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Pacific Worlds

May 30, 2015–January 3, 2016

Award-winning exhibition
During its run and after its closure, Pacific Worlds has won numerous awards and been recognized by a broad swath of museum and historical societies, including:
Excellence in Exhibitions Award, with Special Achievement in Contextualizing Collections with the Community
American Alliance of Museums
Honorable Mention for Pacific Worlds’ Community Engagement
Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence
Western Museums Association 
2016 Autry Public History Prize
Western History Association
Award of Merit
American Association for State and Local History

Celebrating the vibrant historic and cultural relationships, past and present, between the Pacific Islands and California, Pacific Worlds examines the deep and many-layered histories of this region’s interactions with the Pacific, and explores the on-going connections between Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, along with Filipinos, Native Californians, and American collectors and colonists.

Turning the familiar idea of California as the western frontier on its head and re-positioning the State as “the East Coast of the Pacific,” Pacific Worlds weaves together never-before-seen objects and ephemera from the Oakland Museum of California’s collections along with contemporary California Pacific Islander artwork and community voices. Through the exhibition, visitors will experience how Pacific Islanders in California today maintain cultural practices including dance and music, food, fiber arts, tattooing, surfing, and other practices.

What does the Pacific mean to you? #OurPacific #MuseumOfUs

Pacific Worlds is presented to coincide with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) in San Francisco. The exhibition is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, Matson Foundation, James Campbell Company LLC and Stephen and Susan Chamberlin. Additional support is provided by the OMCA History Guild.