Publications

PUBLICATIONS

¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege
¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege
Erin M. Curtis, Jessica Hough, and Guisela Latorre
Foreword and Afterword by Gustavo Arellano
Published by CHS and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in association with Angel City Press (2017)
Exhibitions

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

Murals are as Chicano as corn tortillas and guacamole. They are a vivid, living part of our culture that expresses our sorrow and our hope, our dreams and our despair. Many of our greatest Chicano and Chicana artists got their start by painting on the walls of gas stations and schools, residential fences, and community centers. Bringing the murals back to life in ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege, and telling the story of their births and deaths, makes an important contribution to the study of Chicana/o art as a serious and uniquely American art form.

—Cheech Marin, art advocate and entertainer

¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege is the companion publication to the ¡Murales Rebeldes! exhibition (September 23, 2017–February 27, 2018) at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Presented by the California Historical Society and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes at LA Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, it is part of the Getty-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

With the discerning eyes of curators, the relentless curiosity of detectives, and the enduring determination of historians, three authors uncover the stories of Southern California artworks whose messages were almost lost forever, but now are preserved in the pages of ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals under Siege.

During the 1960s–1970s Chicano civil rights movement, Chicana/o muralists took to the streets, creating works that expressed cultural pride, embodied political activism, and challenged the status quo. Painted on the walls of city buildings, housing projects, schools, and other community structures, these murals became the artists' voices—interpreting the heritage, the identity, and often the plight of Chicanas/os in America . . . and invigorating and transforming communities. With more than 175 images and essays capturing the spirit of an era in Los Angeles, ¡Murales Rebeldes! presents the dramatic stories of eight murals from the turbulent 1970s to the complacent 1990s.

For those who take pride in Los Angeles's diverse cultural heritage and prize its urban art, ¡Murales Rebeldes! is a must-have testament to the importance of arts preservation. This relevant and compelling history reveals the contributions of Chicana/o artists and their work in their communities and the shocking truth about how quickly a cultural icon can either disappear or be saved.

Purchase Books

Learn more about ¡Murales Rebeldes!

San Francisco's Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915
San Francisco's Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915
Laura A. Ackley
Published by Heyday and the California Historical Society (2104)
Winner, California Book Award Gold Medal, Californiana
Winner, Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal, U.S. History
Finalist, Northern California Book Award for General Nonfiction
Finalist, NCIBA Book of the Year Award
San Francisco's Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915

San Francisco's Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 was part of CHS's yearlong series of exhibitions and programs celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (PPIE). CHS's series, City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World's Fair, extended from February 21, 2015 to January 10, 2016.

CHS based its two related City Rising exhibitions—which explored the PPIE as a critical event that shaped the San Francisco we know today—on Laura Ackley's meticulously researched and beautifully presented book. San Francisco's Jewel City was recognized citywide for its contribution to San Francisco's yearlong citywide centennial celebration, which launched on February 20, 2015.

Written by Bay Area architectural historian and 1915 World's Fair expert Laura A. Ackley, San Francisco's Jewel City is as much a triumph as the fair itself. In it, Ackley takes readers on an in-depth tour of the PPIE, revealing the dramas of constructing the fair and the wonders that awaited within the palace walls: electrical home appliances, specimens of luminous radium, living dioramas of then little-known cultures and, of course, a model of the world-changing Panama Canal.

Learn more about City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World's Fair

Learn more about the PPIE100

Yosemite: A Storied Landscape
Yosemite: A Storied Landscape
Kerry Tremain, Kenneth Brower, Rebecca Solnit, Susan Landauer, Jeffrey Lee Rogers
Kerry Tremain, ed.
Multimedia Interactive IBook and Kindle EBook
Co-published by CHS & 36 Views, with Yosemite Conservancy (2014)
Winner, 2015 Digital Book Award Best Cover Design (cover art by Thomas Killion)
Yosemite: A Storied Landscape

"Like having a museum at your fingertips."
San Francisco Chronicle

Yosemite: A Storied Landscape is like no other book about this beloved landmark. This unique, multimedia eBook with interactive discovery features and games brings to life the surprising, poignant, revealing, and sometimes tragic stories that inhabit the park as densely as its waterfalls and trees. Published in conjunction with the 150-year anniversary of the Yosemite Grant establishing the nation's first protected wilderness, the book explores mountain climbing and other sports, art and photography, Native American life, the military and Civil War, architecture, and other histories in park.

Based on an exhibition of the same name at CHS (June 29, 2014 – January 25, 2015), the enhanced eBook includes essays by Kenneth Brower, art critic Susan Landauer, historian Jeffrey Lee Rogers, Rebecca Solnit, and book editor Kerry Tremain, with work by the park's leading artists and photographers. Play with interactive features such as "How the Valley Was Formed" and a "Guide to Yosemite Peaks," and watch videos on climbing and basket-weaving. By uncovering its human stories—through photographs, videos, artworks, historic objects, and words—Yosemite: A Storied Landscape helps us know Yosemite better and love it more deeply.

BUY

Twenty percent of all proceeds support Yosemite Conservancy programs.

Learn more about Yosemite: A Storied Past
Unbuilt San Francisco
Unbuilt San Francisco
The Urbanist, Issue 527, September 2013
Published by SPUR and CHS
UNBUILT SAN FRANCISCO

In the fall of 2013, five institutions—CHS; SPUR; AIA San Francisco / Center for Architecture & Design; Environmental Design Archives, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley; and San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library—joined together to launch an ambitious project featuring visions for the San Francisco Bay region that never came to pass. Their explorations were published in an issue of SPUR's publication, The Urbanist.

Some of these visionary works have endured in public memory, such as Daniel Burnham's "Report on a Plan for San Francisco" (1905). Others, such as Bernard Cahill's less ambitious city plan (1899), are forgotten by everyone except history buffs. Some projects were commissioned by clients ranging from developers and governments to neighborhood groups eager to offer an alternative to the proposals put forth by the powers-that-be. And some are the elaborate dreams of architects who, constraints notwithstanding, strove to make us see the potential of our surroundings in a fresh way.

If San Franciscans like to describe their city as "49 square miles surrounded by reality," the visionary ideas that were too grandiose for even San Francisco to consider remain some of the most fantastic designs for any city in the world.

Read UNBUILT SAN FRANCISCO

Learn about CHS's exhibition, UNBUILT SAN FRANCISCO: The View from Futures Past

A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge
A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge
Produced by Kerry Tremain, Sol Editions and Wild Blue Studios
Published by CHS (2012)
A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge

This beautifully produced interactive eBook is the companion publication for CHS's inspiring exhibition of the same name (February 26–October 14, 2012). It captures the rich history and amazing story of the Golden Bridge on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.

Over 350 historic objects, dozens of photographs, and other ephemera from the CHS collection—along with special interactive components—are featured. These include photographs by Dorothea Lange; paintings by Maynard Dixon, Ray Strong, and Chesley Bonestell; audio highlights, such as voices of men who built the bridge; and a special interactive feature showing the crazy paint schemes originally proposed for the bridge.

Free download

Learn more about A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge

Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans
Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans
Maisie Conrat and Richard Conrat
San Francisco: California Historical Society and Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1972
Reprinted, Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1992
Executive Order 9066

"Let us determine to abide by the lessons that Executive Order 9066 teaches us—first, that the mere existence of a legal right is no more protection to individual liberty than the parchment upon which it is written, and second, that mutual love, respect, and understanding of one another are stronger bonds than constitutions."

—Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Tom C. Clark, from the Epilogue

In January 1972, the California Historical Society launched a landmark exhibition and accompanying book, both titled Executive Order 9066, which documented the World War II incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans—two-thirds of whom were citizens and, as we know today, numbered close to 120,000. The events of this traumatic experience were told through photographs by well-known photographers, most notably Bay Area photographer Dorothea Lange.

Many of these photographs are familiar to us now: California residents, tags around their necks, awaiting the buses that would take them away from their homes and communities; horse stalls turned into temporary living quarters until the camps were ready; the sign "I am an American" posted the day after Pearl Harbor by a Japanese American storeowner awaiting evacuation. But in 1972, most Americans had never seen them and were even unfamiliar with the events they documented.

Executive Order 9066—the first exhibition to fully and publicly explore the World War II incarceration of Japanese American citizens and people of Japanese descent—toured the country to widespread acclaim. In addition, all 10,000 copies of its accompanying book of photographs sold out by March 1972.

Today, the exhibition and book are universally lauded for helping to break new ground—both within and outside of the Japanese American community, both locally and nationally.

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