In early December, CHS hosted its 11th annual Historic Libations holiday event. The evening was a celebration of California History, old and new, featuring state-inspired cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as music by members of local band Club Foot Orchestra.
VIP guests participated in a private viewing of some of CHS’s rarely seen collections related to early California history, from the Gold Rush in 1850 to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Works by well-known artists including Eadweard Muybridge, Carleton Watkins, and Arnold Genthe, appeared alongside unique and curious items such as an 1850s daguerreotype of a pile of potatoes.
The evening was also a welcome party for CHS’s recently appointed Executive Director and CEO, Alicia Goehring, who joined the organization in late August from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Historic Libations was the first opportunity many community members have had to meet CHS’s new leader, and vice versa. Over the past weeks, Goehring has been working on a multifaceted 110 Day Plan which includes collaborating with the Board of Trustees on the development of a new vision for the organization, as well as continued exploration of the feasibility of the Old Mint Restoration Project, among other initiatives.
Guests explored the newly opened exhibition From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection, which considers themes that quickly became important subject matter for numerous US and European artists throughout the next half century: the Gold Rush, exploration of the Sierras, the burgeoning agricultural industry, Chinatown, and the Great San Francisco Earthquake. Drawn exclusively from the California Historical Society’s collection, the show presents paintings by well known artists like William Keith, William Hahn, Raymond Dabb Yelland, and Theodore Wores, as well as lesser known, but equally impactful artists, like Bertha Lee Stringer and Nellie Hopps. Also included alongside paintings are archival materials—photographs, letters, books, and ephemera—that offer a deepened understanding of these subjects and a window into the lives touched by these events. See the exhibition through March 29, 2020!
We are so grateful to everyone who came out for the event. Enjoy these photos of our staff, patrons, and supporters, and friends at Historic Libations 2019!
Photos by Shannon Foreman Photography.