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 100,000
visitors 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
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.
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 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
The Museum’s longest running exhibit, “Uprooted! Japanese
Americans During WWII” surveys a century of Japanese American
history in California through the personal stories of formerly
Although Japanese immigrants and their American-born children
established businesses, built thriving communities and
contributed to the state’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 the
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 war.
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 Remembrance” page.
An all new exhibit, “We Are All Californians: Stories of
Modern Immigration” examines the journeys of immigrants to the
Golden State in the 21st century.
Through first-person narratives presented on an interactive
20-ft. multimedia wall, the personal stories of documented and
undocumented immigrants from countries around the globe including
Mexico, Ukraine, Cambodia and more explore how immigrants pursue
the California dream, revealing how the changing face of
California will shape the state’s future.