A several-foot-tall poster of a fist in the Black Power exhibit, a glow-in-the-dark Desert Hairy Scorpion and 24-plus outdoor sculptures by California artists are just a few of the items people will be able to visit when the Oakland Museum of California reopens in June.
Not only that, the offerings can be seen for free from June 18-20, a gesture by the museum to celebrate the reopening. For those who can’t wait that long, members will be admitted June 11-13 and new members are enthusiastically accepted. The museum was closed for more than a year by the pandemic and renovations.
A new, direct entrance from Lake Merritt, new landscaping for the outdoor gardens, a new lawn and a new outdoor stage are some of the renovations.
Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets in advance, and must wear masks and observe six feet of distance, according to the museum’s website.
The museum has never corresponded to the traditional vision of such institutions. Set on seven acres in the heart of Oakland near Lake Merritt, it opened in 1969 with the merger of three museums. Its offerings have included interactive exhibits where people could record their own oral histories of life in California.
Exhibits have also included such things as sneakers worn by Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry with designs paying respect to the victims of Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people in December of 2016.
This year, new exhibits include “Mothership: Voyage into Afrofuturism.” The exhibit includes a costume from the movie “Black Panther,” considered to be one of the most notable examples of the phenomenon. The movie is credited with bringing an Afrofuturistic depiction of Africa and Africans into the mainstream.
The museum defines Afrofuturism as “the past, present, and future reimagined through a Black cultural lens.”
Initially, the museum will be open three days per week, Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will move to a regular Wednesday – Sunday schedule later this summer.
More information on planning a visit is available at https://museumca.org/plan-your-visit.