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Museum Invites Katsina Collectors to Show and Tell

Applications are now being accepted from private collectors of Katsina dolls for a special San Bernardino County Museum display and program on Saturday, August 21. “Katsina Show and Tell” will feature a temporary exhibition of Katsina (Kachina) dolls owned by community members and a program by Barton Wright, popular author and authority on Katsina (Kachina) doll collecting.

Collectors are invited to bring dolls from their personal collections to display at the museum for the afternoon. For reasons of security, application forms must be submitted to the museum’s education division by July 23 for collectors to participate.

Mr. Wright will speak informally on his own experience as a collector, and will then observe and comment about the private collections on display. His remarks will not include evaluations or appraisals, but will focus on identification, craftsmanship, and the place the objects occupy in the Katsina Way. The dolls will be video projected to accompany Wright’s commentary so all visitors can see and hear his remarks, allowing participants to stay with their own displays.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to hear Barton Wright, an expert on Katsina collecting,” said Jolene Redvale, museum curator of education. “It will also be a fun learning experience to see a variety of Katsinas. I know that some people in the community have been collecting these dolls for decades, and I expect there will be some unique and historic forms among the visiting objects.”

“We will not discuss the monetary value of these Katsinas, or in fact of any object brought in to the museum for identification,” said Adella Schroth, curator of anthropology. “To a museum, objects have value because of what they are, not what they cost. But that does not mean we are unaware of the value of these collections, and we will have stringent security measures in place to help assure their safety during the Show and Tell program.”

Applications for participating in the Katsina Show and Tell are available on the museum’s web site, The web site will also have details about the application process, security, condition reports, and space availability for this event. Space is limited, but staff will accommodate as many private displays as possible. The application deadline is July 23. For more information, check the web site and click on the icon for the Katsina exhibit, or call Jolene Redvale at 909-307-2669 x 252 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands.


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