Past Exhibits

The Moon Was Down: John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down 1942-1945 by David Lee

Lee’s posters detailed the history of the book and its affects in different countries after World War II. The striking visuals of the posters were complimented by an assortment of foreign additions of the novel from our collection. The exhibit ran from May 2017 through September 2017.

Click here to view the digital posters

Women’s Works

“Women’s Works” highlighted women’s creativity, exhibiting quilted art as well as other work by women from the NSC collection. The threads that tied this collection together were place and passion—women’s connections to the Central Coast and their passionate dedication to self-expression. The experiences that sparked the works are as varied as the women who created them.

This exhibit hosted works from members of the Monterey Bay Quilters Guild. Special thanks to Janet Taillon, Gail Abeloe, Gloria Hatton, Regina Liske, Joan Costello, Pat Tillson, Shirley Steele, Claudia Cano, and Sherrill Ash, for loaning their works to us. The Ventana Wildlife Society was also kind enough to loan their California condor quilt, which was used to raise funds for condor conservation. Featured items from the NSC collection include The Valley of the World quilt and historic objects from the lives of women who were a part of John Steinbeck’s world or life experience, in preparation for the 37th Annual Steinbeck Festival, The Women of Steinbeck’s World. The exhibit ran from November 2017 to May 2018.

Running North & Underground by Janet Whitchurch

Janet Whitchurch, local artist and resident created a body of watercolor and color pencil works of the Salinas River and Monterey County. The exhibit described Whitchurch’s exploration of the often overlooked scenes of our area. Her explorations, which include her kayaking and journaling on the river itself, are chronicled in her book, The Salinas River: Running North and Underground.

Whitchurch is a California native who graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art in 1965 and an M.A. in Studio Art in 1967. For most of her working years she was involved in education, teaching art and art history. While working as a teacher, she enthusiastically studied both art and art history, for her students’ sake and her own. Throughout her teaching career she managed time in her studio, but it wasn’t until she retired in 2004 that she was able to really feel and act like an artist.  Janet has been represented over the years by several galleries and has also exhibited in group shows.

Her work was shown from May to October of 2018. Her book can be purchased in our Museum Store.

Postcards from Salinas

Asian Cultural Experience (ACE), the National Steinbeck Center (NSC), and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) of the Monterey Bay Area are pleased to sponsor an exhibit, “Narciso Bulosan Caliva’s Postcards from Salinas.” Filipino American historian Alex Fabros curated the content, ACE and FANHS sponsored and organized the exhibit, and The National Steinbeck Center helped install and host it.

This exhibit featured historic photo postcards produced in the Caliva Photography Studio in Salinas, Chinatown during the 1930s and 1940s. Filipinos and their families, along with other residents of Chinatown, came to Caliva’s studio to be photographed and have their images reproduced on postcards they could mail to family and friends. The exhibit featured commentary on the history of Filipinos in the Salinas Valley. Some of the people in the photos had not been identified; for the historical record. During the duration of the exhibit we encouraged the public to visit our exhibit and help us name these people. We were able to name over a dozen unidentified people.

During a visit, visitors could identify a familiar face, or create their own postcard from Salinas.

The exhibit was open Oct. 1, through Nov. 30, 2018 in the “Art & Cultural Gallery” of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.