Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology to Launch Inaugural Exhibition in Renovated Gallery on April 3

Date of Press Release: 
Friday, February 17, 2017

Around the World in So Many Ways

With the physical renovation of its Kroeber Hall gallery now completed, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is preparing to unveil its opening exhibition on April 3. To celebrate this milestone, the Hearst Museum invites its Bay Area friends and neighbors for a special complimentary visit to this landmark institution located on Bancroft Way at the intersection of College Avenue. Bookending the museum’s Reopening Week, gallery admission is free between Monday, April 3 and Sunday, April 9.

Entitled “People Made These Things: Connecting with the Makers of Our World,” the exhibit will challenge visitors to reflect on their relationship with the fascinating range of human-made objects that surround us. Incorporating exquisitely-crafted objects from the Hearst’s extensive collection along with thought-provoking pieces contributed by community members, People Made These Things will pose the questions: Why do we sometimes know a lot, a little or nothing at all about the people who created the objects we co-exist with? What are the cultural forces at play behind our fascination with the biographies of specific makers from different epochs? Why are more and more people concerned with knowing who made the objects they purchase and adore?

Objects on display range from a robe belonging to the museum’s founding patron Phoebe Apperson Hearst to Tibetan Buddhist paintings, Karuk Indian baskets and gloriously colorful Guatemalan textiles, each of which illuminates a different story of what it means to “know” a maker. These and other objects invite visitors to think critically about how the concept of “maker” has varied in different times and places. Scholars from UC Berkeley have collaborated with Bay Area community members to curate a diverse selection of objects from the Museum’s collections. Don’t forget to check out the resplendent chicken coffin from Ghana and contrast it with the museum’s heaviest object: a three-ton, 2,500-year-old ancient Egyptian sarcophagus lid known as The Doctor and donated by William Randolph Hearst in 1905.

The newly redesigned gallery space—replete with warm woods and emphasizing agile multi-purpose design—will allow museumgoers to experience never-before-displayed items from the Hearst’s staggeringly diverse 3.8 million global collection of objects. Furthermore, with a nod to the future, the latest visualization technologies will help visitors experience global sites in 3D. Themes here include content that speaks to at-risk cultural heritage in the Middle East and elsewhere – a topic that was previewed in the museum’s 2016 exhibit: Pop-Up Palmyra: Art in Response to the Destruction of the Past.

“I am thrilled to be leading the Hearst Museum into its next life cycle. I’d like to thank the dedicated work by Shaffer Architects, Rodan Builders, campus and community colleagues, my staff and of course our loyal museum supporters who have made this wonderful new space and provocative opening exhibit possible,” said Hearst Museum Director Benjamin Porter. “Our April 3 opening represents an exciting and pivotal moment for this local museum of global cultures.”

In the gallery Learning Center, visitors will have a unique opportunity to interact with the collections. The refurbished Center can be configured as a workshop, or as a classroom to benefit both Cal students and visiting K-12 groups, or for member events such as seminars or lectures—allowing the museum to expand its mission to reach out to the community.

Since opening in 1959, the Kroeber Hall gallery had undergone few physical upgrades. Visitors formerly passed through the lobby of Kroeber Hall — an entrance shared with other academic departments — giving little sense of having arrived at a destination. Today’s museumgoers will approach the Hearst Museum from Bancroft Way and College Avenue, passing through a patio that is itself in the process of being upgraded with recessed benching and drought-resistant native California plants, making it an attractive venue for museum receptions and other events.

Hearst Museum Reopening Week Schedule

When: Monday, April 3 through Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Admission: Free for the entire Reopening Week (Donations Appreciated)


Monday: 11am - 5pm
Tuesday: 11am - 5pm
Wednesday: 11am - 5pm
Thursday: 11am - 8pm
Friday: 11am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Where: Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

             102 Kroeber Hall

 Berkeley, CA 094720-3712

General Admission Information:

UC Berkeley Students, Faculty & Staff: Free
Under 18: Free
General Admission: $6
Reduced Admission*: $3

*Reduced admission provided for all students and seniors over 65.

Planning an Event?

The Hearst Museum is a unique and elegant space to host your next event.
For rental inquiries, please contact | (510) 643-2776


About the Hearst Museum

With over 3.8 million objects from around the world spanning 2 million years, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology produces engaging and timely exhibitions, cultural programs, and training opportunities for campus and community members of all ages.

Founded in 1901 by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the Hearst Museum is the largest museum anthropology collection in Western North America

For further information about the Museum, please contact:

David Tozer, Head of Development | (510) 642-3683