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SRJC Museum

1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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In 1975, Bill Smith, an SRJC instructor and Mihilakawna (Dry Creek) Pomo, opened up the storage space and created a Native American Exhibit with the collection of approximately 300 pieces of art. He recruited Native American students to help build models of a Pomo Roundhouse and a Klamath River house, and designed a circular display area within the rectangular space, creating little hide-away exhibits to give the viewer a feeling of privacy.
Smith left the college in 1979, at which time Benjamin Benson, an Anthropologist, was asked by the college to take over the Native American exhibit and create a museum. As the new director, Benson began with a series of theme shows, mounting educational exhibits on single subjects, ranging from basketry to Amazon Indian cultures. New display cases were built, a model of a Hopi pueblo was put in place, and storage, lighting, and security systems were developed. In the past twenty years, the collection has grown from 300 pieces to more than 4000.
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