Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Living With Animals: New Exhibit Opens At Museum of Man

Peruvian insect dance earrings, made of beetle shells and toucan feathers. Made by Alcedes, Aguaruna, Jívaro.
San Diego Museum of Man
Peruvian insect dance earrings, made of beetle shells and toucan feathers. Made by Alcedes, Aguaruna, Jívaro.
Living With Animals: New Exhibit Opens At Museum of Man
Living With Animals: New Exhibit Opens At Museum of Man GUESTS: Erika Katayama, director of exhibits, Museum of Man Sarah Crawford, exhibit curator, Museum of Man

We share this planet with a vast variety of animals. We seem to have developed specific categories for them there are wild animals the ones we use for food in set -- insects we work to keep out of their houses and pets that make our houses into home. A new exhibit at the Museum of man in Balboa Park explores the relationship between humans and their categories of animals. It opens this weekend. Joining me is Erika Katayama director of exhibits at the San Diego Museum of man. Welcome to the program. Also here is Sarah Crawford the exhibit curator. So living with animals replaces an exhibit that has been up at the Museum since 2002. 70 CM obviously thinks carefully about resenting long-term exhibits to the public. Why did you choose the theme of living with animals. It lent itself very easily to explanation to what the Museum of man is all about we decided that animals was something that everyone can enjoy all people from all backgrounds and we think that we haven't really great show for everybody to come and see. The space the exhibit as shown in has been transformed resenting visitors with an interactive pathway. Give us an idea of how the show is presented. We are taking a new approach -- approach whereas you are typically used to see an object that allows them to explore is ago. The sections that you mentioned earlier pet pests and [Indiscernible] we have created for each. In one case we have a living room where we are talking about our pet. As he was sitting in his living on a can turn a pillow over and read from text. There are things hidden throughout the exhibit that you can experience and enjoy. I understand the suit -- exhibit re-creates part of the floor of the museum. I'm still not -- I understand that some windows are exposed now that have been hidden for some time. Before we had some also recovering up architectural elements that just were not exposed before. We have a beautiful view down the Cabrillo Bridge and if you look the other way toward the natural history Museum and the fleet so some beautiful architecture. The salespeople to think about the kind of categories that different people are put in by humans. What are some of the categories? The categories that we are looking at our pet's, tests, and the animals on a plate. So what we eat. We're looking at how those categories change over time and across cultures. For example in Japan kids love Beatles Senate by them is Pat whereas in the United States that creeps is out a little bit. What are some of the earliest examples of humans domesticating wild animals. We start the exhibit with the earliest example which is humans and walls. It's an ancient relationship it was really fun to learn about how far back the house between humans and dogs. You have also got some animal deemed objects interspersed in the exhibit. We have -- we wanted to cover objects from those three categories I mentioned so we have some rat traps that are from different places in the world that are surprising. They look really interesting and we also have some beautiful animal deemed objects. We have beautiful earrings that are made out of beetle shells that look like they would be really heavy because they go down to your shoulder they are gorgeous and iridescent. Looking at the beauty of some of these animals that was -- considered to be in one category of another -- or another. What does this mean as a whole. How does it fit with the overall direction the museum is looking toward? We are trying to develop all of our museum spaces to be attractive to our visitors whether they are from the community or visiting out-of-town want to appeal to a wide range of ages, backgrounds, cultures and really explore the human experience. With this exhibition we are gone with one of the older X ambitions -- exhibitions to a new experience What you have told us about this it does challenge some assumptions that people make about category Whenever things at the Museum of man is to we kind of lure visitors and. On the surface it can be a lighthearted topic but it's a complex relationship that we have with animals and we are asking people to look. We have Do you think we developed relationships of the creatures that share our planet? There are complex things that other cultures have with animals -- complex relationships and the way we think about things in the United States is completely different than the way people think about animals and other countries and places across the globe and we hope by bringing some of his things to light that people will bring that home and talk about it and examine their own relationships. The exhibit living with animals Evans this Saturday at the Museum of man in Balboa Park. I've been speaking with Erika Katayama director of exhibits at the Museum of man. And I wanted thank you both very much. It was our pleasure.

A new exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park explores the relationship between humans and all those categories of animals. The museum's exhibit "Living With Animals" encourages visitors to think about how they interact with the animals around them.

Curators organized the exhibit exploring the way humans have developed categories for animals. It highlights wild animals, domesticated animals, the animals people eat and even the insects people try to keep out of their homes.

"There’s opportunity and challenges in tackling a topic like animals, but we’ve created an exhibit that feels fresh both in its whimsical, vibrant design and in its non-traditional approach to storytelling,” curator Sarah Crawford, said in a press release. “Living with Animals looks at the animals we encounter every day in our lives and homes—our beloved pets, the pests crawling through our walls, and the side of bacon we put on our plates—and asks how we decide which of these categories they belong in.”


The exhibit, which opens Saturday, also features animal-themed objects from the museum's permanent collection, including earrings from Peru made of beetle shells and toucan feathers and a wooden cage used in to house crickets in China.

Crawford and Erika Katayama, director of exhibits at the Museum of Man, discussed how the exhibit fits with the museum's mission, Tuesday on Midday Edition.