Have you visited the Oakland Museum since it reopened this summer after extensive renovation? It looks pretty spiffy and continues to be a valuable resource for our community.
The museum’s collection of California art and design represents “the region’s creative output and its relationship to, and influences on, the nation and the world from the mid-1800 to the present,” according to its website. And so, as we would expect, the exhibit includes a fitting tribute to one of California’s iconic landscapes, “Eucalyptus and Poppies.”
The artworks in this exhibit were created from 1916 to 1940, a period when eucalypts were popular. They are out of fashion now, as are leisure suits and beehive hairdos. Will they make a comeback, as did bell bottoms and hip hugger jeans?
There was a time, not so long ago, when Californians thought eucalypts fit in just fine with our native poppies. Are they really the destructive intruders that native plant advocates make them out to be? We don’t think so. We believe that eucalypts are the victims of a “bad rap,” scapegoats for a fire they didn’t cause and a dwindling native landscape that is succumbing to climate change and other factors unrelated to the existence of eucalypts.