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SF’s “California Historical Society” Free Museum Week (May 6-13)

May 6, 2022 marks the 140th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was the first law placing restrictions on immigration by a specific ethnic group. To commemorate the anniversary of this law, the California Historical Society (CHS) plans to recognize its dramatic impact and severe restrictions by opening its doors to everyone.

CHS will be offering free admission to its galleries at 678 Mission Street. Starting Friday May 6th through Friday May 13th all non-member admission fees will be waived. Admission fees are always waived for members.

On view through August 13, 2022 is Chinese Pioneers: Power and Politics in Exclusion Era Photographs. The exhibition examines representations of Chinese people in photography and the illustrated press in the years leading up to and after the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and sheds light on the history of Sinophobia and resonates with broader questions about immigration, citizenship, and border control currently being debated.

The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the California Historical Society’s deep collections of topical material. The richness of these collections presents a compelling visual history that dovetails with the social, political, and judicial disenfranchisement of Chinese Californians, as well as moments of Chinese agency and resilience.

Also on view at CHS through August 13, 2022 is From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection which presents highlights of California history from the late-nineteenth-century: the Gold Rush, exploration of the Sierras, the burgeoning agricultural industry, and the Great San Francisco Earthquake.

CHS galleries and store are open Wednesday through Saturday 12:00 – 5:30 p.m.

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