Photograph, Black Panthers outside the Black Panther Party National Headquarters Oakland, California, 1970. Photographer: Ilka Hartmann, Courtesy of Ilka Hartmann.
Art & Environment: The Paintings of Andrew P. Hill
Featuring rarely seen works from The Charles and Peggy Bergtold Collection
New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) is pleased to present Art and the Environment: The Paintings of Andrew P. Hill, an exhibition featuring works from The Charles and Peggy Bergtold Collection, the largest privately held collection of Andrew P. Hill paintings. Featured are 12 rarely displayed paintings by Andrew P. Hill depicting Santa Clara Valley landscapes and portraits of prominent San Jose citizens from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Hill’s wife, Florence Hill, Jane Stanford, Julia Farney, and the Rea family. Other exhibition highlights include rare photographs of Hill’s San Jose photography studio before it was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, collectable books featuring Hill, and select photographs taken by Hill of the Santa Cruz redwood forests, courtesy of the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History in San Jose.
Born August 9, 1853, Andrew Putnam Hill was a painter, photographer and leading environmentalist. He was best known for his successful efforts to save the redwood trees from destruction in California’s Santa Cruz mountains, leading to the establishment of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park. In 1899 while on a magazine photography assignment, Hill was approached by the owner of the property who demanded he turn over his photos. He boldly told Hill that he planned to log the forest and turn the trees into railroad ties. Hill recorded his feelings of the encounter:
“…the thought flashed through my mind that these trees, because of their size and antiquity, were among the natural wonders of the world, and should be saved for posterity. I said to myself, I will start a campaign immediately to make a public park of this place.” – Andrew P. Hill, on saving the redwoods.
Hill would go on to fight against the destruction of Northern California’s redwood forests. He organized groups from Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and mobilized scientists and local activists to join him.
For two years the group lobbied California legislators to save the redwood trees from decimation and to create a public park. They raised $250,000, an enormous sum in those days to secure the land and in 1902 Big Basin Redwoods State Park was opened. In addition to taking hundreds of photographs of the redwood trees surrounding Santa Clara Valley, Hill was also an avid painter of the natural beauty that he fought so hard to save.
The Charles and Peggy Bergtold Collection
As a longtime resident of Los Gatos, Charles Bergtold grew up in a time when there were still vast orchards throughout the Santa Clara Valley. His interest in the history of the valley extended to exploring local historic sites, abandoned houses, and searching the area for old cars and antiques. His love of local history eventually led to a forty-year career collecting and selling antiques in Los Gatos.
Bergtold’s interest in Hill began when he read books published on the Santa Clara Valley, which included Hill’s illustrations and photographs of early ranches, vast orchards and the pioneers who settled in the area. After reading Grand and Ancient Forest, by Carolyn de Vries about Andrew P. Hill, Bergtold was inspired to include as many Hill works as he could find in his art collection.
Peggy Conaway Bergtold is a former Los Gatos Library director and leading Los Gatos historian. She has written five books on the history and people of Los Gatos and received the Pat O’ Laughlin Contribution to Literature Award. She writes a Los Gatos history column for the Los Gatos Weekly, a publication of the Bay Area News Group.
Art & Environment: The Paintings of Andrew P. Hill is supported in part by The Charles and Peggy Bergtold Collection. Selected photos are provided by the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History in San Jose CA.
New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) presents Waterlines, an art exhibition that delves into our deep connection with one of Earth’s most important elements.
Californians often think and talk about water. Both in its abundance and scarcity, this essential natural resource is part of our collective consciousness. Our concern for water manifests in our technological innovations, our public policy and our creativity. Even the name of our region, Bay Area, expresses our geographic connection to water and informs our community identity.
Through the art of sixteen artists, working in diverse media including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, installations and sound, Waterlines presents unique interpretations of meaning and relationship with water. Exhibiting artists include: Judith Belzer, Barbara Boissevain, Marie Cameron, Matthew Chase-Daniel, Christel Dillbohner, Linda Gass, Nancy Genn, Liz Hickok, Theodora Varnay Jones, Pantea Karimi, Cheryl E. Leonard, Danae Mattes, Marsha McDonald, Klea McKenna, Ryan M. Reynolds and Linda Simmel.
Curator Marianne McGrath explains, “Water has been the subject of many exhibitions and with Waterlines, NUMU aims to contribute to the conversation about this vital resource. Along with being a basic need for all life, water is a source of pleasure, it is exalted in religion, and throughout history it has been a route for trade and travel. In every way we understand water, artists offer us new ways to explore its meaning and substance.”
Major support for Waterlines is provided by Badger Meter. Helping protect the world’s most precious resources, Badger Meter is a market leader in flow measurement technology with more than a century of helping our customers throughout the world manage their operations and minimize waste.
Additional support is provided by San Jose Water Company and Kumiko Iwasawa, Iwasawa Oriental Art
NUMU adopts innovative approach to exploring town history through art, artifacts and spotlight exhibits.
The Los Gatos History Gallery, opening November 4, 2017 is an interactive exhibit space dedicated to history featuring mural paintings by Bay Area artist Andrea Borsuk. The program goal is to inspire and empower people to make Los Gatos’ richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.
In addition to the murals, the gallery will include objects and ephemera from the NUMU collection and an engaging interactive for public participation.
During the first phase of the history gallery’s evolution that began in 2016, Borsuk created a series of community specific landscape murals that chart a course through the Santa Cruz Mountains to Los Gatos and explore the characteristics of the town. The second phase of the gallery was realized in a series of murals that provide the story backdrop for the Ming Quong Orphanage for Chinese girls founded in the 1930s in Los Gatos that exists today as Uplift Family Services. Radiant Light: The Story of Eastfield Ming Quong is on view in the Mike and Alyce Parsons Reception area through October.
Borsuk will create additional murals on themes selected by NUMU’s History Curator. These will be augmented and layered with objects from the museum’s collection to tell significant stories of the people, places and events that have historically shaped our town. Themes to be highlighted include:
Origins and Beginnings
Creativity and Inspiration
Industry: Harvesting Agriculture to Harvesting Ideas
The Los Gatos History Gallery highlights and celebrates NUMU’s distinctive role as an art and history museum by incorporating both disciplines. The murals will lead the visitor through time and place, and their flexibility to be reinterpreted make them an ideal and versatile tool for teaching many aspects of history. Topics and stories will rotate to provide new information and experiences for all museum audiences.
The November 4th opening of the Los Gatos History Gallery coincides with NUMU’s Winter Celebration, an annual community event to showcase the museum’s new exhibitions. Talks and tours with exhibiting artists, artmaking activities in the NUMU MakerSpace and other special programs and activities will be organized throughout the museum.
Major support for the Los Gatos History Gallery is provided by McManis Faulkner.
Additional support is provided by The Farrington Foundation, The Los Gatos Community Foundation, EMQ Guild (Happy Dragon Thrift Shop), EMQ Auxiliary (Butter Paddle Gift Shop), and Maggie Leach.
NUMU was inspired by Bay Area artist Michele Théberge's interactive art installation project for the 100 Days of Action initiative undertaken by artists around the country. Theberge's project, Seeds of Hope amplifies the stories, hopes and dreams of all Americans as a part of NUMU's Summer Celebration Open House event to invite and share the stories from our community. Seeds of Hope unites and amplifies the wishes, hopes, dreams and aspirations of all Americans, in a secular prayer action. Théberge represents each participant with a small painting of a seed. As each seed is pinned to the gallery wall, the personal intention of that participant is spoken out loud.
Over the course of the installation, hundreds of seed paintings representing individuals and their hopes and dreams will come together in large wave-like formations. One wave will represent those who have lived in the United States for one or more generations, and the other represents newcomers. Each painted seed stands for our potential to contribute to our nation and fulfill our own dreams in the process. New immigrants, and those whose families have been here for ages, will grow into one interwoven whole on the gallery wall.
This installation begins at NUMU on Saturday, June 24, 2017 during our Summer Celebration. Michele Théberge is interested in gathering your personal hopes and aspirations. If you could have someone pray for your dreams or wishes to come true, what would your most simple request be? All responses will be kept anonymous, unless you choose to share a name. During the summer months, we invite the public to continue adding their hopes and stories at our Seeds of Hope artist station in the NUMU MakerSpace.
For more information and to add your story visit micheletheberge.com/seedsofhope .
In support of our local art community, New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) is hosting the biennial Los Gatos Art Association (LGAA) juried fine art show: Greater Bay Area Open. The exhibition is organized and produced by the LGAA and has been juried by artist and teacher George Rivera. Greater Bay Area Open runs through August 19th. A public reception with the artists will take place on Thursday, June 15th from 6pm to 8pm at NUMU. The LGAA is a non-profit organization established in 1948 dedicated to the enrichment and support of the arts community.
For more information about LGAA and the exhibition please visit www.lgaa.org
Power of the Page: Artists’ Books as Agents for Change
Opening May 4, 2017 and on view through September 17, 2017, New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) presents Power of the Page: Artists Books as Agents for Change, an exhibition that celebrates artist made books as agents for change and social awareness.
The book has played a vital role in the realization of our modern freedoms. The medium of the book creates opportunity for both intimate reflection and broad communication. Artists’ books are conceived as works of art in their own right and employ the unique expression of an artist’s design, words and images. In Power of the Page: Artists Books as Agents for Change, artists’ books tell stories of liberty and give voice to the call for justice. Narratives range from personal to public, from mythical to political.
Works on view in the exhibition include selections from artists from the Bay Area and beyond, including: Renee Billingslea, Ginger Burrell, Julie Chen, Casey Gardner, Diane Jacobs, Lisa Kokin, Susan Laudermilk, Mary V. Marsh, Camden Richards, Clarissa Sligh, Michelle Wilson and Linda Vallejo.
Curator Marianne McGrath says “The themes and subject matter explored in Power of the Page is timely. The combination of art, creative craftsmanship and the book format create a unique platform for these issues. I am excited to share this work with the community.”
NUMU will also present a variety of related programs to the exhibition, including summer artist bookmaking workshops for all ages, and a project on June 24th during NUMU’s Summer Celebration event where members of the community will be invited to create and print their own activist posters.
Power of the Page: Artists Books as Agents for Change is generously supported by Wanda Kownacki. NUMU also gratefully acknowledges support from its many donors and members.
Power of the Page: Artists' Books as Agents for Change will be held Saturday, June 24 at NUMU's Summer Celebration.
Radiant Light: The Story of Eastfield / Ming Quong
In the 1930s, the Ming Quong orphanage in Los Gatos, housed rescued and abandoned Chinese girls from the Bay Area. Over the course of several decades, Ming Quong would become part of a larger thread of merging organizations dedicated to giving at risk children a better life. Today the historic property is the home of Uplift Family Services. This exhibit explores 150 years of organization's origins.
Today, Uplift Family Services is one of the largest and most comprehensive family-centered treatment programs in California. Its history began in 1867 with a single building in San Jose that provided shelter for homeless youth under the name Eastfield Home of the Benevolence. Over the course of 150 years, the organization merged with other agencies, including Ming Quong, which provided safety and education for Chinese girls trapped in slavery and prostitution. Ming Quong, founded in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1874, would eventually open another children’s home in Los Gatos in 1936. With the help of local philanthropic organizations, it continued to ensure that children without advocates could have a second chance at life. This exhibit celebrates Donaldina Cameron and the Los Gatos Ming Quong Home that would eventually become Uplift Family Services.
More information on this exhibit may be found on our website through the Press Resources Page. Read press coverage for the exhibit on the NUMU in the News page. You may also sign-up to receive our Press Releases Here.
Art Now is an annual Santa Clara County arts exhibition and educational program, sponsored by NUMU. Art Now offers an opportunity for high school student artists from Palo Alto to Gilroy to gain real-world experience at creating and presenting artwork in a competitive environment. NUMU offers a total of $10,000 in scholarships and awards to encourage students to pursue a profession in the visual arts.
LINDA CHRISTENSEN. Tableau, 2016. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.
In 1927, the San Francisco Bay Area Muwekma Ohlone tribe was falsely declared extinct by a leading UC Berkeley anthropologist. For almost a century the tribe has fought the US government for their rightful federal recognition. Join us as we explore this critically important, Bay Area story of the tribe’s history, heritage and legacy.
Cement Prairie is an exhibition that explores the genesis, rollout and impact of the American Indian Relocation Program initiated by the US government in 1952. This significant yet little-known chapter in American Indian migration history will be viewed through a collection of personal stories, ephemera, primary source documents and support programming. The exhibition will focus specifically on the San Jose, California relocatee community and those who followed in their footsteps to the urban communities. The exhibit will examine the program’s successes and failures, the rise of Indian activism in the 1960s, and how today’s Pan-Indian community has adapted and preserves its native culture in the new “urban rez.”
In the 1950s, America’s general perceptions of Indians was formed by cultural and historical stereotypes of “the noble savage” wearing a feather headdress, living in a teepee, kidnapping women and children; or the Lone Ranger’s stoic sidekick Tonto, characterized in popular literature. While these indelible images permeated American culture, the reality presented a stark contrast. The Indian reservation system became another failed attempt by the U.S. government to solve the “Indian Problem,” and as a result, many Indians suffered in poverty and cultures began to erode.
In an attempt to address this problem, the US government created the Indian Urban Relocation Program in 1952 to move Native Americans to major metropolitan cities to improve the community’s standard of living. In its first phase, an estimated 100,000 Indians left their reservations and settled in cities across the U.S. Today, over 70 percent of Native Americans live in urban centers, marking a significant migration period that has forever changed the Native American community and culture.
“We are privileged to have this opportunity to work directly with our local Indian community and offer a forum where they can tell this little-known but important chapter in contemporary Native American history, “ said Amy Long, NUMU history curator.
“The San Jose Indian community has long-attempted to create a visual platform to tell this story. We are very excited to partner with NUMU to make this dream a reality, explains exhibition advisor, Al Cross, Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara, North Dakota.
In conjunction with this exhibition, NUMU is proud to present, Back From Extinction, an exhibition that focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area Native Indian tribe, the Muwekma Ohlone, and its struggle to gain federal recognition and its efforts to counter the myth of its extinction.
Cement Prairie is supported in part by San Jose State University’s Anthropology Department, the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, the National Archives, The Bancroft Library, the Indian Health Center, Bay Area photographer, Ilka Hartmann, and notable Bay Area American Indian community members.
The Oral Histories of members of the San Jose American Indian community are recorded here. Courtesy of a collaboration with San Jose State University.
This group exhibition features artists from the SETI Artist in Residence (AIR) program, including Danny Bazo, George Bolster, Charles Lindsay, Marko Peljhan, Rachel Sussman, Martin Wilner and Karl Yerkes. Making Contact marks the first SETI AIR group exhibition.
The work in Making Contact expands upon the SETI Institute’s mission to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. The exhibiting artists bring fresh perspectives to help navigate difficult concepts and help build bridges to broaden awareness of the science carried out at the SETI Institute. Additionally, many of the works have never been exhibited to the public. “We’re excited to bring together the art, science and ideas of this unique international program and share it with our community,” says Marianne McGrath, NUMU art curator.
SETI AIR Exhibited Works
The artist team of Danny Bazo, Marko Peljhan and Karl Yerkes has created Somnium which examines both the micro and macro when considering planetary potential within a swath of the universe captured by the Kepler telescope. George Bolster’s film, The Moon, McMoons, and The Moon Museum illuminates our human endeavors to preserve culture relating to our fascination with the Moon. The sculpture and mixed media works by Charles Lindsay manifest in the confluence of re-purposed technology and Apollo images to create imaginary machines and lunar landscapes. In exploring the origins of our universe, Rachel Sussman integrates intention into the quest to understand the nature of the cosmos and our role as its inhabitants. Artist and psychiatrist Martin Wilner renders his series of monthly conversations with SETI scientists using a calendar format, creating spectacular illustrated diaries of correspondence with his subjects.
About SETI and SETI Institute
SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is an exploratory science that seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology.
Our current understanding of life’s origin on Earth suggests that given a suitable environment and sufficient time, life will develop on other planets. Whether evolution will give rise to intelligent, technological civilizations is open to speculation. However, such a civilization could be detected across interstellar distances and may actually offer our best opportunity for discovering extraterrestrial life in the near future.
The SETI Institute’s mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. It is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 130 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by three centers, the Center for Education, the Carl Sagan Center for the study of life in the universe, and the Center for Public Outreach. For more information: http://www.seti.org
Making Contact Artist/Scientist Panel Discussion will be held at NUMU on on Saturday, November 5th from 3pm-4:30pm.
Making Contact is generously supported by The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Applied Materials Foundation, The SETI Institute, Montalvo Arts Center and The Lucas Artists Residency Program. NUMU gratefully acknowledges support from the Town of Los Gatos and its many donors and members. Additional funding provided by UBS.
Views of the installation, as photographed by Charles Lindsay, SETI AIR Program Director.
Below is a time lapse video of artist Rachel Sussman creating the Cosmic Microwave Sand Mandala, installed in Making Contact.
For more information on the SETI AIR program visit these sites:
The McMoons exhibition’s mission is twofold: to shine a light on the 50th anniversary of NASA’s (1967-68) Lunar Orbiter Project that collected lunar images integral to the safe landing on the first Apollo landing on the moon, and to tell the little-known story of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) that began in 2008 to recover the original NASA Lunar Orbiter images.
McMoons will take the visitor on an extraordinary journey from a dilapidated storage space to a veterinarian’s garage in central California and on to an abandoned McDonald’s restaurant on the Moffett NASA campus in Sunnyvale. California where archival space history is still being made today.
The exhibition includes original prints from the Lunar Orbiter Project and digitized prints of the original film including a wall-sized reproduction of the first restored image - the Earth rising. Visitors can also see and touch the original film canisters and tapes and listen to original audio recordings from the Lunar Orbiter Project. Also on view are prints and video of the LOIRP Project still underway at the McDonalds “lab” on the NASA campus.
In 2008, working out of an abandoned McDonald's on the NASA campus in Sunnyvale, a group of dedicated scientists, former NASA employees, and three 12-year-old interns began a project to recover the original NASA Lunar Orbiter images from 1966-67. Due to neglect and indifference over time, the original data, stored on large tape reels, was nearly lost. Now, fifty years after the Lunar Orbiter project, this vital piece of lunar mission history has been saved, enhanced and is being digitized thanks to the tenacity and foresight of a handful of self described “techno-archaeologists.”
A Members and Special Guests Preview Party will be held on Thursday, November 3, 7pm-9pm. A Public Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 5th, 11am-5pm
NUMU is proud to collaborate with the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project and NASA on this exhibition.
We need your support!
You can support the McMoons exhibition through the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, and receive perks from limited edition prints, stickers, VIP tickets and so much more. Your donation is 100% tax deductible and directly supports this exhibition.
Thank you to our Media Sponsor, Photographer Winni Wintermeyer.
A Visible Journey in Time: Los Gatos History Project This series of landscape wall murals by Santa Cruz-based artist Andrea Borsuk, charts a course through the Santa Cruz Mountains to Los Gatos, exploring the character of the Town of Los Gatos and its changing landscape and history. These murals lead the viewers through time and place, incorporating historical artifacts from NUMU’s permanent collection. The first phase of this project that opened on September 2016 is called, The Painter’s Journey: On the Road to Los Gatos. Its interactive component will invite the public to add their wish on a flag, completing the three-dimensional quality of the installation.
Local artist Andrea Borsuk is a painter whose work explores notions of time and destiny. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from UC Santa Cruz. She is an art instructor at Cabrillo College and a visiting lecturer at The Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. She is the 2010/2011 recipient of the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship. Her solo and group exhibitions include: The Riverside Museum of Art, The Nevada Museum of Art, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Monterey Peninsula Community College Art Gallery, The Sanchez Art Center, and the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art. Her work can be found in numerous private collections.
The installation and the permanent history exhibit are made possible by the generous support of our partners, lenders and sponsors, Los Gatos Community Foundation, The Town of Los Gatos and Donors to NUMU’s Annual Campaign.
In support of the New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) mission to feature exhibits that are connected to globally relevant ideas, art and history, NUMU is pleased to present In the Heart of the Wild: Anne Brigman and Her Circle an exhibit about 19th century Los Gatos resident, photographer and poet, Anne Brigman.
Born in 1869, Anne Brigman moved to Los Gatos when she was 16 years old. She first studied painting, but gravitated to photography and began exhibiting in 1902. Brigman focused on rugged landscapes and the female body, which resulted in new ways to explore feminine identity. She achieved early success as a Pictorialist, belonging to the Camera Club of San Francisco and the Photo-Secession group, led by Alfred Stieglitz in New York.
Brigman lived an active life, exploring territories that were literally and figuratively unfamiliar to many women of her time. She exhibited nationally and abroad, was published both as an artist in the photo journal Camera Work, and as a poet in her book Songs of A Pagan. All of her work reveals a love of nature, a connection to the mystical and an element of freedom.
In the Heart of the Wild: Anne Brigman and Her Circle features the photography and poetry of Anne Brigman, photographic work by Edward Weston, Imogene Cunningham, Judy Dater and others, as well as an interactive poetry activity for all museum visitors. The exhibit is made possible by the generous support of our partners, lenders and sponsors including: The Weston Gallery, Richard Gadd, Judy Dater, Craig Krull, Scott Nichols, Lite Line Illuminations, ClearEdge Advisors, the Borgnicht Foundation, and Donors to NUMU’s Annual Campaign.
Between the end of the Civil War and 1890 a number of African-Americans played alongside with white athletes on minor and major league baseball teams during this period. Although the original National Association of Baseball Players, formed in 1867 had banned black athletes by the late 1870s, several African–American players were active on the rosters of white, minor league teams.
Many black players played on white teams until the end of the 1880s, but in 1890 the situation abruptly changed. At the beginning of the 1890s season a “gentleman’s agreement” had been made which would bar black players from participation for the next fifty-five years. By the turn of the century the color barrier was firmly in place in the white leagues. Despite the ban in white leagues, many black players found a place in the one of 200 clubs that had formed between the mid 1880s and the early years of the 20th century. By the end of World War I black baseball had become the number one entertainment attraction for urban black populations throughout the country.
In 1920, Andrew “Rube,” Foster, owner of the Chicago American Giants determined that it was time for an organized league. The Negro National League was born in Kansas City with eight teams. It thrived until the Great Depression when it was forced to close in 1931. The second National Negroleague was organized by Pittsburgh bar owner Gus Greenlee and became the dominant league in black baseball from 1933-1949, joined by the Negro American League and the Negro Southern League.
On April 18, 1946, the color barrier was broken when owner Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers organization. The Negro League not only launched the careers of many legendary African-American players in the Major Leagues, it left an indelible mark on civil rights history.
All objects in this exhibit are courtesy of local collector and sports aficionado, Gary Cook.
Join us for film screenings themed around this mini exhibition, for the month of July.
Script and Scribble: The Art and History of Handwriting will examine the value of practicing traditional handwriting in a world that is increasingly concerned with abbreviated communication, and what the possible extinction of penmanship might mean. This exhibit will weave together the history of writing implements and scripts, the golden age of American penmanship, the growth in popularity of graphology and handwriting analysis.
This exhibition will include lectures, programs and interactive components that allow visitors to explore characteristics of their own handwriting, learn cursive and the art of lettering, as well as handwriting analysis.
“Ruth Comfort Mitchell and John Steinbeck shared a magnificent view of the Santa Clara Valley from their mountain homes six miles apart…Similarities in perspective end there”
-Susan Shillinglaw, National Steinbeck Center
Through research, documents, photos, ephemera and interviews Mitchell vs. Steinbeck will look at the historical events that inspired John Steinbeck to write The Grapes of Wrath, and the controversy, and literary duel with a neighboring Los Gatos novelist, Ruth Comfort Mitchell, through her book Of Human Kindness.
In 1936, John and Carol Steinbeck moved from Pacific Grove to a house on Greenwood Lane in Los Gatos. It was here that the prolific writer wrote one of the most influential novels in American history, The Grapes of Wrath. Despite its success, the novel would prove to be so controversial it was banned and burned in cities across the country. In response, other authors attempted to tell the other side of dust bowl migrant story from the rancher’s perspective.
One such author, Ruth Comfort Mitchell lived only six miles from the Steinbeck’s home in Los Gatos. Mitchell, who was married to Senator Sanborn Young and publicly spoke on behalf of conservative causes, rebutted The Grapes of Wrath with her own novel: Of Human Kindness.
Through research, documents, photos, ephemera and interviews Mitchell vs. Steinbeck will look at the historical events that inspired Steinbeck to write The Grapes of Wrath, the controversy, legacy, and literary duel with a neighboring novelist in the town of Los Gatos.
Each work selected along with the artist’s statement will be presented and installed at NUMU. An opening awards reception will honor all artists. NUMU collaborates with Santa Clara County Office of Education. Top winners will have their art accepted into the County’s permanent collection.
Three university-level artist-educators will select works of art to be included in the exhibition for technical excellence and interpretation of the 2016 theme, Social Matters.
Theme: Social Matters
We are social beings, living in communities, interacting with others, nurturing relationships, and relying on each other for our basic needs. Matters arise involving social justice, social circles, social networks, social change, social responsibility and others. What are the social matters that affect your world? What do you mean by social? How are social matters addressed in our larger society? Which social matters will have an impact on the way we interact with each other?
For a full description of the program and exhibition, visit
Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors
In the spirit of celebrating our local history and its connection to global customs, trends and cultural production, New Museum Los Gatos is proud to present Hats Off: Highlights from the NUMU Permanent History Collection.
Over the years NUMU has amassed a collection of head coverings, fashion and ceremonial hats in an effort to preserve our shared history. In collaboration with Wayne Wichern Millinery and History San Jose, Hats Off will feature highlights from several hat collections and explore the history of headwear and its place in our culture.
In today’s world of mass production, look into the rare world of a millinery studio. Examine how hats are made, learn about the styles, functions and symbolism of hats and see the tools of the trade. Associated exhibit programming will include artist talks and hat making demos.
New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) is located at the Los Gatos Civic Center in downtown Los Gatos. Engaging community at the intersection of art, history and education through innovative, locally connected and globally relevant exhibits, programs and experiences.
Hats Off is made possible by the generous support of our partners, lenders and sponsors: The Town of Los Gatos, Wayne Wichern Millinery, Teri Lyn, Jean Cannon, History San Jose, and Donors to NUMU’s Annual Campaign.
Ed Souza / Stanford News Service
NOVEMBER 7, 2015—JULY 24, 2016
Billy Jones and the Wildcat Railroad: Making Tracks from the South Bay To Disneyland
Billy Jones, creator of the Wildcat Railroad, built a lasting legacy to honor his two sons who were killed during World War II. His railroad inspired not only his community, but studio and theme park mogul Walt Disney. The exhibit will explore this relationship and its ties to Los Gatos.
The history of Los Gatos from its year of incorporation, seen through the lens of commerce, agriculture, family life and local heroes, and illustrated with objects from NUMU's permanent collection.
An economy built on agricultural ventures and logging advanced Los Gatos from a small railroad town to what it is today. With the first commercial business at Forbes Mill, the founding residents turned Los Gatos into an important town in the bay area. It earned attention from across the country, as people began to set their sights on Los Gatos for its temperate climate, which is perfect for fruit cultivation.
By 1887, Los Gatos had a population of 1,500 and jumped to incorporate itself as a town. One hundred residents signed the petition, and the election to incorporate passed at 126 - 44 with Palmer Perkins elected as mayor. Residents of Los Gatos purchased luxury goods and clothing, as well as decorated their houses in the styles popular in the time period. Stories of their economic and commercial successes were passed on through the generations.
What do a cowboy, a candy cane and a dinosaur have in common? They are all symbols of magical theme parks from a bygone era in the South Bay. For those who grew up in the area, each park holds special meaning and memories.
While the country was booming from post World War II prosperity, Walt Disney showed children that there was a place you could visit that supported your imagination and let adults know that you’re never too old to be a kid. Building on the success of Disneyland, theme parks began to dot the landscape, and the South Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains was no exception.
In 1961, Frontier Village opened its saloon doors off Monterey Highway and celebrated the country’s fascination with the Wild West. Kids spent endless days watching gunfighters fall from the balconies of the old Saloon, navigated through the park on a train, or took a spin on one of the many rides.
Just off Highway 17 at the summit, Santa’s Village became the first franchised theme park, providing a Christmas wonderland for thousands of visitors year round.
Up the road from Santa’s Village, in the forest of Scott’s Valley, children in the back of station wagons marveled at the life-sized dinosaurs towering over the side of the highway and the botanical wonders of the magic tree forest of Lost World.
The parks were more than just a place to spend the day. They were connections to an era and a time when childhood was defined less by technology and more by activity, imagination and play. This exhibit will transport the viewer back in time to explore these local places of enduring legacy and memory.
It takes a village to build a village. As a non-profit 501c3, community support of this project is crucial for its success. Please consider a personal or business sponsorship to help make this an amazing exhibit for all generations to enjoy.
Thank you to our Sponsors
Maria West, Castellano Family Foundation
In Kind Sponsors
Ace Hardware, Los Gatos Blvd
Goodwill Industries, San Jose
Jay's Art and Sign Scotts Valley
John A. Saunders, Economy Lumber, Campbell
Town of Los Gatos
Exhibition News... People are talking see what they have to say:
Los Gatos Weekly Times: A chance to visit some forgotten theme parks
By Judy Peterson July 24, 2015
Celestial Vistas brings together the work of professor and computer scientist Robert Kooima and artist Vanessa Marsh. Kooima's Total Perspective Vortex, is an Electro application capable of rendering a database of 1,533,774 stars in real time 3D. Using gaming controls, museum viewers will navigate within a volume 1,000 light-years in extent. Mars is an Electro application that invites exploration of the surface of the planet Mars using a demand-paged terrain renderer. Oakland artist Vanessa Marsh explores the intersections of man made, natural and cosmological power through a mixed media process based in photography. Her work brings to form imagined landscapes and intensely starlit skies, highlighting both a personal as well as a collective experience of the world.
Supporting NUMU’s vision of being a curatorial laboratory for collaboration, Stephen Beal: WARP AND WEFT Selected Grid Paintings 2005-2015 is guest curated by San Francisco gallerist George Lawson. The exhibit explores ten years of Beal’s Grid paintings and is the most comprehensive exhibition of Beal’s work to date.
Stephen Beal paints with oil, acrylic and gouache on linen canvases and wooden panels in monochromes or closely toned hues. His paint marks are organized within a penciled grid structure, recalling the grid’s well established history in modernism, from Mondrian to Agnes Martin. The power of Beal’s paintings to generate fresh imagery belies both the intimacy of their scale and the established tradition from which they are spawned.
On first viewing Beal’s work, one might be drawn to their tuned rhythms and the quiet resonance of their color, or perhaps by the authority with which these modestly sized works command the gallery walls around them. Beal’s real accomplishment, however, is how the paintings manage to move past a repetitive staccato into structured imagery, crafting an immaterial and incalculable radiance.
Stephen Beal was Provost at California College of the Arts from 1997 to 2008. In May 2008, Beal was appointed president of CCA. In this position he has played a significant role in the expansion of the college’s programs and facilities and the implementation of key academic initiatives, all of which contributed to an overall enrollment increase of more than 50 percent.
Beal attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, and earned his M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in the Bay Area and throughout the Midwest.
Greater Bay Area Open Show
Entry Deadline: June 15
Juror: Peggi Kroll-Roberts
Location: New Museum of Los Gatos, Spotlight Gallery
Prospectus: 2015 GBAO Prospectus
The Greater Bay Area Open (GBAO) is a fine art only (FAO) competition held in Los Gatos California. Artwork selected for this competition will be shown over a one-month period at NUMU, the New Museum of Los Gatos.