Photo By: Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum
The Los Altos History Museum has scheduled a new exhibition, “A Place to Call Home: Two Centuries of California Living,” April 25 through Oct. 6.
According to volunteer curator and art historian Jan Masters, two basic premises underlie the display: “That architecture and related aspects of our built-environment reflect our core lifestyle values, and are influenced by them. And that understanding the past will help us make better choices for the future as participating members of our local communities – and our world.”
With images, text and artifacts intended to spark interest in local history as shown through the evolution of the typical single-family home in California, the exhibition includes an overview of changes in architectural styles, forms and functions, materials and use of space indoors and outdoors.
The volunteer committee researched many aspects of home life, Masters said.
“We’re exploring sociological questions, like What makes a house a home? What makes it change? How do houses change lifestyles? and How do changing lifestyles change our houses?”
To help tell the story, the exhibition examines the technology of everyday life, from letters to rotary dial phones, tablets and smartphones. Kitchen evolution, from open fires to microwave ovens, is explored through the history of a chicken dinner.
A series of supporting programs and family-friendly activities are scheduled to complement the exhibition, including:
• Opening reception, 4-6 p.m. April 25 at the museum.
• May 1-31: Satellite exhibition at the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road.
• Discussions and presentations (check the museum’s website for times and dates): “Historic Preservation in a Sustainable World,” “Preserving Landscapes,” “The Evolution of the Chicken Dinner,” “The House of the Future,” “Connections, Communications, Community,” “Mid-Century Modern,” “Making Miniature Houses” and “Historic Los Altos Tours.”
The Los Altos History Museum is located at 51 S. San Antonio Road. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible at all times. Admission is free.
For more information, visit www.losaltoshistory.org.