L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New-York Historical Society Meanwhile out West: Colonizing California, 1769–1821


Kim Crowley Hamilton and Burr statues, 2004
Kim Crowley, Hamilton and Burr statues, 2004
New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, commissioned by Richard Gilder, Lewis Lehrman, and Roger Hertog

October 13, 2017 – March 18, 2018

Two exhibitions link the emerging histories of America and California

Two versions of the United States' colonial history, British and Spanish, realign the frame of American history. Alongside the frame of the revolutionary thirteen colonies, symbolized by the story of Alexander Hamilton, we include the complicated Spanish colonial and Native Californian world along the Pacific coast. In doing so, we ask, as Lin-Manuel Miranda did in his award-winning musical, Hamilton: Who Tells The Story of the United States?

Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New-York Historical Society

The extraordinary life and prolific career of Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804) continue to captivate the American public more than two centuries after his death. Drawing from the collections of the New-York Historical Society and JP Morgan Chase bank, this exhibition presents original artifacts and documents—many never before seen on the West Coast—that illuminate Hamilton's role in shaping the legal, economic, and political systems at the foundation of the modern United States.

Californias: Antigua y Nueva, 1787
Diego Francoso, Californias: Antigua y Nueva, 1787
California Historical Society

Meanwhile out West: Colonizing California, 1769–1821

At least 300,000 indigenous people lived in Alta California, as it was once known, when the Spanish Crown asserted sovereignty over the territory in 1769. In the ensuing five decades, Spain left an enduring imprint on the Native peoples, the landscape and on California's cultural heritage. This exhibition explores the period through manuscripts, books, paintings, and artifacts from the California Historical Society's collections.

Progress of Construction, U.S. Branch Mint. One-Story
Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904)
Progress of Construction, U.S. Branch Mint. One-Story [Northeast Corner of Jessie Street]
Albumen print
California Historical Society
U.S. Branch Mint, San Francisco, Cal.
U.S. Branch Mint, San Francisco, Cal.
c. 1900
California Historical Society, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Collection


The Old United States Mint

October 13, 2017 - March 18, 2018

In conjunction with our current exhibition Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, CHS presents an illuminating exhibition about San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint, connecting Treasury Secretary Hamilton’s legacy to this majestic landmark building.

Hamilton is widely regarded as the father of the United States’ financial system. When our young nation emerged from the Revolutionary War, it was deeply in debt to foreign investors and its own citizens who had purchased war bonds. Hamilton was appointed the United States’ first secretary of the treasury, and the government established financial institutions, including branches of the U.S. Mint.

One of the first four branches of the U.S. Mint was constructed in San Francisco in 1854, at a small brick building on Commercial Street that was home to the San Francisco Mint and Assay Office. In its first year alone, the San Francisco branch converted approximately $4 million of miners’ gold into coins. A decade later, later, with silver from Nevada mines straining its limited capacity, plans were drawn for a larger facility.

The second San Francisco Mint opened at Fifth and Mission Streets in 1874. This facility was pivotal to the nation’s financial history from 1874 until it ceased minting functions in 1937. In a single year, 1877, it minted about $50 million of the total $83.9 million in gold and silver coins produced by the United States. In 1934, it housed one-third of the nation’s gold supply.

The grandeur and stature of the 1874 building carried a symbolic message: that the State of California, just twenty-four years old at the time, was truly part of the nation. Known today as the Old U.S. Mint, the building stands as one of the oldest intact structures in San Francisco.

Hugo Crosthwaite: In Memorium Los Angeles
Hugo Crosthwaite: In Memorium Los Angeles


Hugo Crosthwaite: In Memoriam Los Angeles
Museum of Social Justice, El Pueblo de Los Angeles

September 6, 2017 – February 25, 2018

Artist Hugo Crosthwaite will produce a new mural at the Museum of Social Justice while visitors watch. The mural will wrap the gallery walls and will only be complete for a matter of weeks before the artist paints it out, bit by bit, during museum hours. This mural as performance is part of a series of murals the artist calls In Memoriam, which he has been painting at sites in the United States and abroad. Visitors are invited to speak with him, ask questions, or just watch while he is working.

Crosthwaite works in a style that brings together portraiture of ordinary people, comic book characters, street signage, urban facades, and mythological references, among other things, into dense and layered compositions. His work reflects the character of frenetic urban settings, especially border towns like Tijuana where the artist lives. Fear, hope, sorrow, and celebration are all represented together as he incorporates his observations of daily life. He elevates the ordinary person to heroic, showing the trials they endure in surviving and thriving in our contemporary cities. Through his work, Crosthwaite invites us to have compassion for people who struggle in the margins of society.

For In Memoriam Los Angeles, Hugo will observe people in the local Los Angeles downtown area as he works in an improvisational manner to complete the mural. Working only during the museum's open hours when visitors can observe, he will engage the public and allow the interactions to influence his work. At the end of the exhibition, the artist will produce an animation from still photographs taken throughout the process, which will show the painting's production from beginning to end.

This exhibition is co-presented with the Museum of Social Justice.

¡Murales Rebeldes!—L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege
¡Murales Rebeldes!—L.A. Chicana/Chicano
Murals under Siege

Published in association with Angel City Press
Designed by Amy Inouye, Future Studio, Los Angeles
Purchase books


¡Murales Rebeldes!—L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege

September 23, 2017 - March 12, 2018

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main St., Los Angeles

The California Historical Society, in partnership with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, presents ¡Murales Rebeldes!, an exhibition and companion publication exploring the way in which Chicana/o murals in the greater Los Angeles area have been whitewashed, censored, neglected, and even destroyed.

Murals became an essential form of artist response and public voice during the Chicano protests of the 1960s and 1970s. They were a means of expressing both pride and frustration, and challenging the status quo, at a time when other channels of communication were limited for the Mexican American community.

Through photography, sketches, related art works, and ephemera, ¡Murales Rebeldes! tells the stories of murals—by artists Barbara Carrasco, Sergio O'Cadiz Moctezuma, Yreina Cervántez and Alma López, Roberto Chavez, Willie Herrón III, East Los Streetscapers, and Ernesto de la Loza—whose messages were almost lost forever . . . until this exhibition and publication.

¡Murales Rebeldes! — in the historic heart of Los Angeles at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument—examines the iconography, content, and artistic strategies of 8 Los Angeles-area Chicana/o murals that made others uncomfortable to the point of provoking a contrary response, delving into the murals' creation and disturbing history of obstruction.

Visit the ¡Murales Rebeldes! website

About Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

¡Murales Rebeldes! is part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Major support for the exhibition and related publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Annenberg Foundation, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, KCET, and the Ratkovich Family Foundation.

Learn more about Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

About LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is a museum and cultural center created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors open to the public since 2011. LA Plaza explores the role of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinos in shaping the Los Angeles of the past, present, and future. These stories come to life through a range of permanent and changing exhibitions as well as educational and public programs.

The LA Plaza campus includes two renovated buildings dating back to the 1880's, a large outdoor performance space, and a historic walkway. The campus is located within the Los Angeles's historic core in the El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historic Monument, where the city was first settled in 1781.

Through its work, LA Plaza honors the past and shapes the future by celebrating and cultivating an appreciation for the enduring and evolving history, art, and culture of Latinos in Los Angeles.

Learn more about LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes


Art of the West Exhibition

The Autry in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles
Free to California Historical Society Members

Visit the California Historical Society Gallery at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. The CHS Gallery is part of the permanent exhibition Art of the West , which showcases the dynamic and evolving world of art that springs from the cultural practices of some of the many peoples who have shaped the American West. The CHS Gallery features selections from CHS's fine arts and costumes collections that are permanently housed at the Autry. This collaboration has assured the exhibition and conservation of significant works of art from the CHS Collection by some of America's best known nineteenth and early twentieth-century artists (including Albert Bierstadt, James Walker, and Maynard Dixon) as well as turn-of-the-nineteenth-century costumes. The Art of the West exhibition is the first of its kind to explore how shared values and interests have inspired artists from different cultures and times to create distinctive, powerful works that speak to their experience of the West as both a destination and a home.

678 Mission Street
San Francisco
CA 94105
415.357.1848 voice
415.357.1850 fax
Gallery + Store
Tuesday – Sunday
11:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday – Friday
1:00pm to 5:00pm
Monday – Friday
9:00am to 5:00pm