The Papyrus in the Crocodile: 150 Years of Exploration, Excavation, Collecting, and Stewardship at Berkeley
Image: Sketch of Garden for Willard Straight, Beatrix Jones Farrand Collection, Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley
The collections assembled by Berkeley’s many patrons and collectors over the last 150 years have formed the core and foundation of a wide variety of the university’s academic disciplines and institutions. Curated entirely by graduate students, The Papyrus in the Crocodile exhibit now on display at the Bancroft Library illuminates a key selection of these invaluable objects as testaments to the cosmopolitan ideologies of Berkeley’s visionary patrons, donors, and scholars. In gathering together artifacts from repositories across the university, including the College of Environmental Design's Archives, this exhibition sheds light on the history of acquisitions and encounters that have contributed to the academic diversity celebrated on the Berkeley campus.
For the past academic year, the Environmental Design Archives' staff has worked with graduate students enrolled in the History of Art Department's Mellon Graduate Exhibition Seminar. As a result of the student's extensive research on the Environmental Design Archives collections, 19 archival objects were selected for display in the exhibit including: circa-1908 plans of famed British horticulturalist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll’s garden for the Manor House in Upton Grey that were used to restore the garden; photographs and drawings of Greene and Greene's Gamble house, early photographs of Blake Garden and other beautiful items from the Archives' collections.
Other topics in the exhibit include Grand Tour watercolors of Rome, ancient Greek drinking vessels and sociability, the American Indian Film Project, excavations of ancient Peruvian Nazca ceramics, Beatrix Farrand’s Chinese garden design for Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Gold Rush botanical field notes, the “White Lama” collector Theos Bernard, 19th-century women painter-copyists, Japanese netsuke (miniature sculptures), Buddhist antiquarian rubbings, Native American California basket makers and more.
This exhibit is the capstone event to a three-year grant for Graduate Study in Curatorial Preparedness and Object-Based Learning from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Exhibit dates & times excludes holidays and weekends. Exhibit hours are from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday - Friday.