universities in the country where museum studies students learn their craft in an on-campus working museum, allowing students to conceive, research, design, and install exhibits.

This exhibition honors Dr. Smith's contirbutions and travels and offers a window into the exciting worlds she has explored, written about, and experienced. Her personal and academic life is closely entwined with her twin passions for travel and scholarly inquiry. This combination has allowed Valene to build a reputation as a pioneer in the study of Alaskan cultures and in the Anthropology of Tourism.

poster for Exquisite Endeavors Exhibit

Click here for directions to the museum.

I♥Anthropology Week

February 11-16, 2017

I Heart Anthropology is a week-long celebration that connects the museum’s mission with our community and the inspiring vision of Dr. Valene Smith.  Valene contributed new ideas about tourism and its role in society to the field of anthropology.  She was born on Valentine’s Day 1925, making the month of February a natural fit to remind people of the meaning and importance of anthropology and museums.

Anthropologists study everything that makes us human. The way we talk, the way we dress, how we live in our homes, what our bones say about us, it’s all anthropology. The museum is dedicated to topics in anthropology and building a participatory educational museum experience for the North State.  So spend your Valentine’s weekend with us and join in all the I Heart Anthropology events.

Calendar summary of week-long I Heart Anthropology events.

  • Saturday 2/11/17 – Free Family Day at the Museum. 11 am – 3 pm - Tour the latest exhibit, Hmong Reflections: Stories of Our Own. Make and take art projects, Hmong dancers perform and more.
  • Sunday 2/12/17 – World Explorations Speaker Series at Chico Women’s Club 4-5 pm.
  • Tuesday 2/14/17 – Celebrate Valene’s 91st birthday- 12-1pm cake and prizes.
  • Thursday 2/16/17 – World Anthropology Day Celebration at the museum -  10-5pm – Free student-led exhibit tours all day and kids activities.

Always a Traveller:

A Portrait of Dr. Valene Smith

CSU Chico's, Dr. Matthew Stone in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management and Museum Studies graduate student, Jackie Coon, recenlty published a journal article in Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism of Hospitality Research, about Dr. Valene Smith titled, Always a Traveller: A Portrait of Dr. Valene Smith.  

Click here to read the article!

Photo of Valene Smith

Explore the Museum's Collection Online

Graduate student Bella Quijano has completed part of her Master's Thesis - an online exhibition featuring 3D images of the museum's collection of hats from around the world!  Click on the poster image below to see the museum's first ever online exhibit, Hats, Caps and Headdresses: Headpieces from around the World

Be sure to fill out the survey at the end of the exhibit.  Your feedback will help Bella compile data for her thesis! 

Image of a hat from Borneo and the title of the online exhibit, Hats, Caps and Headdresses: Headpieces from Aroudn the World.

A Pledged Bequest

California State University, Chico has received a testamentary bequest from emeritus faculty member Dr. Valene L. Smith to benefit the University’s Anthropology program and its Museum of Anthropology.


Museum News

Click here to view our Fall 2016 Newsletter.

Click here to view our Summer 2016 Museum Newsletter.

Click here to view our Fall 2015 Museum Newsletter.

Click here to view our Spring 2015 Museum Newsletter.

Click here to view our Fall 2014 Museum Newsletter.

Click here to view our Spring 2014 Museum Newsletter.

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Museum Hours

January 10, 2017-July 27, 2017 Tuesday-Saturday 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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