Washington State Magazine

Spring 2002

Spring 2002

In This Issue...


Nurses to the homeless :: Gypsy's camp is evidence of the harsh living conditions faced by a growing number of homeless in Spokane. It also doubles as a classroom, and a lesson in reality, for student nurses. By Andrea Vogt.

A campus full of wonders :: All over campus, curiosities emerged from closets to form one of the most popular and unusual shows ever to fill the art museum. By Tim Steury.

What don't we know? :: James Krueger wants to know why the average person will spend 219,000 hours asleep. By James Krueger and Tim Steury.

Memories are made of this :: Neuroscientists Jay Wright and Joe Harding can approximate Alzheimer's symptoms in a rat by injecting a certain protein into its hippocampus. What's more, they can reverse those symptoms. By Tim Steury.

Catherine Mathews Friel is thankful for...Life in a small college town :: Catherine Friel has lived in Pullman nearly 100 years, and she has some stories to tell. By Pat Caraher.

Opening Day...a great way to reunite Cougars :: Cougars batten their hatches and hoist their mainsails. By Pat Caraher.


The Peking Cowboy :: He wanted to tell the story in the third person, but it came out in the first; he wanted to tell it in the past, but it came out happening in the now; even if he wanted to, he could not change a word of it, its sequence and language clarifying its own shape and direction in his voice. A short story by Alex Kuo.




Cover: Student Jennifer Schwarzer and Intercollegiate College of Nursing instructor Carol Allen. Read the story here. Photograph by Ira Gardner.

Cabinet at WSU Museum show. Robert Hubner


Robert Hubner

Cabinet at WSU Museum show. Robert Hubner


Robert Hubner

Cabinet at WSU Museum show. Robert Hubner


Robert Hubner

A Campus Full of Wonders

by | © Washington State University

For his first show of the year at WSU's Museum of Art, interim director Ross Coates took a little different approach. As a result, opening night saw people who’d probably never been to an art opening before, many of them children. No artist’s ego was on display at this show, and so the conversations were not hesitant or whispered, but animated and mixed with laughter. Coates took 17th century wunderkammer, or “cabinets of curiosities,” as his inspiration. These cabinets were collections of exotic objects—strange plants, stuffed animals, artifacts—brought back to Europe by explorers. In the spirit of that Age of Exploration, Coates and the museum staff went exploring across campus, searching out its many museums and collections for forgotten marvels: iridescent beetles, beaded moccasins, a two-headed calf, a magical music box.

One interesting thing about the resulting show was that the collected objects were not labeled. If this was unsettling for some, however, their fears were not overheard. Rather, we expressed wonder and delight. The exhibit pulled our collective understanding of the world back to the helpless curiosity of our delighted ancestors. And just as 17th-century observers marveled at objects that had yet to be identified, explained, classified, so we modern observers were forced to study each object for its own sake—and its relationship to objects around it. As museum curator Roger Rowley notes in the show’s catalog, “The exhibition strives for a different kind of knowledge and understanding: the understanding, for example, that the coloration on a mask has a relationship to a kind of fungus, that a cross-section taken from a petrified tree has a similarity to the cross-section of the leg of a cow.”

Although the show has since dispersed, the wonders remain on campus, rediscovered, but returned to their permanent residences, their respective home collections waiting for articles of their own in future issues of Washington State Magazine.

Visit these campus collections and museums

Mycological Herbarium
Johnson Hall, Room 339
8-5, M-W; 509-335-9541

Drucker Collection of Oriental Art
By appointment

Maurice T. James Entomological Collection
Food Science and Human Nutrition Building, Room 157
8-5, M-F, by arrangement
509-335-5504, 509-335-3394

Historic Textiles and Costume Collection
By appointment; 509-335-3823

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Holland/New Library
8-5, M-F or by appointment; 509-335-6272

Marion Ownbey Herbarium
Heald Hall, Room G9
8:30-5, M-F; 509-335-3250

Museum of Anthropology
College Hall, Room 110
9-4, M-Th, 9-3 F
509-335-3441 or 5-3936

Smith Soil Monolith Collection
Johnson Hall, Room 114
observation window
8-5, M-F; tours by appointment
509-335-1859 or 5-3471

Museum of Art
Fine Arts Center
10-4 M-F, till 9 Th, 1-5 Sat. and Sun.

Conner Museum
Science Hall, Room 126
8-5 every day; 509-335-3515

Culver Memorial and Jacklin Collection
Webster Physical Sciences Building
8-5, M-F; 509-335-3009

Robert P. Worthman Veterinary Anatomy Teaching Museum
Wegner Hall, Room 270
8-5, M-F; 509-335-5701

Nez Perce Music Archive
School of Music and Theatre Arts
Kimbrough Music Building, Room 360
8-5, M-F or arranged

Categories: Library and museum studies, Visual arts | Tags: Ephemera, Museums

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