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Local art's historical hold on me

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Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 11:46 am | Updated: 9:31 am, Wed Sep 5, 2012.

I find it easy to get caught up in the history and art of just about any city. Both hold a great deal of fascination for me. 

A visit to Washington DC several years ago had me in history-art euphoria. Talk about the best of both worlds. Sometimes both history and art are found under one roof, such as The Smithsonian in DC and The Haggin Museum in Stockton.

Since childhood, I've visited The Haggin, marveling (yes, I marveled) at the artifacts of our local years-gone-by, and enraptured by the gigantic paintings depicting the pioneering past. 

Downstairs, a wooden sidewalk leads visitors past displays of old pharmacies, shops, a school room, Native-American villages and other scenes of how we used to be.

Perhaps one of the exhibits that held the most interest for me was the Egyptian mummy Iretnet Horirw that had been on loan from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco since 1944. 

In the room with the sarcophagus were items from around 2,500 years ago, intricately carved, telling stories of mummy's origins. Every time I visited, I was absorbed in each piece, feeling the eons come alive and surround me.

The Haggin has never disappointed me. And, it continues its streak.

At the end of the month, there will be a showing of Salvador Dali's illustrations of Dante's Divine Comedy.

It's a chance to delve into art history based on literary history. And, as Dali is one of my favorites, I will no doubt find myself caught up in each brush stroke, the methods, the medium and message.

For more information on the exhibit, visit The Haggin Museum online.

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