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October – December 2023 Exhibitions & Events
CLOSED FOR GENERAL ADMISSION
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS FIESTA
From 6:00 – 10:00 pm., the California Museum’s annual Día de Los Muertos Fiesta will celebrate the opening of a new Day of the Dead-themed exhibit and community altar. Highlights include appearances by exhibit artists; Mayahuel Restaurant and Tequila Museum entrées and custom cocktails for sale; live music; a performance and ceremonial blessing by Maquilli Tonatiuh Aztec Dancers; hands-on activities for kids and more. For more information or to buy tickets, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/fiesta-2023/.
“ARTE ACTIVISTA: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS 2023”
10/13/23 – 11/26/23
The annual exhibit explores the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring deceased loved ones each year on November 1 and 2 by creating calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), altares de muertos (altars of the dead) and ofrendas (offerings), which has evolved from the Aztecs to modern day Mexico and California. A journey through life, love and death, Arte Activista: Día de los Muertos 2023 (Activist Art: Day of the Dead 2023) features contemporary altars and artwork by artists representing the 3B Collective, a Los Angeles-based group of Indigenous, African American and Chicano artists and designers. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/temporary/upcoming/arte-activista-ddlm-2023/.
FILM SCREENING: “THE GREAT AMERICAN LOWRIDER TRADITION”
The California Museum will host the first Northern California screening of this award-winning documentary as part of its Fall programming focusing on lowrider history and culture. A one-man production by high school custodian and self-taught director Martin Torrez, the film covers the history of lowriding as told by some of its best-known Los Angeles pioneers, examining how this expression of Mexican American cultural pride prevailed over racism to become a worldwide phenomenon. A panel Q&A will follow with Torrez alongside documentary subjects Oscar Ruelas, co-founder of the Duke’s So. Cal, the world’s oldest continuing lowrider car club; and Little Willie G., legendary Chicano lead singer of Thee Midniters. For more information or to register, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/lowrider-film-screening/.
LOWRIDER BLOCK PARTY
From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the California Museum will host a free lowrider block party featuring a car show, live music, food trucks, pop-up shops, kids activities and more. Plus, attendees can view the California Museum’s new Boulevard Dreams California exhibit for a reduced $5 admission. Car show vehicles by registration only. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/lowrider-block-party/.
“BOULEVARD DREAMS CALIFORNIA”
10/29/23 – 4/14/24
This groundbreaking exhibition celebrates the rich history, artistry, and profound impact of lowrider culture in California, offering a comprehensive view of the cultural, social, and artistic significance of the lowriding tradition. Lowrider vehicles, custom artwork, photographs, and historic artifacts reveal the vibrant world of lowrider culture and its deep-rooted connection to the local and statewide community. Part of a dual exhibition curated by the Sacramento Lowrider Commission and presented in partnership with Sol Collective and the Center for Sacramento History, the California Museum display takes a statewide focus, while a companion at the Sacramento History Museum highlights local lowrider history. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/temporary/upcoming/boulevard-dreams-california/.
I LOVE SUGAR SKULL WORKSHOPS
In two workshops from 12:30 – 1:30 pm and 2:00 – 3:00 pm led by Rob-O of I Love Sugar Skulls, participants will learn how to design and decorate calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls) for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Workshop fee includes pre-made sugar skull, royal icing and assorted decorations, personalized instruction by Rob-O, plus admission to all current Museum exhibits including Arte Activista: Día de los Muertos 2023. For more information or to register, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/sugar-skull-workshops/.
THANKSGIVING – CLOSED
MUSEUM STORE SUNDAY
The Museum Store Association’s international museum shopping event encourages visitors to shop unique, mission-specific gifts while supporting their local museum. The California Museum Store will offer patrons special discounts and giveaways. Details will be posted November 1 at https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/.
Drawing from Berkeley-based Paulson Fontaine Press’ vast collection of fine art prints, Personal to Political features over 40 fine art prints by African American artists who have helped to shape the contemporary art conversation in the Bay Area and beyond. This refreshed version of the traveling exhibition organized by the Bedford Gallery features well-known national artists, including Kerry James Marshall, Martin Puryear, Edgar Arceneaux, Radcliffe Bailey, David Huffman, Gary Simmons, and the Gee’s Bend quilters, as well as new work by Woody De Othello, William Scott, and Gee’s Bend artist Essie Bendolph Pettway. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/temporary/upcoming/personal-to-political/.
CHRISTMAS EVE – CLOSED
CHRISTMAS – CLOSED
NEW YEAR’S EVE – OPEN REGULAR SUNDAY HOURS, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
NEW YEAR’S DAY – CLOSED
BANK OF AMERICA MUSEUMS ON US® FREE ADMISSION
On the first full weekend of each month, all current Bank of America®, Merrill Lynch® and U.S. Trust® cardholders receive free admission through Museums On Us® with valid photo ID. For more information or to view this year’s schedule, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/special-offers-promotions/museums-on-us-free-admission/.
DOCENT ON DUTY
Join Steve Sasaki, an expert docent at the Museum, in “Uprooted: An American Story” at designated times to hear about his family’s experiences of incarceration during World War II. Steve offers a Q&A as visitors pass through, or a full guided exhibit tour on topics such as coming to America, life in the incarceration camps, and returning home after WWII. View the current Docent on Duty schedule at https://californiamuseum.org/visit/events-public-programs/docent-on-duty/.
The California Museum invites all current California state employees to visit for free on the fourth Friday of each month from 12-3 pm. Free admission will be provided to the first 100 state employees with a current state employee ID badge who visit the Museum during the 12-3 pm Fourth Friday timeframe. Walk-in only. Offer does not apply to advance ticket purchases. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/special-offers-promotions/fourth-fridays/.
MUSEUMS FOR ALL
Organized by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this branded access program encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. Those receiving food assistance benefits can gain reduced $2 admission for themselves and up to three guests by presenting their SNAP EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/visit/special-offers-promotions/museums-for-all-low-income-access/.
ONGOING TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS:
15TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA HALL OF FAME ARTIFACT EXHIBITION EXTENDED – NOW THROUGH 12/31/23
Featuring artifacts and ephemera on loan from inductees’ personal collections, this temporary exhibition explores the lives and legacies of inductees in the 15th class of the California Hall of Fame, inspiring visitors to make their own mark on history. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/california-hall-of-fame/exhibitions/15thclass/.
16TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA HALL OF FAME VIRTUAL EXHIBITION
Developed by the Museum in collaboration with representatives of the all-posthumous 16th class, the seven-part virtual exhibition explores the lives and legacies of inductees Carrie Fisher, Maggie Gee, Etta James, José Julio Sarria, Vin Scully, Shirley Temple Black, and Archie Williams. The exhibition can be viewed at https://californiamuseum.org/california-hall-of-fame/exhibitions/virtual-exhibitions/.
CONTINUING ONSITE EXHIBITIONS:
“CALIFORNIA INDIANS: THE FIRST PEOPLE”
Initially developed under the direction of a Native Advisory Council in 2011, “California Indians: The First People” is the only exhibit of its kind in the state to present the unique contributions of California’s Native Peoples in their own voice. Through artifacts, original art, oral histories and an interactive language kiosk, the exhibit chronicles the histories and cultural legacies of over 100 tribes. Highlights include the Chipped Stone Bear, California’s official prehistoric artifact; baskets woven by Native artists; a fur cape owned by Ishi; and more. For details, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/california-indians/.
“CALIFORNIA MISSIONS: A JOURNEY ALONG THE EL CAMINO REAL”
Designed to correspond with State standards for 4th grade students, this exhibit includes rare artifacts from Missions across the state, such as iron tools handmade at Mission Santa Barbara, a marriage registry document written by Father Junípero Serra, an 1893 painting of Mission San Luis Rey on an original tile from that mission and more. In addition, oral history brings this pivotal chapter of history into the present through the modern perspective of Andrew A. Galvan, the first Native curator of Mission Dolores in San Francisco. For details, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/california-missions/.
“GOLD MOUNTAIN: CHINESE CALIFORNIAN STORIES”
Discover the overlooked but significant history and contributions of Chinese Californians from the Gold Rush to the present in “Gold Mountain: Chinese California Stories.” This ongoing exhibit explores the history of Chinese immigrants who came to California in search of a better life and helped build the modern state while triumphing over racism and other obstacles with ingenuity and perseverance. In their stories, visitors will see the contributions Chinese Americans have made to our state’s economy, governance and culture. For more information, go to https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/gold-mountain/.
“HEALTH HAPPENS HERE”
Learn how and why your zip code determines how long and how well you live in the multimedia exhibit “Health Happens Here.” Discover what Californians are doing to build health in communities across the state in this interactive journey through all the places and all the ways health happens in California. Through a series of high-tech games and interactive stations, visitors explore key factors that affect health beyond traditional diet and exercise while earning points that can be donated to one of 10 charities to make health happen for all Californians. Winner of the American Alliance of Museum’s “Excellence In Exhibition” award, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/health-happens-here/ for more information.
UNITY CENTER AT CALIFORNIA MUSEUM
Initiated in 1999 in response to a series of Northern California hate crimes and launched in 2017, the Unity Center at the California Museum celebrates the state’s diverse people, customs and cultures. Featuring multimedia exhibits exploring significant chapters of California’s civil rights history and a state-of-the-art classroom, the interactive 4,000 sq. ft. gallery encourages visitors to find common ground while embracing their own individuality. Through advocacy tools and engaging educational programs, visitors are empowered to be Unity Activists, exercising their rights and standing up for the rights of others – regardless of belief, background, identity or gender. For details, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/unity-center/.
“UPROOTED: AN AMERICAN STORY”
Reopened on March 11, 2023, this fully rebuilt, technology-enhanced signature exhibit focuses on the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and explores how they responded to their forced removal and incarceration, ranging from quiet endurance to heroic valor to conscientious resistance. The exhibit also highlights Japanese Americans’ ongoing efforts to ensure no other groups experience similar civil rights violations. All-new interactive displays, and never-before-exhibited artifacts from survivors supplement visitor favorites from the previous installation including a video introduction by George Takei and a replica barracks and guard tower. New features include a theater experience and an AI-based component allowing visitors to hold virtual conversations with three incarceration survivors. For details, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/uprooted/.
“WOMEN INSPIRE: CALIFORNIA WOMEN CHANGING OUR WORLD”
Developed in collaboration with California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and a statewide advisory council of historians, this all-new long-term signature exhibit features the stories of Golden State women from the 1700s to present who inspire change and reflection on the ongoing struggle for equality. For more information, visit https://californiamuseum.org/exhibitions/signature/women-inspire/.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA MUSEUM:
The California Museum celebrates the state’s rich history, its diversity and its unique influence on the world of ideas, innovation, art and culture. Established in 1998, the Museum is home to the official California Hall of Fame and many more exhibitions inspiring visitors to make a mark on history. Learn more or plan a visit at https://www.californiamuseum.org/.