History Museum Goes Virtual for Latest Exhibition

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LOS ALTOS, CA (May 19, 2020) When the coronavirus pandemic hit, and the county issued shelter-in-place orders, Los Altos History Museum halted it’s planned exhibition, “In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte,” originally scheduled to open on March 19 in the main gallery. The Museum is pleased to announce that portions of this exhibit, which chronicles the lives of contemporary migrant farm workers, will now be available for viewing online through the Museum’s website starting May 29.

Featuring the photographs of photojournalist and activist David Bacon and traveled by Exhibit Envoy, the exhibition is based upon the book of the same name, published by University of California Press, and gives viewers a reality check on the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it. The Museum’s online exhibition is the first digital exhibit of Bacon’s black and white photographs, and includes extensive bilingual quotes from the farm workers themselves.

The public is also invited to join a Zoom discussion and hear contemporary stories about life in the fields. A program titled “Essential Stories” will feature Stanford historian Dr. Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez interviewing David Bacon about his experience. Bacon spent over three decades documenting essential workers in the agricultural industry, building upon his previous work as a union organizer. The program is slated for June 3, noon to 1:30pm, and reservations are required through the Museum’s website.

“We are thrilled to offer this exhibition and program virtually. If people can’t come to the Museum, we will endeavor to bring the Museum to them,” said Exhibition Curator, Dr. Amy Ellison. “This history, these stories, are important, and they need to be heard.”

To view the online exhibit, visit the Museum’s website at losaltoshistory.org/IntheFields

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San José; and is touring the US through Exhibit Envoy, which provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org

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