California and the West

The California and the West study group consists of Institute members with a particular interest in the history of our region. Often we find our areas of research overlap, leading to new insights and resources. Past presentations by members have covered such topics as the roles of different ethnic groups in San Francisco history, women’s religious orders, the history of the League of Women Voters in Berkeley, art and museums in San Francisco, the Grabhorn Press, and individuals of historical note.

Increasingly, we have been organizing day trips, open to all Institute members, to points of historical interest in the Bay Area. Recent excursions included a visit to the trove of historical research venues clustered around Sacramento, a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed San Rafael Civic Center complex, and a tour of Jack London State Historical Park in Sonoma County followed by a program put on by the Glen Ellen Historical Society. On another occasion, we visited the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and the McCune Collection of the history of fine printing.

California and the West Events

Fall 2020: Revealing San Francisco’s Hidden 19th-Century Black History: A Tour of California Historical Society Artifacts, lecture by Susan D. Anderson, SF History Days (video here)

Summer 2020: Harlem of the West: The Fillmore Jazz Era and Redevelopment, online lecture by Elizabeth Pepin Silva

Fall 2019: An event-filled two-day excursion to Sacramento

Fall 2019:  Tour of Marin Civic Center and presentation by member Bonnie Portnoy on The Man Beneath the Paint: Tilden Daken

Summer 2019: Reading of Judith Offer's play, Scenes from the Life of Julia Morgan

Fall 2018: Public Program, "South Asians in the South Bay: The Privileged Immigrants"

Spring 2018: Excursion to Niles area of Fremont with historic train ride and silent film museum

Spring 2018: The California and the West study group initiated the two public programs on "The Future of the Past in the Digital Age" and Benjamin Madley's talk on An American GenocideThe United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873.

Fall 2017: Martinez Adobe Fandango; Public Program: “Siberia and California: Connections During the Russian Revolution and Civil War”

Fall 2016: Amador County

Summer 2016: San Francisco Presidio

Winter 2016: Berkeley History Center

Spring 2015: Sonoma Plaza

Winter 2015: San Francisco Public Library

Summer 2014:  Red Oak Victory and World War II Homefront National Historic Park, Richmond

Spring 2014:  Los Gatos History Museum, "American Bohemia: The Cats Estate in Los Gatos”

Winter 2014:  Tour of California Historical Society exhibition on Juana Briones, January 25

Summer 2013:  Green Gulch Farm Zen Center visit, August 15

Spring 2013: Visits to Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and the McCune Collection at the Vallejo Public Library, April 13