Treganza Anthropology Museum

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The Treganza Museum Mural

The Treganza Museum mural is painted at the entrances to the museum on the third floor of the Science building at San Francisco State University. It was painted in 1988 by Eduardo Pineda as his creative project for a masters in interdisciplinary art. It was sponsored by the Anthropology and Museum Studies Departments. The mural is 60′ x 8′ and can be seen when the Science building is open.


Click for larger view. Panorama: Peter Biella

The concept of the mural is to represent art and culture as a multicultural experience. Objects from different regions of the world are juxtaposed with icons of modern art to show the cross cultural dialog and influence. Objects in the Museum's collection suggested which artists and cultures are represented in the mural. "Exhibition" as a concept is probed by broadening the context in which artifacts are displayed. In this section a display case is incorporated into cliff dwellings.

Because it is impossible to see the whole wall in a single panorama, the composition is arranged in smaller ten foot sections. The viewer experiences the mural in visual segments that combine recent historical events with ancient cultural, artistic and technological objects. Visual and psychological perspective is created by the contrast of receding landscapes with dramatic foreground objects. Here, carved heads in wood and stone, represent the continuity of humanity from the Pacific to the Western hemisphere. Indigenous presence and current issues of justice are represented by a silhouetted teepee on Alcatraz island recalling the protest in the 1970s, and missile contrails that remind the viewer of an active military.

At one end of the hallway the mural concludes at a stairway. The doorway is surrounded by images of technology, i.e. a computer mouse, the process of mining, and flint tools. The main entrance to the Museum is to the left of the stairway.

The mural was painted in the evenings and on weekends when the hallway was not in use. The design was transferred with an overhead and slide projectors. A blue shadow portrait of museum director Yoshiko Yamamoto can be seen in the Stonehenge section of the mural. She had just arrived as painting began.

The challenge of the project was to transform the university hallway into an engaging visual environment. This environment presented an intersection between Museum Studies, Anthropology, and Fine Arts.

Photos: Chris Rozales, AV Center


Treganza Museum | SFSU Anthropology Department | San Francisco State University