Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Who Tells Your Story? California Historical Society Unveils Exhibitions and Colonial Histories on the East and West Coasts

The California Historical Society (CHS) opens its newest exhibitions this week, bringing the complex story of Alexander Hamilton to San Francisco, this time as part of a major initiative showcasing two versions of the United States’ colonial history: British and Spanish.

The cornerstone of this historical presentation are two simultaneous exhibitions, Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, which examines the life and prolific career of now-popular American statesman Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755–1804) and his lasting influence on shaping the foundation of the modern United States, and Meanwhile Out West: Colonizing California, 17691821, which explores Spanish Colonial California during the period of Hamilton’s life. 

Together, these two exhibitions present, side-by-side, two versions of the United States’ colonial history, British and Spanish. Realigning the frame of American history beyond 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, the exhibitions implicitly ask the questions: Who tells the story of the United States? Who tells the story of California?

The exhibitions are on view Friday, October 13, 2017 at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, through March 18, 2018.

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