55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

Parking and traffic in Golden Gate Park will be congested the weekend of Oct. 3–5. Save $3 on Academy admission when you take public transportation.

From the Stacks 

September 3, 2014

Artist in Residence – Jennifer Linderman


Jennifer Linderman, a.k.a. Origami Mami, is a multi-media artist whose passion is working in three-dimensional paper arts. She is a published origamist who teaches an origami after school program five days a week for children throughout the East Bay. In addition, she enjoys drawing and watercolor painting and is an all-around crafty gal. Jennifer especially enjoys working in topics of nature as can be seen with her current experimentations with moths and their mystical camouflaging mechanisms.



Linderman photographing Saturnid moths


On Friday, August 7th,  Linderman made her way to the entomology department to photograph and draw saturnid moths and glasswing butterflies. Collections Manager Norm Penny gave a brief tour of the collections before setting Linderman up at a work station. An accomplished photographer as well as an origamist, Linderman spent time photographing insect details as well as drawing specimens using a camera lucida. She will use these images to create origami patterns, paintings and jewelry.


Linderman sketching a hawk moth.


During the second day of Linderman’s residency, she and her assistant origamists instructed the Academy visitors on how to fold moths and/or butterflies using pages from recycled National Geographic magazines.


Linderman explaining origami moth folding to the visiting public.


Linderman and crew on the public floor.



Workshop supplies.



One of Linderman’s finished moth boxes.


To culminate the residency, Sunday’s hands-on workshop offered participants the opportunity to create a collaged habitat  for oragami moths using cigar boxes, vintage images and bark photographs taken by Linderman herself.


One Truth, Many Lies: A New View of Art & Natural History Collections is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. www.imls.gov


Filed under: Library Events,Research,Sparks! — Dsands @ 10:04 pm

Artist in Residence – Benjamin Burke


Ben Burke is an Oakland, CA based artist with an enviable skill set. Burke is a writer, poet, fabricator, collector, performer, puppeteer, designer, and if that weren’t enough he also directs! His work is usually manifested as stories, poems, performances, or junk-automata. Common themes in Burke’s work are the exploration of the unexpected and the unknown by way of mythological tales and scientific discovery.


Fond of collaboration and uncharted territories, he has produced and/or performed in over 200 unusual theatrical events, from operatic rock ‘n’ roll and spoken word to junkyard variety shows and an abstract musical aboard art-rafts in Venice, Italy. His Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, is displayed annually at San Francisco’s Edwardian Ball. He is a TED Fellow as well as co-founder of both the Stars & Garters Theatre Company and Apocalypse Puppet Theater.


Supplies and sculptures abound


Ben’s dedication to upcycling discarded materials and creating art from “trash” fits solidly with the Academy’s green building commitment and made him an excellent choice for the Artist Residency program. During his popular hands-on workshop Burke attempted to recreate the phenomenon of endosymbiosis with the public by creating kinetic sculptures. Endosymbiosis is a process in which one critter is subsumed by another and then not digested but incorporated into the biology of the other. It is the biological equivalent of the work Burke does with his fabrication projects.

Ben helps drill holes for a participant’s sculpture.


Burke began his residency in the Invertebrate Zoology department finding out about living beings with endosymbiotic relationships. Citizen Science Research Coordinator, Rebecca Johnson and Invertebrate Zoology Collection Manager, Christina Piotroski  introduced us to the various nudibranchs and corals that integrate symbiosis as part of their life cycle.


Elysia chlorotica is one of those nudibranchs. This fascinating sea slug extracts the chloroplasts from the algae it eats and incorporates them into its own skin. Known colloquially as a solar-powered-sea-slug, Elysia can manufacture some of its own food via these co-opted chloroplasts. In Ben’s workshop, smaller objects such as corks and spools were integrated into clear tennis ball canisters to become integral working parts.


Ben Burke during his captivating Connect with a Scientist talk.


On Sunday, Burke participated in the Academy’s renowned Connect with a Scientist Program. For information on upcoming workshops and museum events, click here.


One Truth, Many Lies: A New View of Art & Natural History Collections is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. www.imls.gov


Filed under: Library Events,Library News,Sparks! — Dsands @ 7:20 pm

August 28, 2014

Artist in Residence – T Edward Bak

T EDWARD BAK was born in Denver, but is drawn to travel and frequently migrates throughout North America. He began WILD MANa graphic novel about the voyages of Georg Steller,after exploring Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. Since then he has conducted research in the Aleutian archipelago and St. Petersburg, Russia. His stories have been featured in The Oregon History Comics series, Drawn and Quarterly Showcase, The Best American Comics 2008, The Graphic Canon, and MOME, where WILD MAN was originally serialized.

Bak’s research and interest in the natural history of the Aleutians, the Era of Discovery, and his ability to convey  this complex history to a wide audience made him a perfect match for a One Truth, Many Lies artist residency.  The artists chosen for the residency share their work with the public through programs on the public floor of the California Academy of Sciences.

project lab

Museum visitors watch live drawing in the Project Lab.

in the project lab

T Edward Bak drawing ornithological specimens in the Project Lab.

On Friday the 6th of July, Bak worked in the Academy’s Project Lab, located on the public floor of the museum. Utilizing specimens from the Ornithology and Mammalogy Collection, Bak showcased his research and illustration skills to the museum visitors.

skull sketch

Bak’s drawing of a sea lion skull from the Academy’s Skulls exhibit.

specimen research

Bak paints specimens from the Naturalist Center collection.

library research

Bak conducting library research.


Over the weekend, bak was able to do more research of voyages of discovery. From the Academy Library’s Rare Book Collection, Bak was able to view expedition narratives from Mark Catesby and William Dampier.

connect with a scientist

Bak signs a copy of his graphic novel, Island of Memory, for a young museum visitor.

On Sunday, Bak participated in the Academy’s renowned Connect with a Scientist Program, speaking about his research and taking questions from members of the public.

For information on upcoming workshops and museum events, click here.

One Truth, Many Lies: A New View of Art & Natural History Collections is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. www.imls.gov

-writing and photos by Diane T Sands.


May 2, 2014

Artist in Residence – Monika Lea Jones



San Francisco based artist Monika Lea Jones never completely divided herself between the seemingly separate artistic and scientific minds. Compositions featuring animals and celestial objects are rendered using the bright colors of paint, photography and other digital means. Monika is inspired by both her current urban environment and nature and seeks to bridge these worlds by creating fantastical dreamlike images that illuminate the modern landscape.

It is precisely these characteristics that made Monika a perfect choice for a One Truth, Many Lies: a New View of Art & Natural History Collections artist residency.  The chosen artists share their work with the public through a hands-on workshop and other programs on the public floor of the museum.

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Jones led a workshop showcasing her technique of acrylic painting directly on Plexiglas.  Using vibrant hues to highlight the equally vibrant nudibranchs (sea slugs), Jones also showed footage she shot of live local nudibranch species. See images below.


Workshop participants show off their nudibranch paintings

Then on Sunday, April 26, Monika invited those visiting the museum to come up to the Living Roof and learn how stingrays glide through the water. Over 100 participants made their own stingray kite out of recycled paper and then launched them into the sky!


Sting ray kites fly from the Living RoofIMG_20140427_132030csastnpeeps

In addition to her time sharing her artistic knowledge and enthusiasm for science with the visiting public, the residency also allowed Jones some time to research her next work in the Academy’s specimen collection. Monika chose to spend time in the botany herbarium sketching and painting.


Monika shows off her rough sketches of botanical specimens.

For information on upcoming workshops and museum events, click here.

One Truth, Many Lies: A New View of Art & Natural History Collections is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. www.imls.gov

Library Contact Info


For general inquiries about the Academy Library please contact:

Library Reference

Visit Library homepage »

Chat live with a Librarian »

Academy Blogroll