August 2013 marked my 24th year in Arizona. In those 24 years there have been many trips westward bound to home, family and adventure. For all that time, I've driven past this building wondering what was there but the rush to get to my destination was always stronger than my need to stop and explore. Until this summer.
I made it out of Phoenix but my trips resembled lightning. In and out of California in 24 hours or less. Sitting outdoors, enjoying coffee and pan dulce at the panaderia of my youth was heaven. Sooner rather than later, I was on the road again feeling cheated of the opportunity to visit a soul feeding art exhibit. I made up my mind to stop at San Bernadino County Museum.
An exhibit of pen and ink caught my attention. It was more printed matter that highlighted local events than art works.
Vintage pen sets drew me in but I most liked the distressed look of blotter paper used between sheets of hand recorded business records.
Following the path to the upstairs I found an unexpected treasure of their vast collection of birds. Oh my, oh my, this was amazing!
There they were, posed, waiting for me to take a close look. I'm a sucker for pattern even if the pattern is on a bird. Pattern had been on the brain from an online art class I was taking. Oh, yeah... Still haven't gotten going on that one yet.
Gulls, got to love them. Always enjoyed watching them on the beach.
The collection was vast. It took up the whole of the second level of the building.
The walls held the cases full of birds. The middle of the room had rows and rows of bird eggs displayed. What beauties!
Walking into the next gallery was a bit surreal, a video monitor played. The enthusiastic voice of Huell Howser discussed the museum collection. His story telling legacy of California lore lives on.
Making my way to the basement galleries, there were surprises in every corner. A little of this, a little of that starting with vintage bridal fashions.
Working counter clock wise, I surveyed the progression of fire engines over the years, a Mayan counting system, native artifacts.
This collar is going to inspire some crazy pattern making.
The last case held a variety of textiles from Mexico, Central and South America. A little bird mola from the Cuna Indians of Panama.
Lastly, I wandered the gardens full cacti and desert plants and took a turn around this building.
The bird collection was such a find. I highly recommend it to my artistic/bird loving friends.