Judith Hoffman


Artist-in-residence Judith Hoffman makes artist books and pinhole cameras (among other creative endeavors). In experimenting with various photographic techniques, she has found the museum, its exhibits, and little worlds to be an inspiring subject. The results capture a dreamy essence of the museum. She says:

We all know, at least in theory, that life is not static. Change occurs constantly and the world is new again and again. The Zymoglyphic Museum is the perfect example of this. Its displays are constantly evolving. The museum staff doesn't try to fight this trend; instead, they embrace it. Many of the displays contain objects that are rusty, or made of dirt or decaying objects. There is no effort to stabilize the displays. Things decay as time passes. Little pools of rust or dirt fall around the base of some of the objects and become as much a part of the museum as the original object. Dust, cobwebs and blown-in leaves accumulate.
    When it's not open for visitors, the Zymoglyphic Museum is a dark and shadowy place. Light comes in a single window and illuminates a jumble of mysterious objects waiting to be placed in their display cases. With their interior lights off, the dioramas are dark windows, with shadowy figures behind.
    Over the years the museum has taken on its own personality, just as each person does. It is made of some deep thoughts, some random junk and some accumulated stuff that may or may not be valuable. It is a place to meditate on life and death. The exhibits are not about "Xenophora", for example, but about how life progresses, its wonders and mysteries, how we change over the years, becoming both wiser and a little crusty, and how even the lowliest insect or a decayed leaf can be beautiful and mysterious.

Blog entries

Ongoing "Defining Zymoglyphic"
Our A-i-R grapples with the elusive question of what qualifies an object to be considered for admission to the museum
When I handed him the rotten wood and he accepted it, I felt victorious

Sept. 19, 2021 "Zymoglyphic Residents at the 1122 Gallery"
Review of the Museum as Muse show featuring the artists of the museum's summer residency program

Feb 21, 2018 "What is it like to be married to the Zymoglyphic Museum?"
Mrs. Zymoglyphic answers the FAQ "What does your wife think about this?"
I am a student of the Zymoglyphic way

Spirits under Glass: The Zymo 127 Project
Zymo 127 is a custom-made pinhole camera that was designed to explore the museum's dioramas and come back with its findings. The dreamy photos were compiled into a magnificent artist's book, "Spirits under Glass." More information and images here
The Quiet Parlor of the Fishes
These photographs were taken in the parlor aquarium using a "through the viewfinder" technique. The full set has been made into an artist's book.
Matchbox Pinhole Camera
Also in the parlor aquarium, this time using a matchbox pinhole camera and color film. Featured in the Museum of Dust
Black and White Film with Vintage Camera
Photos taken with a Miranda 35mm camera and a Yashica twin-lens reflex.