If you were unaware of the Linfield Anthropology Museum, nestled adjacent to the elevator doors on the first floor of Walker Hall, you have been deprived in your Linfield experience.
Throughout the years, students and professors have designed exhibits on many diverse subjects in the small room, including Barbie, beer, the Turkish bazaar, rural China, the looming problem of water shortages and diseases, the Linfield sesquicentennial and now: Packrats.
Packrats for Posterity is now in the final stages of development by the students of Keni Sturgeon, adjunct professor of anthropology, as part of their Museums: Exhibiting Cultures course.
“People have been collecting for centuries, and collections have ranged from works of art to species of animal [zoos],” Sturgeon said. “The new exhibition at the Linfield Anthropology Museum, Packrats for Posterity, explores several different types of collections: archaeology, teaching, art from other cultures, commemorative memorabilia, tourist art and personal objects collected by our students.”
The museum’s collections are stored in a tiny room on the second floor of Walker Hall, which also serves as a part-time office. From the delicate and unique collection of bolo ties from the Southwest to the glass root beer bottle found deep underground last summer, every object acquired by the LAM during the years came to them from someone connected to the college in one way or another.
“They help us to tell the story of our community, our college and its people,” Sturgeon said.
Packrats for Posterity opens April 2 at noon, and will be on display through the end of August.
The design for the next exhibit will be created by Sturgeon’s class this spring as well, and will feature Cameroonian culture and art, making use of the LAM’s Paul and Clara Gebauer collection, opening in September of this year.
“Working on the museum has been a very tedious and rewarding project,” sophomore Barrett Dahl said. “A lot of work goes into making an exhibit and a lot of people are involved. Overall, it’s been a very fun experience, and we’re happy to create something for the Linfield community to enjoy. We hope that more people will come to the exhibits in the future.”