History Museum Reopens with Exhibition on Wildflowers and Climate Change

LOS ALTOS, CA (March 2, 2021) Breathtaking photographs address climate change and its effect on a universal symbol of beauty—the wildflower—in “Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change“, a new traveling exhibition appearing at Los Altos History Museum, March 6 – July 11, 2021. The exhibition marks the reopening of the Museum’s indoor gallery at its new reduced hours, Saturdays and Sundays, noon-4pm.


The Museum opened briefly in the summer but closed in November when the County returned to the purple tier. Now, with the go-ahead from the County, the Museum welcomes the public to its main gallery for the current exhibition, while the upper gallery featuring the train diorama, and the J. Gilbert Smith House, remain closed.


“Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change,” an exhibition by international award-winning photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter, originated at the San Francisco Public Library and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy. For over 20 years, the photographers have worked to capture California’s vanishing wildflowers, bringing awareness to the beauty of the Golden State as well as to the dangers facing our natural habitats from climate change. All geographic regions of California are highlighted, from the high alpine “rock gardens” above 11,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Death Valley National Park’s below-sea-level environment.


“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we realize that the even greater threat of climate change must not be forgotten,” said Exhibition Curator Amy Ellison. “These spectacular photographs of California wildflowers are an urgent call to action, and we hope the exhibition inspires visitors to help protect our beautiful planet.”


In a related Zoom program titled “A 27-Year Wildflower Journey,” photographers Badger and Winter will present a behind-the-scenes view of the making of their book and the exhibition on March 18th, 5-6:30pm


The photographs of Badger and Winter have been seen in galleries throughout California and featured in publications such as Sunset, Time and the Washington Post. Their new book, “Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change,” is available to purchase through the Museum’s online store.


Self-guided tours of the exhibition for small groups are available by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays, noon-4pm. To book an appointment, go to losaltoshistory.org/SelfTours. For a list of programs accompanying the exhibition, visit losaltoshistory.org/BeautyAndTheBeast


Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.


The Museum is open Saturday and Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor

agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.


Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org