About the Museum


Obscura Society visit, 2013/photo: Annetta Black

The Zymoglyphic Museum is the world's only repository for the study and display of art, artifacts, and natural history of the Zymoglyphic region. In addition, the museum hosts a variety of special collections and online exhibits related to the museum's themes of natural art, celebration of decay, and museums as curiosity cabinets.

After welcoming visitors for a decade and an half, the original museum site in San Mateo, California is now closed as the museum migrates to Portland, Oregon. Its new location is 211 SE Madison #20, under the Hawthorne Bridge. Hours are 5-8 PM on the first Friday of the month. For details, see the events page.

Contact the museum to be put on the mailing list for any updates,
follow on Facebook, or
peruse this Web site for a virtual tour!

What is it? A self-museum, a cabinet of curiosities, no, make that fishtanks of curiosities, with lots of little eyes secretly staring at you, and organic matter arranged into beings with souls.

The world's finest collection of artistic detritus

Today I discovered I'm a zymoglyphile...I'm chuffed pink to have found the proper name for my condition

Judith Hoffman
Frequently asked questions
"What does 'zymoglyphic' mean?" and other mysteries explained
Events the museum has or will participate in, on site and off
Curator's corner
Artist's statement, resume, manifesti, and an imaginary guestbook
How the museum came to be
The evolution of the museum from a 10 year-old boy's collection of rocks, bird nests, fossils, arrowheads, and marine animals
Views of the museum
Reactions to the museum from visitors both physical and virtual
Museum as muse
Artists and writers inspired by the museum and its collections
  • Photographs of the museum taken by Judith Hoffman, artist-in-residence
  • A gallery of photographs taken by museum visitors
  • Poems, sketches, and art inspired by the museum's collections
Affiliated and sympathetic institutions
Museums, libraries, esoteric societies, etc.

Disclaimers and legal amusements