World Explorations Give a Gift Masks in the park

Dreaming of a Museum Job?
Here's How.

Graduate student Heather Martin has completed part of her Master's Thesis - an online collections database featuring the North American basketry at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology. Click on the image below to browse the collection.

North American basketry


Museum Exhibitions and Events

Shadow and Water: Puppets of Indonesia and Vietnam - September 6 - December 20, 2017

  poster with shadow and water puppets for Shadow and Water exhibit.

There will be a public opening reception on Wednesday, September 6th from 4:30-6 pm.

Puppetry traditions of Asia provide a window to view society and culture. Noble princes and princesses, gods and demons, clowns and village characters cast shadows across the Indonesian stage, while Vietnamese puppets move along the water capturing the heart of rural life and familiar folktales. Both traditions come to life through the Rick and Nancy Ostrom Puppet Collection, which is on loan to the museum.

Click here for directions to the museum.

Vietnam: The Hmong Chapter - September 14th

Exhibition, Reception, Panel Discussion & Documentary Preview

image of soldier in vietnam war - poster art for ken burns vietnam documentary

Join the CSU Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology in a collaborative program with the museum, KIXE and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, for a reception and special exhibition on Hmong culture and the war coupled with a panel discussion.  Meet Hmong elders and historians in a panel discussion and explore the museum's exhibition, Hmong Reflections: Stories of Our Own.  Hear how North State stories and insights align with the voices of Ken Burns’ most recent documentary on the Vietnam War Era of American history.  The event is free and open to the public. 

5:30-6:30 Reception at museum, featuring traditional Hmong foods.

7:00-7:30 Preview of Ken Burns new documentary, The Vietnam War, in Colusa Hall, room 100A.

7:30-8:30 Panel Discussion, in Colusa Hall, room 100A.

Have questions? Give us a call or send a quick email!
Phone: 530-898-5397    

Free Family Day on Museum Day Live!

museum day live 2017 logo

The museum will join hundreds of museums around the country for the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!  Come celebrate the powerful role that museums play - as places to remember our past, reflect on the present and dream of the future.  Museums can provide a spark for young people and inspire curiosity and wonder about their world.

Bring the family and enjoy free activities and fun!  Click here to get your ticket ! 

Grow With Us!

Photo of Valene, President Gayle Hutchinson, Dean Eddie Vela, Director Georgia Fox, Curator Adrienne Scott, and students at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the museum expansion

If you haven't already heard the good news, the museum has expanded - thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Valene Smith.  The additional gallery space became available when The Turner Print Museum moved to the new HFA Building on campus. The expansion allows the museum to have 3 annual exhibits per year and provide museum studies students with more hands-on learning opportunities.

Join our museum family and help us continue to bring unique and engaging programming to the North State. 

Click here to learn about all the great things happening at the museum in our Summer 2017 Museum Newsletter.

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

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

September 6-December 20, 2017


11 a.m.–3 p.m.

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, across from the main library entrance.

See our Google Map Link to the Museum


Museum of Anthropology
CSU, Chico 95929-0400

Contact Us
Phone: 530-898-5397

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