Docent-led Museum & Garden Tour
Every first Saturday of the month, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Enjoy a docent-led tour of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s permanent collection and featured exhibit! Museum tours are held the first Saturday of every month at 11:00am. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP by 3:30pm on the Friday prior to the tour by calling the museum at 619-338-9888. The tour is included with museum admission. For more information, please contact the museum at 619.338.9888 or at email@example.com.
Asian Pacific Historic District Walking Tour
Every second Saturday of the month, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Explore Old Chinatown and the Japanese and Filipino neighborhoods in San Diego’s old Stingaree red light district. The tour is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP by 3:30pm on the Friday prior to the walking tour by calling the museum at 619-338-9888. $4.00 per adult. For more information, please contact the museum.
3rd Saturday Lectures
Every third Saturday of the month, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Explore intriguing aspects of Chinese arts, culture, and history in a series of lectures with Senior Coordinator of Education and Exhibits Alex Stewart. Nine years preparing exhibits and education programs at SDCHM and seven years of graduate research in sociocultural anthropology at UCSD has given Mr. Stewart a wide range of expertise, and now he is eager to share this with the public. Many of these presentations feature original research on museum artifacts or firsthand ethnographic accounts from China. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP by 3:30pm on the Friday prior to the lecture by calling the museum at 619-338-9888. $5.oo for adults, free for members, children under 12, and students with valid ID. For more information, please contact the museum at 619.338.9888 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 20: China: 5,000 Years of Culture and History | See how five millennia of history shape this incredible culture: This primer in Chinese culture and history covers the philosophies of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism; the development of Chinese language from oracle bones to calligraphy; the evolution of traditional art forms; the rise and fall of dynasties; conflicts with Western and Japanese colonialism; and the emergence of the current regime. Find out what all this means for the China of today and tomorrow.
Oct. 18: Elite and Popular Culture: An Anthropological Look at Chinese Arts | This presentation explores the stratification of traditional Chinese society into a majority of common farmers and an elite minority of scholar-officials chosen by imperial exam. It also challenges this conventional dichotomy by examining the role of monks, entertainers and wealthy merchants in critiquing and challenging elite hegemony. Participants will explore the arts, entertainments and handmade utensils of each class: from operas featuring folk stories about villainous officials to ancient script etched into stone chops that served as status symbols. Farmers cultivated the soil while scholars cultivated the mind, but these and other, less prestigious, occupations each served an integral role in shaping and maintaining the Chinese culture that has endured into the present.
Nov. 15: Interweaving Traditions: Chinese Minority Embroidery | The colorful and intricate costumes of the Miao 苗, Dong 侗 and other minority groups of southwestern China set them apart from the Han 漢 majority and convey a cultural essence that cannot be captured in words. In order to reveal the full significance of these ornate outfits and the craftsmanship that produces them, this presentation discusses how these people settled in the rugged terrain of Guizhou Province 貴州省, became gradually integrated into the Chinese empire, and managed to maintain many customs that dramatically contrast with the Han majority. Exploring the tremendous diversity among Miao groups also will provide an overview of some painstaking embroidery techniques that are rapidly disappearing. Focusing on the cultural context of these textiles will reveal how they capture the history of groups that traditionally lacked written languages and preserve ancient ways of life that are rapidly disappearing.
Dec. 20 Asian Pacific Islander Americans and the Formation of San Diego | Celebrate San Diego’s diversity or Asian Pacific Islander Month with a lecture about immigrants from Asia and the Pacific who have made contributions to San Diego history. From the pioneering spirit of William Heath Davis, to Ah Quin: the unofficial mayor of San Diego’s Chinatown, to the growth of Japanese agriculture, to the influx of Filipinos associated with the U.S. Navy, and the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees, learn how San Diego became a unique and diverse place to live.
Jan. 17: Chinese New Year Prints: Appreciating the Beautiful and Decoding the Bizarre | Nianhua 年畫or “New Year Pictures” are essential decorations for the Chinese New Year Festival, the most joyous occasion in the Chinese calendar. Traditionally, peasants carved these auspicious images into woodblocks and printed festive designs to adorn homes and public places all over China. These images became especially popular in the Ming 明朝 (1368-1644 CE) and Qing 清朝Dynasties (1644-1911 CE), but they feature timeless symbols of good fortune, such as chubby babies, folk heroes, and symbolic animals. Dragons and images of guardian deities also serve to ward off bad luck and misfortune. These thrilling pieces of folk art not only illustrate a broad array of symbols featured in Chinese art, but they also represent a form of cultural expression shared and understood by elite scholars and illiterate masses alike. This presentation shares the stories behind such images and explains how to decode the complex symbolism in Chinese art.