California Historical Society presents
Exhibition – ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege.
Member Preview Reception April 6, 6:00 pm
California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
For hours and visitor information, please visit www.calhist.org
April 7 – September 16
Los Angeles was once the mural capital of the world.
Thousands of murals were painted here—and in nearby cities and counties—in the late twentieth century, most of them by Chicana/o artists. Many appeared as part of el movimiento, the Chicana/o civil rights movement. These works challenged what some people believed about art and society.
Instead of working alone, Chicana/o artists often invited community members to help plan and paint. More than decoration, their murals conveyed powerful messages. They called attention to unequal treatment of Mexicans and Mexican Americans; celebrated Chicana/o heritage, history, and neighborhoods; and expressed pride and power. Such qualities threatened people in positions of authority and many responded negatively, endangering Chicana/o murals.
¡Murales Rebeldes! presents stories of eight Chicana/o murals that were censored, neglected, whitewashed, and even destroyed. They are a small fraction of the hundreds of murals under siege. Their fates represent a larger issue: without protection and advocacy, Chicana/o murals—a cornerstone of Los Angeles’s cultural and historical heritage—remain imperiled. We celebrate these important works of public art in the hope that Los Angeles will flourish as mural capital once again.