Growing up in Arizona, I quickly learned the 5 C’s that drive our state’s economy. They are citrus, cattle, cotton, copper, and climate (also known as tourism).
I suppose it is no surprise given that we were in mining country to find a beautiful museum devoted to one of those C’s—Copper.
If the building looks familiar, it’s because William Clark built several towns to support his miners around the same time and this was the high school of Clarkdale (Can you guess who it was named after:D).
The museum was officially dedicated in 2012, Arizona’s centennial and is devoted to the uses of the 100 billions pounds of copper the state has produced. Some, no doubt using equipment like this smelter:
It’s about the size of a minivan.
The rooms talk about the history of copper, that is usually associated with Venus and uses her symbol.
But what really stopped me in my tracks was an entire room devoted to shell casing art done by soldiers in the trenches of World War 1.
Just for scale the big ‘urn’ on the left was at least 3.5 feet tall. The photos don’t really do justice to the intricacies of the embossing/etching/decorations.
Posters scattered around the room detailed the canons used, how the art came about, and plenty of details of life during the time both at home and on the front.
It was nice that the collection started small, with a few pieces and the story of the war. Because as you walked around the room, I became a little overawed by the beauty then the horror of the war.
The museum has over 500 pieces of trench art.
With two walls completely covered by majority of the pieces in the collection.
It was a little overwhelming and humbling to remember those who created art while facing death, with the implements of death. It says much of the human spirit. Both good and bad.
It also reaffirmed my decision to give voice to some of their stories through my books.
Until next time.