Unlike many anthropology museums, which feature the creations of tribal and peasant peoples, the Hearst Museum has a distinctive collecting strength in Western civilizations. Even beyond its emphasis in Ancient Mediterranean archaeology, the Museum has significant collections from historic Europe and America. These include medieval German locks, Swedish folk art, Yugoslavian textiles and clothing, 19th century Classical reproductions, and European oil paintings and prints. This emphasis clearly was begun by the many donations from Phoebe Hearst.
In turn, this became a foundation for later collecting, especially with the parallel collection of the University's Decorative Art/Design department, which came to the Hearst Museum after the phasing out of the department in 1974. Among the significant European items are collections of Aegean Island embroideries, and late-eighteenth century English ceramics.
The Online Collections database of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology contains records for over 210,000 objects from our collections.
Click on image to the left or enter a keyword to start the search (opens new browser window).