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.

The museum's first incarnation was in San Mateo, California, from 2000 to 2015. It migrated to Portland, Oregon and had a brief but lively incarnation under the Hawthorne Bridge, hosting a number of gallery shows. It is currently in the process of moving to the Mt. Tabor neighborhood.

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.

Laura Mappin

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
Upcoming, ongoing, and past
Frequently asked questions
"What does 'zymoglyphic' mean?" and other mysteries explained
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
Curator's corner
Artist's statement, resume, manifesti, and an imaginary guestbook
Affiliated and sympathetic institutions
Museums, libraries, esoteric societies, etc.

Disclaimers and legal amusements