Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters In America reveals the
history of a small group of independent American women who helped
shape the nation’s social and cultural landscape. Over the last
300 years, the sisters built and managed schools, hospitals,
orphanages and other social institutions that have endured during
eras when most women had few — if any — professional
As inspirational trailblazers, they corresponded with President
Thomas Jefferson, talked down bandits and roughnecks in the Wild
West and provided the first form of health insurance to
Midwestern loggers. As an overlooked part of history, they played
instrumental roles in significant American turning points — from
the Civil War, Gold Rush and San Francisco Earthquake to the
Depression, Civil Rights Movement and Hurricane Katrina.
An adjoining installation features the history of a group of
California sisters who came to San Francisco in 1851 and became
pioneers in quality, affordable child care in 1878, long before
its existence today.
To learn more, visit the national touring exhibition web site
WomenandSpirit.org. Sponsored by the Leadership Conference of
Women Religious in association with Cincinnati Museum Center.
Media, please visit the online press center for California
exhibit materials including image gallery and media kit.
Curated by legendary Z-Boy Nathan Pratt, co-star of the 2002
documentary “Dogtown and Z- Boys”, this all-new exhibit explores
the California-created sport of skateboarding.
From the earliest 1950s wood plank and metal roller skate wheel
prototypes to the modern engineered marvels of today, rare boards
and ephemera document the evolution of “sidewalk surfing.”
Highlights include many of the sports’ firsts, including the
first pro model skateboard, the first board with urethane wheels
and the first Zephyr board. Over 200 unique items, many from The
Sidewalk Shop, Skatelab and Z-BOY® Archive collections, are on
display including Tony Hawk’s autographed personal board, an
extremely rare Willie Mays board and gear from over 30 California
Multimedia presentations featuring the revolutionary riders,
artists and manufacturers reveal how riding concrete evolved from
a subculture of teenage defiance to an iconic worldwide cultural
Photos of Nathan Pratt by Craig Stecyk. Courtesy of Z-BOY®
Celebrating the class of 2010 California Hall of Fame, this
year’s exhibition is over 3,000-square feet and includes more
than 100 unique items, many of which have never been publicly
displayed such as:
The recreated office of Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown
containing desk, chair, lamp, blotter and a marlin caught
by the former California governor
Props used in the block-buster films of James Cameron,
including maquettes and spears from Avatar, life-size Terminator
statue, machine from Aliens, ship’s wheel and engine wheel from
Titanic and more
The restored 1933 Lincoln automobile owned by Bank of America
founder and father of modern banking, A.P. Giannini
Custom suit, gold records and Fender Haggard Tuff Dog guitar
played by country music legend Merle Haggard
Several costumes worn by music and film icon Barbra Streisand
in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, My Name Is Barbra and
Yentl; her first contract with the Bon Soir; albums, tickets,
movie posters and rare Broadway billboard from Funny Girl
Wayne Thiebaud gallery personally containing works selected
by the artist himself
The pilot script from Golden Girls signed by the original
cast and an Emmy® won by comedienne Betty White
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Mas Chisme de la
Cultura/Spinning Cultural Stories features the original artwork
of the Sacramento-based Chicana collective Co-Madres Artistas.
The artists – Irma Barbosa, Carmel Castillo, Mareia de Socorro,
Laura Llano and Helen Villa – have been leaders in the Chicana
art movement for the past twenty years. Over 20 of their bright
and engaging paintings speaking to themes of Latina pride,
feminism and community activism will be exhibited in the Maria
Shriver Gallery through Sunday, November 13, 2011.
Join us for the special Second Saturday opening reception on
September 10th from 5:00-7:00PM!
Learn more about this event
Download event flyer
R.S.V.P. by 4:00PM on Friday, September 9, 2011
“Pot Painter,” by Mareia de Sorocco; “Betrothed,” by Helen Villa;
“The Arrival of the Farewell,” by Irma Barbosa. Images courtesy
of Co-Madres Artistas.
Get On Board: Stories of the Los Angeles to Houston Freedom Ride
recounts the seldom-heard story of CORE’s (Congress of Racial
Equality) freedom ride from Los Angeles, California, to Houston,
Texas, in August of 1961. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of
the freedom rides, this exhibit underscores the ambitious
optimism that inspired 11 Californians — both black and white,
men and women — to leave their schools, families and homes to
get on board a train for a ride to secure freedom and liberty for
all Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.
Inspired by Houston’s Union Station, the exhibit features a
U-shaped lunch counter with six counter stools that serves as a
display area for artifacts that relate the courageous stories of
the California Freedom Riders such as:
Newspaper clips detailing contrasting historical perspectives
from Los Angeles Times & Houston Chronicle
Photographs & political buttons from original Freedom
Rider Ellen Broms’ personal collection
1961 UCLA oral history & manuscripts written by original
Freedom Rider Steven McNichols
The exhibition, presented in partnership with the California
Legislative Black Caucus and the Mayme Clayton Library and
Museum, opens on February 5, 2011, and continues through May 29,
Founded in 2004 by then-California First Lady Maria Shriver, the
Minerva Awards honor women who have changed our world with their
courage, their strength, and their wisdom. The annual awards
celebrated women who work to make this world a more
compassionate, tolerant and just place. This conference-funded
exhibit chronicles their lasting legacies.
The 2009 Minerva Award winners are:
Agnes Stevens: The life of retired schoolteacher Agnes Stevens
changed in 1993 when she read a book about homelessness in the
United States. The staggering number of homeless children
and the shockingly few who went to school appalled her. She began
teaching homeless kids in a park in Santa Monica, encouraging
them to stay in school, keep up their grades and participate in
From that individual decision to help– to bring 30 years of
classroom experience to America’s most forgotten children–School
on Wheels was born.
Seventeen years later, Stevens and School on Wheels provide
one-on-one tutoring for homeless kids who live in shelters,
motels, group foster homes, cars and on the streets. More than
1,000 volunteer tutors from every profession and background help
thousands of homeless children ages six to 18, throughout
Southern California enroll in school and stay there.
Formerly a teacher in the New York Bowery, Chicago’s Chinatown
and Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, Stevens now scours the seedier
parts of Southern California looking for children. The neediest
don’t come to her, she says. She has to go to them.
Without government support of any kind, School on Wheels also
gives away at least 5000 backpacks loaded with school supplies,
and some school uniforms. The children get help enrolling
in school and with locating and filing school records as well as
a toll-free phone number for around-the-clock School on Wheels’
support. When a child moves, School on Wheels follows them,
offering stability in an otherwise unstable existence.
At many shelters, School on Wheels has created special learning
rooms, with computers, books, drawing and writing materials, to
give the children a quiet place to study.
Her 20 year fight on behalf of homeless children was recognized
in 2008, when Stevens was one of three women who received the
World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, known as
the children’s “Nobel Prize.”
Helen Waukazoo: Growing up in New Mexico, Helen Devore Waukazoo
remembers her beloved Navajo father telling her she would “walk
in two worlds:” that of the Native American and the white
At 13, Helen and two of her siblings were torn from their family
and forced to attend boarding school in a government attempt to
move and integrate American Indians from their reservations into
non-Indian communities. Helen’s school was in Utah, a thousand
miles and a world apart from any life she had known. Separated
from her parents, she was forced into a foreign world in which
she was forbidden to honor her own culture and language. It was a
traumatic experience and the moment she was free to leave, she
She headed to San Francisco in her early 20’s and volunteered at
a drop-in center started by a church group, a place for American
Indian people to connect in the midst of what often felt like a
foreign world. The group recognized the high rate of addiction
Helen’s people struggled with—both to alcohol and drugs. As she
rose from volunteer clerk-typist to paid bookkeeper to co-Founder
of the American Indian Friendship House in the 1970s, the mission
for the center changed as well.
Today Friendship House exists to help keep Helen’s native people
sober. Many who come to her are often not just addicted, but
homeless and unemployed. Through a unique program approach, most
leave committed to sobriety and in a position to regain their
footing and their dignity. Friendship House’s relapse rate is
half that of the average treatment center. Part of the reason is
the program’s unique blend of 12 Step, Western psychology and
Native American traditions. What Helen realized was that Native
Americans are more prone to addiction when they abandon
tradition. At Friendship House, recovery includes prayers,
medicine men, healing ceremonies, talking circles and a sweat
lodge. She has also started a 10-bed facility for mothers whose
children have been removed by the courts. Here they are taught
not just parenting skills, but how to cook and nurture their
children incorporating many Indian traditions.
The staff of Friendship House provides Indian Health services in
neighboring Alameda and Santa Clara counties. Friendship
House has grown into an 80-bed facility in a brand new building
and serves as a regional treatment center, the largest center for
Indian Americans in California. Beyond its successful
alcohol and addiction treatment programs and its facility to
reunite mothers and children, Friendship House today helps in
finding jobs for clients and in providing youth services.
Dr. Jane Goodall: In the summer of 1960, 26-year-old Goodall
arrived at Lake Tanganyika, East Africa to study chimpanzees, an
act so unorthodox at the time that British authorities required
her mother accompany her as a companion. But before long, she
struck out on her own to become a world leader and new voice in
redefining the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1957, a school friend invited Goodall to her parents’ farm in
Kenya. Within months, she met anthropologist and
paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey, who had been searching for
someone to begin a study of chimpanzees.
At first, the chimps fled whenever they saw Goodall, but
gradually the chimps allowed her close enough for her to get to
know them individually and observe their everyday behavior. In
the fall of 1960, she saw a chimpanzee strip leaves off twigs to
fashion tools. Until then, scientists thought humans were the
only species to make and use tools. This would be one of
Goodall’s most important, although by no means only, discovery.
In her almost 50 years as a primatologist and more recently as an
environmentalist, she has fought poachers, polluters and
politicians. She has radically influenced her field of study and
blazed a trail for other women who have followed in her
footsteps, including Dian Fossey. Her research and writing have
revolutionized scientific thinking about the evolution of humans.
The Gombe Stream Research Centre, which Dr. Goodall established
in 1965, has become a training ground for students interested in
studying primates. In 1977, Dr. Goodall, established the Jane
Goodall Institute. The Institute supports the continuing research
at Gombe and is a global leader in protecting chimpanzees and
their habitats and for establishing conservation programs in
Roots & Shoots, Goodall’s global environmental and
humanitarian youth program, has nearly 150,000 members in 110
countries. In 2002, Secretary General Kofi Annan named Dr.
Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2004 she became a
Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of a
knighthood. Dr. Goodall received her Ph.D. from Cambridge
University in 1965, and she has been the recipient of numerous
scientific and humanitarian awards from around the world.
Dr. Kathy Hull: Kathy Hull founded the George Mark Children’s
House in San Leandro, CA, the first freestanding residential
pediatric palliative care center in the United States, because
she believes that all dying children and their families deserve a
sanctuary as they endure one of life’s most excruciating
experiences. While the vision for this 15,000 square-foot San
Leandro “home” was born from personal family tragedy, every
detail of its execution reflects a sense of love, warmth and
support Hull wants people to know as they struggle with the loss
of their own young life or that of their child’s.
With Dr. Barbara Beach, a pediatric oncologist, Hull started the
house in 2004, acutely aware of the devastation a family faces
from the loss of a child. The house is named for two of her
brothers, George and Mark. In both cases, she remembers how
ill-equipped her family was, as when George was critically ill to
navigate the medical system during crisis.
Before Hull created George Mark Children’s House, the only
options in the United States for dying children were a hospital
room, the family’s home, or nursing homes geared for adults –
all settings that in different ways can be daunting to the
surviving family, and most particularly to dying children
Hull, a clinical psychologist, and her colleague Dr. Beach saw
firsthand how badly families needed an alternative: a supportive
environment in which every family member’s medical, emotional and
spiritual needs could be met as they faced this toughest of
Hull’s first decision was to take on “the look” of her facility.
She engaged an architect to design a beautiful ranch style house
surrounded by a 5 acre oasis of lush trees and flower beds. A
small chapel sits on the top of a hill where services are held in
honor of the children who have died here. The bedrooms have
brightly colored murals. There is a spacious playroom, a computer
game room, family suites, eight patient rooms and a large open
kitchen called Ruth’s Café where family and staff eat together.
In the George Mark Room, families can stay with their child after
her/his death and say goodbye over a period of days if that is
their choice. Counseling to help cope with a loss of a child is
provided free for as long as a family needs it.
Children who come to George Mark have progressive, incurable
diseases that will likely take their lives before they become
adults. Each year, over 200 families call George Mark their
temporary home. Some families come for respite care, a break from
the rigors of caring for their seriously ill child. But hospice
care takes precedence. No child is denied care because their
family is unable to pay.
For more information on past and present winners, visit the
Women’s Conference on the web.
The Minerva Awards exhibit is generously sponsored by the Women’s
Conference and Lifetime Networks.
This winter, The California Museum is proud to partner with
poster art historians Alisa Leslie and Walter Medeiros to present
an exhibit featuring poster art work from the 1960s and 1970s.
The artwork promoting Psychedelic rock music was as revolutionary
as the music itself: wild colors, strange images, dynamic
composition, and hand-drawn lettering that could be either
gracefully decorative or compacted into dense, nearly unreadable
patterns. This exhibit will feature promotional posters and
handbills that originated from the dance and concert venues of
the Central Valley many of which have not been publicly displayed
since they were made in the 1960s and 1970s.
Photographs from the state Capitol by acclaimed former Los
Angeles Times photojournalist Robert Durell offer a vivid and
insightful view of the rollercoaster ride of California politics.
Two dozen photos are on display, along with a larger-than-life
slide show of many more, accompanied by the photographer’s witty
and incisive commentary that gives visitors the back-story behind
A glimpse into the personal holdings of these passionate lifelong
collectors, this exhibit spotlights key aspects of the black
experience in America, with rare historical documents creating
the context for sculptures and paintings by important African
American artists. Read the letter a slave girl carried, unaware
that its contents dictated that she be sold away from her home
and family. See original documents written by Rev. Martin Luther
King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Appreciate original artwork ranging from
an 1890 oil by still-life and landscape painter Charles Ethan
Porter to a photograph by renowned photographer Gordon Parks. The
exhibit is presented by the California Legislative Black Caucus
and its February opening celebrates Black History Month.
Watch this video to get a better glimpse of this stunning exhibit
and the people who created it.
Under the Dragon: California’s New Culture explores the state’s
diversity: showing how cultures, personalities and traditions
from all over the world mingle in unexpected ways in California,
forging a vibrant hybrid culture.
The vibrant photographs and exciting soundscapes reveal startling
cultural juxtapositions, including a young white minister
preaching at an almost all-black Baptist church, Latinos
converting to Islam in a suburban mosque, a 79-year-old Japanese
American earning her high school diploma and an Iranian therapist
with Cambodian clients.
This exhibit, created by Lonny Shavelson and Fred Setterberg, was
inspired by the photographer’s encounter under a Chinese New Year
dragon. When a rainstorm interrupted the annual celebration, the
photographer sought refuge under the 200-foot dragon and
discovered the unlikely alliance of people who carried it were
not just Chinese but also included Russians, Samoans, and
The exhibit honors those breaking cultural stereotypes, the
iconic traditions of the international community, and the
individualism that is a hallmark of California.
This exhibit from the Library of Congress will commemorate the
200th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s revered sixteenth
president. Charting Lincoln’s growth from prairie politician to
preeminent statesman, it will address the controversies that
marked the road to his presidency, including challenges to civil
liberties and the Constitution, slavery and race, and the
dissolution of the Union and the Civil War.
For the first time ever, the original artwork for the California
State Duck Stamps will be on display. These collectible stamps,
required for hunting waterfowl in California, raise money to
preserve wetlands and other critical habitat for ducks and geese
in the state. Since California started the nation’s first state
duck stamp program in 1971, it has generated more than $22
million to help our water birds. Thirty-seven original paintings,
in various media, representing each duck stamp since the program
began in 1971 will be on display. From wood ducks to wigeons,
mallards to pintails, the exquisite duck stamps highlight many of
California’s migratory birds.
This exhibit is in partnership with the California Department of
Fish and Game.
The California Museum opens its newest exhibit, Gold on the Bay:
The Remarkable Story of Gold Rush San Francisco to the public on
Saturday, April 18th. The exhibit features collages depicting San
Francisco as a sleepy Mexican outpost on through its formative
years past the boom of the Gold Rush. Artifacts ranging in gold
paraphernalia to pistols will accentuate the 28 surrealist
collages, which play on form, cultural resonance and textured
On the 160th anniversary of the California Gold Rush, the
exhibition will be a great venue to learn about the energetic and
yet dark underbelly of California’s ultimate boomtown. Students
of California history will find the pictorial exhibit unique as
it portrays the full spectrum of the diverse conditions and
nature of the city’s society, as well as provide a distinct
artistic perspective on its progression.
The collages Satty assembled are compilations of historic
illustrations and are accompanied by descriptive eyewitness
accounts dating from 1849 to 1890. The California State Parks
contributed to the exhibit by lending the Museum items best
portraying the various vices of the time, like Mexican playing
cards, opium stands, gold scales and a gambler’s Colt pistol,
Wilfried “Satty” Podriech (1939-1982) was a German immigrant who
lived in San Francisco as part of the Hippie counterculture of
the 1960s and 70s. As an artist and historian, he found little
difference between the rough and tumble lifestyle of Gold Rush
San Francisco and the transgressive chaotic city of his own time.
This exhibit presents evocative portraits of Southern
Californians, both historic and contemporary, by photographer
Harry Brant Chandler.
Inspired by his own family, whose dreams helped shaped Los
Angeles – from founding the Los Angeles Times to numerous civic,
business and real estate endeavors – Chandler set out to identify
those rare Southern Californians with the confidence and
imagination to pursue their dreams. Many are famous; most are
highly accomplished; all are inspirational. Dreamers, to
Chandler, are not content just to strive to be the best. They
have to, in fact, reinvent the path to greatness.
He created his portraits as a painter would, changing the
composition, removing non-essential visual details, adding or
enhancing the colors, replacing the skies and or the background,
and, most of all, placing his subjects in the context of their
From immigrants to billionaires, unknown wannabes to the world
famous, surfers to moviemakers, quacks to entrepreneurs, Southern
California has produced an unrivaled potpourri of dreamers. Meet
some of them here.