Frequently Asked Questions

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zy'-mo-glyph'-ic, adj. [Gr. zyme leaven + Gr. glyphe carving] 
1. Of, or pertaining to, images of fermentation, specifically the solid residue of creative fermentation on natural objects
2. The collection and arrangement of objects, primarily either natural or weathered by natural forces, for poetic effect

Q: What does "zymoglyphic" mean?"
A:
This is the commonest question. It sometimes precedes "Hello." The formal definition is shown above and is posted in two places in the museum. The deeper ramifications of this important question have recently been analyzed in depth in "The Zymoglyphic Museum: Semiotics of a Fictocryptic Portland Institution," forthcoming from The Proceedings of the Society for Esoteric Museology.

Q: How did you find such a perfect word to describe your stuff?
A:
I made it up.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
A:
The museum welcomed its first visitor to the current location in December of 2016, but its roots go back to a childhood museum a half century ago. For details of the intervening years, see here.

Q: Do you get a lot of people coming through the museum?
A:
Yes! We are currently running about a hundred visitors per month.

Q: What does your wife think about it?
A:
You can get the answer directly from the spouse's mouth! See here

Q: Is any of this for sale?
A:
As with any museum, the collections and exhibits are not for sale, but there is a museum shop! You can purchase prints, books, and souvenir merchandise online and at the museum. Postcards are available as well, but only at the museum.

Q: Did you make all this? I thought this was a collection.
A:
All the artifacts and dioramas in the museum are assembled by me from mostly found, sometimes purchased or donated components. There is also a collection of art and artifacts downstairs by others which is in the process of being organized.

Q: So the museum is an art project?
A:
Yes, I see it as a single, integrated work of art.

Q: Why don't you sell the art?
A:
One reason is that new works become an integral part of the museum. Another is that the works themselves are often fragile and not very archival.

Q:What's your favorite piece?
A:
It's all one piece!

Q: Do you allow photography?
A:
Yes, in fact photography is encouraged. The museum maintains a special page for selected photographs taken by visitors.

Q: Hey, I've got a whole garage full of weird stuff!  Maybe I should start my own museum!   Any tips??
A:
Yes! The museum staff has compiled a handy booklet for patrons in just your situation! You can download it here (PDF). Should your museum develop an online presence, please inform the museum staff and you can be added to our list of affiliated institutions.

Q: Do you get your ideas from dreams?
A:
No. I just put stuff together and see what happens. Sometimes I have dreams about a terrarium with some primordial ooze in it that is actually alive. Other times I will dream about art works that, in the dream, other people have made. I think, "Wow! I wish I had thought of that!". Which, of course, I did.