May 2001 • Arts and Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution, On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience • Washington, DC

This exhibition tells the story of the Chinese in America through the six-generation odyssey of a Chinese American family in Los Angeles.

On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience explores immigration, the transformation of Chinese immigrants into Chinese Americans, the many facets of Chinese American identity, and methods of uncovering family and community history.

Dates: May 18 – September 30, 2001
Location: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building
Based on the book of the same title by author Lisa See, On Gold Mountain explores four generations of a Chinese American family who originally immigrated to California in 1867 and whose members have lived and worked in Los Angeles from 1897 to the present. The exhibition weaves this family legacy into the broader history of Los Angeles Chinatown, in order to bring focus to a community often overshadowed by better-known American Chinatowns. The backdrop for these family and community histories is an even bigger picture that illustrates national tragedies and triumphs, ranging from exclusionary laws in the nineteenth century to burgeoning suburban Chinatowns in the twentieth century. Although specific to the experience of Chinese Americans, themes underpinning the exhibition are universal. On Gold Mountain reveals how all immigrants to America are faced with similar challenges: choosing between the old world and the new, maintaining culture and language, balancing long-practiced traditions with the demands of assimilation. ~ Courtesy of Lisa See’s website: On Gold Mountain
On Gold Mountain479On Gold Mountain480 (1)On Gold Mountain482Author Lisa See with Tom Paxton