Cultural Alchemy

entrance and exhibit title
1930's section
1940's section
1970's section
reception visitors
Rachel and Theresa at Reception
Musicians at reception

Cultural Alchemy: From Minerals to Masterpieces
The History of the Jesse Peter Museum

February 22nd - April 12th, 2018

Jesse Peter Multicultural Museum Celebrates SRJC's 100th Anniversary

It is remarkable to contemplate that 100 years ago, in 1918, the
college was born. While the museum was not a part of the initial plan
for Santa Rosa Junior College, the seed was planted early on, and the
museum celebrates 80 years since it was conceptualized out of a
humble collection of geologic samples for the science halls of the
This exhibit explores the many chapters of the Jesse Peter Museum,
which has served the visions of different directors and reflected the
times with each passing decade, from Science Museum to Natural History
Museum to Native American Museum to what it is today; a
Multicultural Museum. Time marches on, and we now look to the
future of the Jesse Peter Museum.
In the Twenty-first Century, Museums no longer endeavor to keep cultures
frozen in rigid stereotypes of the past, but to embrace the fluidity
of culture as a jumping off point; a place to begin conversations about
our heritage and to celebrate the way that culture exists in contemporary
times. Today, cultural societies stand shoulder to shoulder: Native
Americans to Pacific Islanders and Eritreans to Romanians, each seen
with their own deep histories and drawing on traditions that change
over time and interweave with each other. We learn that while our
rituals and practices are diverse, our values are similar. We maintain
the memories; the thread that leads us back to our ancestors, not just to
tell the story of how our people used to be, but to embrace the creativity
and ingenuity of society and to bear witness to the continuance of
our shared humanity. Museums today should be spaces in which we explore
cultural issues that challenge us on a local level but also showcase
a celebration of diversity on a global level.
Rachel Minor - Museum Supervisor /Curator