Steven Correll, Assistant Registrar, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, sent this timely note today about an unusual collections find. His story gives me great perspective on the extent of our own troubles, 103 years later—Susan Spero
Last December when several of the Fine Arts Museums registrars were looking through the de Young's off site storage facility, one of the senior registrars (Stephen Lockwood) found a series of ledger books that record the weather and daily attendance for the de Young beginning with its opening day in the 19th century. As we looked through the books, one particular ledger was most interesting:
Tuesday, April 17th, 1906. Fine, warm, pleasant day. Attendance: 928.
The next day had a very different entry:
5:15 AM, Wednesday, April 18/06. Terrific Earthquake which demolished the building and destroyed many of the exhibits. --John W. Rogers, Curator
Below the ledger entry Rogers added the note: Museum closed indefinitely.
The next entry to appear in the ledger is: Sunday, November 10, 1907. Cold and cloudy.