Press, Reviews, Interviews


San Jose Mercury News article
May 3, 2002

"The delights provided us by the Zymoglyphic Museum's myriad selections, and even by the relatively elaborate annotations and codifications with which the Museum provides its holdings, are themselves self-evident. The poetry of form, lyricism of association, and economy of function that define every concatenation, that pervade every diorama, rivet us to these apparitions, cementing our fascination and our affection."
From The Art World Beneath Our Feet: The Zymoglyphic Museum and its Mission by Peter Frank.
It is made of some deep thoughts, some random junk and some accumulated stuff...It is a place to meditate on life and death
Judith Hoffman, Artist-in-Residence
"As viewers, we dance between the paradoxical spaces of art versus non-art. We are neither pushed nor pulled in any one direction, but are instead invited to linger like a balloon in the breezy warehouse of the imagination, lilting towards dusty cabinets of logical hypotheses, ruminating in corridors of emotion and experience and breathing our own life into the cobwebs and pond scum that challenge mortality."
From "The Artifice of Constructs in the Gilded Object: an Electroplating of Experience" by Chandra Glaeseman in The Zymoglyphic Anthology
Recent coverage


An academic study by Rachel Birke, "Entropic Grotesqueries and Fermented Holdings: A Zymoglyphic Reading of Objects and Decay in the Gothic Canon," will be presented at the annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA), held from November 7-10 in Palm Springs, California.

Abstract photograph from the museum included in Heléna Dupre Thompson's show at Laura Vincent Gallery in Portland


Passing mention in a French academic article (English abstract)
Ces projets de musées bricolés, do it yourself museums, entrent parfois en résonance avec des musées matériels eux-memes de bric et de broc. C'est le cas du Zymoglyphic Museum (consacré à une civilisation imaginaire...)
Anne Chassagnol and Caroline Marie, "The museum of the future: the imagination of the museum in contemporary illustrated literature", Culture & Musées, 41 | 2023, 119-149.

The museum finally gets coverage in the art section instead of travel!
Interview in Lewis and Clark College's paper The Mossy Log

Local travel blog Pines & Vines lists the museum as one of seven notable museums in Portland of the most unique places in Portland and one that defies easy categorization...Although housed in a small space, the exhibits are packed in tight and present many intriguing curiosities. While each item is unique, there is a sense of a unified vision throughout the collection, one that is easier to appreciate in person than to convey through a description.


The museum is listed in Secret Portland, OR: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. The author expands at length on the virtues of the museum in a  televsion interview (beginning at 3:25)


Local blogger reviews the Museum as Muse show featuring art from the museum's summer residency program

A Walk on the Weird Side: Mermaid Edition features the Zymoglyphic mermaid
When I try and explain it to people, the words just aren't there

a weirdo cabinet of wonders, kooky fishlike creatures, and otherworldly's free, weird as heck, and you can spend as much or as little time as your brain can handle
Portland "tastemakers" Eden Dawn and Ashod Simonian in The Portland Book of Dates: Adventures, Escapes, and Secret Spots


Roadside America entry
get inspired to make your own dioramas

Museum tagged as part of Holli Dougan's Hidden Art project

Defining Zymoglyphic
When I handed him the rotten wood and he accepted it, I felt victorious

a fantastical world that blurs the line between nature and art..awe-inspiring museum
Place #111 in Katrina Nattress and Jason Quigley's 111 Places in Portland That You Must Not Miss


This is some wierd-ass and brilliant shit
Anna Katz in Easy Weekend Getaways from Seattle: Short Breaks in the Pacific Northwest
The museum outranks strip clubs as a Portland "romantic getaway" for Seattleites!

A place well worth studying
Becky Ohlsen in Walking Portland, second edition, from Wilderness Press
Beginning of walking tour #15

Museum from Mars
Portland Monthly, January 2019
Kelly Clarke in "The Weirdest, Most Wonderful Memorials and Museums in Portland (and Beyond)"
Above the garage of a stately home at the foot of Mount Tabor hides an other-world devoted to the fantastical flora, fauna, and artifacts of the Zymoglyphic region, each exhibit carefully labeled, organized by era, and explained in near-exhaustive detail. Rust Age shamanic figures, the Age of Wonder's dehydrated aquariums and self-destroying automaton, a hardback mermaid specimen, and framed stamps from the Zymoglyphic Post Office - they're all here...The result is like a roadside attraction managed by an eccentric, rigorously organized natural history docent, or a miniature free Field Museum on Mars.


The Zymoglyphic Museum: A corporeal directory into another world
Kicks Condor, October 19, 2018
Interview with the curator featuring some less frequently asked questions

Zymoglyphic Museum of Portland
YouTube, June 24, 2018
Vlogger Klearski the Kreeper leads his fellow Kreepers on an unscripted video tour of the museum
How many times did I say WOW!?

From A to Zymoglyphic
James Peterson, June 6, 2018
a panoply of whimsy and capricious wonderment. A feast for the eyes and a flight for the mind...just go see it. And try to put it into words yourself. It's not as easy as you'd think.

Take a Look Inside the Zymoglyphic Museum
Culture Trip, May 1, 2018
Feature article by Katrina Natress
A whole new world awaits

Zymoglyph Museum
The Franklin Post, March 23, 2018
Article in the local high school paper by Abby Chapman
Everything in the museum is intriguing and mystical; this art piece will put you in a new world.

What is it like to be married to the Zymoglyphic Museum?
Feb 21, 2018
Mrs. Z answers the FAQ "What does your wife think about this?"
I am a student of the Zymoglyphic way

Tales From The Zymoglyphic
Murrmurrs, Feb 8, 2018
Eyewitness account by the intrepid blogger Murr Brewster of a trip to the Zymoglyphic region
there's a swashbuckling lichen two seed-pods and a leaf gall away from full sensibility.

On Artifactual Poetry
Glasgow Review of Books, Feb. 5, 2018
Essay by Eleni Cay cites the museum as an example of artifactual poetry

Quirky Collections: Touring Portland's unusual museums (PDF)
Alaska Beyond, Jan. 2018
This is one of the more bizarre collections found in the city, and its displays can defy description.


The Zymoglyphic Museum is a Self-Contained World of Rogue Taxidermy and Steampunk
Willamette Week "Best of Portland" issue, July 11, 2017
[A] meticulous and whimsical fictional world of found objects and curios, where carefully arranged terraria display the skeletons of creatures that never were.

Up Close and Personal With the World's Most Artistic Mollusks
Atlas Obscura article on the museum's Xenophora collection, April 18, 2017
Just as ordinary items can, through combination, create drama and tension, the museum itself is a hodgepodge of visuals and ideas made even more meaningful by their proximity.

Article about Curious Gallery 2017 (where the museum had a road show) in the Oregonian - above photos by Dillon Pilorget

The diorama at Curious Gallery makes a brief apprearance at the end of a short segment on local news station KOIN

A Journey Through the Museum
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 feel your head getting sucked into the middle of the earth.
A photo essay by Laura Mappin, who visited the San Mateo museum on March 17, 2012
Eyewitness accounts on social media
The artist and curator, a self-proclaiming 'Autodidact in Esoteric Museology,' is an engaging host to his literary, creative, humorous collection. Check out the website to find out if the tone and style is one you might appreciate. (If it's not, you're going to think you trekked over to look at some trash.)
It was a magical little place with magical little creatures!
I headed south and west a mere 10 blocks and found the Zymoglyphic Museum- and quite literally a whole new world has perched on my finger
[The] Lizard Headed Mud Cart got me teary-eyed with joy
The past few weeks I?ve been in a creative funk and feeling uninspired. Apparently all I needed was a visit to the @zymoglyphic museum! That tiny magical space made my creative heart happy. My studio floor is once again full a random bits
More here and here
It's a tucked away art gallery pocket dimension garage museum diorama of dioramas. If any of those words pique interest in that part of your heart which sees primeval forests in mossy rocks and angelic architecture in seashells, well?
Selected quotes from virtual visits
Great art
[T]he Zymoglyphic Museum is one of the 20th century's great art works (alongside of Museum of Jurassic Technologies) -- just shamefully unrecognised. -- Incognita Nom de Plume
World's finest
The Zymoglyphic Museum - The world's finest collection of artistic detritus -- Urban Cryptids
A new generation
I wanna be a Zymoglyphic Art Museum Curator when I grow up. -- Magnafeek
A voice from Down Under
Like putting a rusted Coke can on a twig and saying it's a red-beaked branch straddler. --
Is this thing real?
Controversy about a hallucinogenic mushroom specimen in the museum's natural history collection
Spare oddities
[The dioramas] are kind of like an obscure and evil I-Spy book, with lots of hidden actions and creatures. Also, this website is absolutely crazy -- Curious
The torch of entropy
La fiaccola dell'entropia! La fiaccola dell'entropia! -- L'Ascella Ebbra [The Drunken Armpit]
Chuffed pink
today I discovered I'm a zymoglyphile...I'm chuffed pink to have found the proper name for my condition -- poetmcgonagall
Buy it?!
Someday I'd like to have my own little museum. There's this one called the Zymoglyphic Museum that I'd love to visit, but it's way out in California and only open a few days a year. It's pretty neat and when I win the lottery I'll go every year, or possibly just buy it and move it to my private island. -- OKCupid dating profile, 31F, Marion, Ill.
Mainstream media weighs in
the world's only institution dedicated to images of fermentation -- Wall Street Journal
The Museum of Dust

The Museum of Dust is a shadowy, incorporeal, antipodean meta-institution that attempted to acquire the Zymoglyphic Museum for its Wunderkammer collection in 2006. It has since returned to its original mission of "gathering dust."

More from the Blogosphere

Metafilter is a literate, intelligent and witty community blog where the comments are often more interesting than the links being discussed. The museum's exhibits have provided a springboard for a number of posts and discussions.

Neatorama is a very popular best-of-the-web blog that has featured the museum three times

The Quantum Biologist visited the museum in 2010 and was inspired to write a number of related blog posts

The Proceedings of the now-defunct Athanasius Kircher Society featured museum exhibits twice in 2006

Cliff Pickover's link-a-day Reality Carnival featured the museum's cloud sculptures on 11/26/06

Honors and awards
Official KFJC Cool, Secret Place
Presented on-air May 5, 2012 on The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show by Robert Emmett, host
Wacky website of the day
Sept. 20 on the Wacky Web Sites Page-A-Day Calendar 2007