As we begin planning for the 50th anniversary of the Oakland Museum of California's 1969 opening in 2019, it seems especially appropriate to pay homage to the artist whose work lies at the very heart of our landmark building. OMCA was quite literally constructed around J.B. Blunk's The Planet, which continues to serve as a point of entry to our Gallery of California Natural Sciences and has served for decades as a beloved and iconic meeting and gathering place." -- Lori Fogarty, OMCA Director and CEO
A broad survey of the lifework of J.B. Blunk (American, 1926-2002), Nature, Art & Everyday Life brings together over 80 objects to inspire museum visitors to see the beauty of nature and art in the everyday. Encompassing two exhibition spaces within the Gallery of California Art, one space will feature Blunk's life, nature, and art in equal parts, with a specific focus on his time in Japan, the home he built in Marin County, and his dedication to living and making art off the land. Objects will showcase the wide variety of mediums in which Blunk worked, including ceramics, stone, wood, handmade buttons, belts, and jewelry, as well as personal photographs from his time in Japan and Marin. Archival photographs of The Planet in process and letters about its commission will be featured, as well as other ephemera from Blunk's professional life. A video with intimate interviews with family, friends, and colleagues who knew Blunk best will provide in-depth insight into who the artist was, how he worked, and why he had such a deep desire to collect and make.