A Walk in the Wild: Continuing Muir’s Journey

“A Walk in the Wild” explores John Muir’s life as an adventurer, amateur scientist, activist and close observer of nature. Throughout the exhibit, historical events, Muir’s writing and artifacts complement contemporary stories from “Modern Day Muirs,” people who continue Muir’s legacy of environmental conservation.

The design effort was the culmination of ten years of development by the museum which included assembling the largest ever collection of Muir artifacts.

In addition to leading the in-house design team, I worked closely with the Oakland Museum curatorial and fabrication staff through design, fabrication and installation.


Ultra high-resolution landscape photographs bring to life some of the many places Muir visited and wrote about. The images were produced specifically for the exhibit by Stephen Joseph of Oakland, California by digitally slicing together several hundred images taken from a single location.


Visitors leap over a gaping crevasse in an Alaskan glacier…just like Muir did!


Be photographed hanging from a cliff in Yosemite Valley, just as Muir probably did, then email the photo to friends.


A “Discovery” gallery explores Muir’s scientific contributions to the fields of geology, botany, and zoology.


Preserved plants collected by Muir are displayed, along with digitally restored images of the same specimens.


Drawing stations allow visitors to record nature just like Muir did, with pencil and paper.


Visitors explore a re-creation of Muir’s roof-top “Hang Nest” that he built in Yosemite Valley. Photographs were taken from the location of the original structure to accurately depict the views from each window.


Client:              Oakland Museum of California

Location:         Oakland, CA

Floor Area:      7,000 sq. ft.

Budget:            $660,000

Opening:          2011

Contact:           Doris Welch, (former) Curator



URL:                 museumca.org