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Kija Lucas’ Museum of Sentimental Taxonomy is a crowd-sourced, traveling archive of memory. The Museum bears witness to the tender and material evidence of our relationships and emotional experiences, often passed down and between family, biological and chosen.

All of my work is about the ideas or things that are passed down through the generations, what we choose to hold onto and what we can let go of….Sometimes I think we don’t have a choice.

From San Francisco to Pittsburgh, Tulsa to upstate New York, the Museum has popped up across the nation to invite community members to bring in their sentimental objects. The expected family heirlooms—old photographs, love letters, a set of antique turquoise rings—sit alongside many more unassuming—even surprising—objects of sentiment, including a desiccated European starling that has “followed” its owner around for decades, an ever-present memento mori of life’s fragility.


SFAI alumni Kija Lucas (BFA Photography, 2006) is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage and inheritance. She is interested in how ideas are passed down and seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations.

Her work has been exhibited at Oakland Museum of California, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francico Arts Commission Galleries, California Institute of Integral Studies, Palo Alto Arts Center, Intersection for the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, and Root Division, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lucas has been an Artist in Residence at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency. She is a member of 3.9 Art Collective and the Curatorial Council at Southern Exposure. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Mills College.

See the work: 

Documents, George Adams Gallery, New York, NY
July 16–September 26, 2020

The Museum of Sentimental Taxonomy, CIIS, San Francisco, CA
August-October, 2020

Collections From Sundown, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
October 2020

The Museum of Sentimental Taxonomy

Follow the artist:

Artist Website: kijalucas.com
Instagram: @kijalucas

Image Credit: Kija Lucas, Drawer 1, 2016 - 2018, images of objects made in 3 states to fit in a 17x23” drawer. Courtesy of the artist.

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