The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 by the Museum
and former First Lady Maria Shriver to honor legendary people who
embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on
history. Inductees come from all walks of life and have made
distinguished achievements across a variety fields, including the
arts, education, business and labor, science, sports,
philanthropy and public service.
As the Museum’s signature program, the California Hall of Fame
serves three distinct purposes for the institution:
Annual gala raising funds for all of the Museum’s operations,
exhibits and programs for the year;
Landmark exhibit inspiring visitors through a display of
personal artifacts on loan from inductees;
Learning program educating over 50,000 school children
annually with the diverse stories of inductees’ achievements
across key fields of interest
Additionally, induction into the California Hall of Fame is an
official award from the Governor of California given in an
official State of California ceremony. Inductees are presented
with “Spirit of California” medal by the Governor, and their
accomplishments are made permanent record in the California State
Developed under a Native tribal advisory council over a two year
period, “California Indians: Making A Difference” is the only
exhibit of its kind created in Native voice representing over 100
tribes across the state.
The 3,000-square foot gallery showcases the unique contributions
of the state’s Native peoples through artifacts, art, 13 oral
histories at 6 video stations and an interactive Native language
kiosk. Over 400 artifacts — many of which have never publicly
viewed before — are on display including:
Rare fur cape belonging to Ishi and an
arrowhead made by him
Basketry created by 20th century Native artists Dot
So La Lee and Lucy Telles
Chipped Stone Bear, California’s official
Sacred white deer dance ceremonial dress and artifacts
Oral histories from notable Native activist L. Frank
Manriques, recording artist Ras K’Dee
and anthropologist Bradley Marshall
Life-sized reproduction of a Channel Island pygmy mammoth
Works from contemporary Native artists Frank La
Peña and Fritz Scholder
Utilizing the voices and experiences of the state’s Native
peoples, the exhibit presents stories of adaptation and triumph
that ultimately reveal California Indians have not only survived
but continue to thrive in the state’s constantly changing
California Innovates: The Computer Chip launches a series of
exhibits focused on the Golden State as a hub of innovation.
Dedicated to the California-created computer chip, this first
display explores one of the state’s most prosperous industries.
Through a hands-on, interactive display, the exhibit introduces
what chips are, where they are used and how they are made.
Conceived by former First Lady Maria Shriver, the Museum’s Legacy Trails bring inspiring, uniquely California stories to life online. Visitors can journey across the state while exploring its history and legacy of innovation on topics ranging from the birthplace of the progressive movement and the origins of the world’s finest grapes, to the birthplace of Hollywood legends and the Silicon Valley roots of the information technology revolution.
The Remarkable Women Trail guides visitors through the lives of California women whose stories are as diverse and awe-inspiring as the Golden State’s landscape. Users discover how 15 California icons, such as Concepcion Arguello, Amy Tan, Ray Eames and Dolores Huerta, triumphed over adversity, forged new creative frontiers and overcame obstacles like slavery, poverty and discrimination to break gender barriers and become legends.
California has always been replete with remarkable women. As
community leaders and activists, inventors and entertainers, as
mothers, daughters, sisters and partners, California’s remarkable
women serve 24/7 on the front lines of humanity.
Extraordinary women from every walk of life strengthen, shape and
serve our great state. This exhibit honors their significant
roles and achievements, drawing its inspiration from past and
present achievements of California women. In doing so, it
delivers an energetic message about the limitless opportunities
and possibilities awaiting present and future generations of
From farm worker organizer Dolores Huerta to astronaut Sally Ride
to designer Ray Eames, the exhibit includes approximately 200
remarkable California women. Inspired by former First Lady Maria
Shriver, the exhibit is presented in partnership with California
Towering six stories over the courtyard, Constitution Wall
features sculpted words taken from the California Constitution
chosen for their meanings to inspire reflection on the freedoms
guaranteed to all Californians by viewers.
Depending on the angle of the light and the time of day,
different words become more prominent. The word “RIGHTS,” which
is the underlying theme of the piece, stands out more in the late
morning and early afternoon, while “redress” and “assemble” are
more apparent at midday.
In addition to varied reliefs, the words are punctuated by the
wall’s color scheme, as drawn from California’s landscape palette
of forest, ocean and desert hues. Metal oxides embedded in
the wall’s surface colors change over time, ensuring that
the Wall is constantly evolving like the Constitution
Designed by artists Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan and Paul Kos,
Constitution Wall was built by Frederick Meiswinkel Inc. in
collaboration with Esherick, Homsey, Dodge & Davis. The
sculpture was funded in part by the California Arts Council’s Art
in Public Buildings program.
Did you know your zip code can predict how long and how well you
live? Learn why in the all-new multimedia exhibit “Health Happens
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 1 of 10 charities to make health happen for all
Engaging and educational fun for the entire family, “Health
Happens Here” was developed in partnership with The California
Endowment and is an ongoing signature
exhibit – only at The California Museum.
The Museum’s longest running exhibit, “Uprooted!” surveys
a century of Japanese American history in California and features
the personal stories of formerly interned Californians.
Although Japanese immigrants and their American-born children
established businesses, built thriving communities and
contributed to the states’s prosperity, they began to face
hostility and discrimination following the bombing of Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The tension came to head when President Franklin D. Roosevelt
authorized the internment of Japanese American citizens by
signing Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. Under the
order, local military commanders were able to designate “military
areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may
be excluded,” which cleared the way for the relocation of
Japanese Americans to internment camps. By the spring of 1942,
Japanese Americans were forced to relocate to “Assembly Centers”
and were eventually moved to “War Relocation Centers” across the
West like Manzanar and Tule Lake in California.
Following the history of the Japanese Americans in California,
visitors experience life behind barbed wire in recreated
barracks, which displays photographs and artifacts from he
Japanese American Archival Collection at California State
University, Sacramento. Continuing through the 1980s,
the exhibit also chronicles how former internees overcame
the hardships of the internment and worked to establish their
lives, their communities and redress for their losses after the
Each winter, the Museum offers an education program about the
internment, led by people who experienced it personally. For more
information, please visit the “Time of