Saturday, October 08, 2011

Museum Roadshow to the Book Arts Jam, Oct 15


The preceding flurry of announcements is leading up to this one: For the second year, the Zymoglyphic Museum will be rolling its roadshow down the Peninsula to the bucolic hilltop campus of Foothill College (Los Altos, CA) to showcase the full range of offerings from the Zymoglyphic Museum Press! Last year's version is shown above; this year's lineup will also include a new photo-essay book and an instructive pamphlet on creating your own museum.

The full list of books available:


The Book Arts Jam is put on by the Bay Area Book Artists. It features one-of-a-kind artist-made books, as well as self-published items and materials that you can use to create your own books. In addition, there will be exhibits, demonstrations, and talks pertaining to the book arts. The show is on from 10 AM to 4 PM, and admission is free but parking is $2.

Creating Your Own Museum


In Kurt Vonnegut's novel The Sirens of Titan, one of the main characters had a childhood museum, described as "a museum of mortal remains — of endoskeletons and exoskeletons — of shells, coral, bone, cartilage, and chitin — of dottles and orts and residua of souls long gone."
Zymoglyphic Museum visitors often mention their own accumulations of detritus and effluvia, perhaps bones, rusty objects, memorabilia, or flea market finds. A new museum publication, Creating and Curating Your Own Museum, guides budding curators in the process of turning these raw materials into a personal museum. Copies will be available at the Book Arts Jam or may be downloaded in PDF format here

New Book: The Tale of the Wandering Monk


The Zymoglyphic Museum Press is tickled to announce a new book, this one a photo-essay chronicling the adventures of the museum curator's diminutive traveling companion as he explores intimate landscapes in art and nature.

The tale begins with a box of rusty detritus donated to the museum by the late Neva Beach. The timing was fortuitious as the inside of the museum was getting bulgingly full, but remained rather plain on the outside. The items in the box prompted a grand landscaping upgrade. The new garden was immediately populated by four little monks of varying temperaments. One of them, the Wandering Monk, always seeking new perspectives, has as a favorite pastime hopping into enticing miniature environments and having his picture taken.

Many of his adventures take him inside art works. For example, here he is on a ledge inside Zhan Wang's "Artificial Rock" in the de Young Museum's sculpture garden. The photographs have been gathered into a book, which will have its public debut at the Book Arts Jam. The book is also available for purchase online in the museum shop. A preview of the photographs may be seen here.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Skip's Museum

The second most frequently asked question from visitors to the museum (after "What does 'zymoglyphic' mean?") is "How long have you been doing this?" The long answer involves a tale of a childhood museum, collections of bird nests, shells, rocks, stamps; decay; changing interests; back to collecting again and eventually the resurrection of the museum. That story can be found in more detail here.

Near the outset of Kurt Vonnegut's 1959 novel The Sirens of Titan, Malachi Constant, the richest and luckiest man in America, visits Winston Niles Roomford, a similarly wealthy space traveler who is caught in a "chrono-synclastic infundibulum," spread out across space and time but on occasion materializing in his palatial home. The visit occurs during one of these materializations and includes the following vignette as part of the tour Roomford gives Constant:

[ Roomford] led the way down a back corridor and into a tiny room hardly larger than a big broom closet: It was ten feet long, six feet wide, and had a ceiling, like the rest of the rooms in the mansion, twenty feet high. The room was like a chimney. There were two wing chairs in it.
"An architectural accident —" said Rumfoord, closing the door and looking up at the ceiling.
"Pardon me?" said Constant.
"This room," said Rumfoord. With a limp right hand, he made the magical sign for spiral staircase. "It was one of the few things in life I ever really wanted with all my heart when I was a boy — this little room."
He nodded at shelves that ran six feet up the window wall. The shelves were beautifully made. Over the shelves was a driftwood plank that had written on it in blue paint: SKIP'S MUSEUM.
Skip's Museum was a museum of mortal remains — of endoskeletons and exoskeletons — of shells, coral, bone, cartilage, and chitin — of dottles and orts and residua of souls long gone. Most of the specimens were those that a child — presumably Skip — could find easily on the beaches and in the woods of Newport. Some were obviously expensive presents to a child extraordinarily interested in the science of biology.
Chief among these presents was the complete skeleton of an adult human male.
There was also the empty suit of armor of an armadillo, a stuffed dodo, and the long spiral tusk of a narwhal, playfully labeled by Skip, Unicorn Horn.
"Who is Skip?" said Constant.
"I am Skip," said Rumfoord. "Was."

"...dottles and orts and residua of souls long gone" has become a favored phrase in the museum's PR department. A dottle is the "wet and sour-smelling mass of unburned tobacco found at the bottom of a tobacco pipe." The Zymoglyphic Museum does not actually possess any known dottles in its holdings, but some of its more indefinable artifacts could plausibly be confused with them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Open Days at the Museum - First 2 weekends in May!

The Zymoglyphic Museum will be open for TWO weekends this year, May 7-8 and  May 14-15 as part of Silicon Valley Open Studios from 11 AM to 5 PM each day.  This year the studio of noted metal and book artist Judith Hoffman will also welcome visitors at the same location.  Details here.

Obscura Day
The museum's overwinter accumulation of dust and cobwebs were stirred earlier this year when the museum was open for Obscura Day 2011.  Visitors were encouraged, as usual, to take photographs, with the following results:
      Flickr user Microecos found some interesting hidden details in and around the museum
      Stephanie Theune led an expedition into wildest suburbia

Open Studio Enticements
The museum shop will be in full swing, offering:
    The official guide to the museum
    A book of engraving collages purporting to be views of the Zymoglyphic region
    Prints of said engraving collages
    A book of quick sketches also claiming to be views of the region
The museum has also acquired an intriguing bit of conceptual art from PreNeo Press which may (or may not) assist  befuddled visitors in finding meaning in the museum.
A special exhibit will showcase the dreamy pinhole photographs of the museum made by Judith Hoffman during her tenure as artist-in-residence at the museum, as well as the homemade camera used to take the photographs.

Making Your Own Museum
In Kurt Vonnegut's novel The Sirens of Titan, one of the main characters had a childhood museum,  described as "a museum of mortal remains — of endoskeletons and exoskeletons — of shells, coral, bone, cartilage, and chitin — of dottles and orts and residua of souls long gone."  Zymoglyphic Museum visitors often mention their own accumulations of detritus and effluvia, perhaps bones, rusty objects, memorabilia, or flea market finds.  A new museum publication, Creating and Curating Your Own Museum guides budding curators in the process of turning these raw materials into a personal museum.  Copies will be available in the museum shop or may be downloaded in PDF format here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Obscura Day II


The Museum will be open to the public April 9, 2011, from 11 AM to 5 PM as part of Obscura Day 2011, sponsored by Atlas Obscura! "A day of expeditions, back-room tours, and hidden treasures in your hometown," assuming your hometown is one of the 80+ event locations around the world. The Atlas Obscura is an online compendium of "the world's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica", a designation of which our humble museum has been deemed worthy (readers may decide for themselves whether the museum is wondrous, curious, and/or esoteric).

This particular museum tour is limited to 60 participants and sold out last year - sign up here. For some insight on what to expect, you may refer to last year's entry, Obscura Day 2010. Photography is encouraged; photographs uploaded to Flickr (suitably tagged) are eligible to be showcased in the museum's Flickr galleries. Books from the Zymoglyphic Museum Press will be available for purchase.