Oakland museum features John Muir exhibit

August 4, 2011 6:08:13 PM PDT
The environmentalist known as the "father of the national parks" is the focus of a new, interactive exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California. The tribute to John Muir's work and his legacy opens this Saturday.

One exhibit is called "A Walk In The Wild," and it's a way of getting a fresh perspective on John Muir, a man whose mission was to preserve our wilderness. The environment was his passion.

"He was the first modern environmentalist because he used his writings, his knowledge, and his contacts with celebrities and politicians to get the word out and to really get those gears in motion to protect these beautiful endangered places," said Douglas Long, a senior curator at the Natural Sciences.

Muir founded the Sierra Club and it was in Yosemite where Muir found nature most abundant.

The exhibit has a letter from President Theodore Rooselvelt. There is the recreation of a giant sequoia where he took shelter during a raging forest fire and his home called the hangnest at the base of Yosemite falls.

This showcase lets us follow in John Muir's footsteps.

"He knew what nature had in store, he knew how to survive," said Long.

"What an extreme mountaineer he was and what challenges he put himself in to be able to get to the point where he would find what he wanted up there in the mountains," said Dorris Welch.

For Welch, this show is a lifetime dream. It has taken her four years to assemble the exhibition from other museums and private collections, giving us a better opportunity to better understand Muir the man.

The John Muir exhibit will be here though next January.

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