Upcoming Events

*Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Book Club of California and are free and open to the public. Please refer to the description under each event.

Email programs@bccbooks.org for any questions, or call (415) 781-7532 ext. 3

LACMA So Far: Portrait of a Museum in the Making
Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 5:30–7 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Suzanne Muchnic draws on decades of experience as a Los Angeles Times arts writer to relate the complicated story of how the Los Angeles County Museum of Art emerged as the largest art museum in the western United States. Her in-depth reporting, fleshed out with private interviews and archival research, offers a lively tale about the convergence of art, money, people, and buildings that has produced a museum perpetually in the making.

An illustrated talk by Suzanne Muchnic, journalist and author.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The Chinese American Democratic Youth League’s Local Theatrical Productions and their Ephemera
Monday, March 18, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

The Chinese American Democratic Youth League was active in the 1940s and 1950s in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The group, known by its Cantonese abbreviation Mun Ching, had a large library, a theatrical troupe, a choral group, a science club, a dance team, and other social clubs. It served as a community center for Chinese-speaking leftists who were isolated both culturally and politically from broader American society. It also became the focus of attention from the FBI after the Korean War broke out, when its members were suspected of working on behalf of Communist China.

In this presentation, illustrated with slides of original ephemera, Alexander Akin, an historian of China and co-owner of Bolerium Books, will discuss the role of theater in Mun Ching’s community work, and examine the programs, scripts, and other surviving materials that document its activities.

An illustrated talk by Alexander Akin, co-owner, Bolerium Books.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

*Left photo: Cover of the Mun Ching newsletter for June 21, 1958, a special issue promoting an Arts Night they held every year featuring theater, song, and poetic recitations.

The Monumental Challenge of Preservation: The Past in a Volatile World
Monday, March 25, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Monuments—movable, immovable, tangible, and intangible—of the world’s shared heritage are at risk. War, terrorism, natural disaster, vandalism, technological obsolescence, and neglect make the work of preservation a greater challenge than ever before. In her most recent book, The Monumental Challenge of Preservation, Michèle V. Cloonan makes the case that, at this critical juncture, we must consider preservation in the broadest possible contexts.

Preservation requires the efforts of an increasing number of stakeholders. Michèle will give many examples of dilemmas presented by monuments large and small, from the built environment to individual objects. Examples include the Book of Kells, the buildings of Louis Sullivan, the AIDs Memorial Quilt, the Vietnam Memorial, and digital heritage. She will also discuss the role of collectors in cultural heritage preservation. Every day we make preservation decisions, individually and collectively, that have longer term ramifications than we might expect.

A talk by Michele Cloonan, dean emerita and professor.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Palimpsest: The Layering of a Man’s Life in San Francisco
Monday, April 1, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

After writing 16 books of nonfiction, including 5 on San Francisco history, Charles Fracchia has written a novel: Palimpsest: A Man’s Life in San Francisco.

The novel is a “going to age” (as opposed to a “coming of age”) work of fiction. It deals with the life of a man in late middle age who seeks to re-establish the vibrancy of his youthful years, dealing with issues of sexual potency, work, relationships, and other concerns that mark advancing age.

Fracchia spent the first 25 years of his career in investment banking (he was one of the founders of Rolling Stone Magazine) and then more than 30 years as an academic, teaching at San Francisco State, USF, and City College of San Francisco.

A talk by Charles Fracchia, historian and professor.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The 2019 Oscar Lewis Awards
Monday, April 8, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Join us for a ceremony celebrating the recipients of the 2018 Oscar Lewis Awards in Western History and the Book Arts. The Oscar Lewis Awards were established by the Book Club of California in 1994 in honor of Oscar Lewis (1893-1992), San Francisco author, historian, and Book Club secretary from 1921-1946.

Please click here for more information about the awards and a list of past recipients.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles, 1925-1965
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 5:30–7 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles, 1925-1965 is a spectacular collection of vintage photography that showcases the glowing neon heritage of the City of Angels. More than 200 images fill its pages. L.A. has long been recognized as the most vibrant city in America, and part of its radiance comes from streets lined with neon signs during the Golden Age of neon from 1925 to 1965. Photographer and historian Tom Zimmerman shows images that depict, in both color and in black-and-white, what Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and countless other writers have tried to put into words.

Spectacular Illumination tells a story of a city that has glowed, now glows, and, thanks to institutions such as the Museum of Neon Art, will glow forever.

An illustrated talk by Tom Zimmerman, author and photographer.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The 2019 Book Arts Student Showcase
Monday, April 15, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A pop-up exhibition of work and presentations by select students enrolled in Bay Area book arts programs.

Details to come soon.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

An Evening in the Library: a Page Of prancing Poetry
Monday, April 22, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 5:30 PM

A members-only talk by Elizabeth Newsom, librarian, Book Club of California.

RSVPs not available at this time.

Life and Crimes of Robert Dighton (1751-1814): Painter, Printer, Caricaturist, Thief
Monday, April 29, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

English artist R. Dighton, a contemporary of James Gilray and George Cruikshank, was well known for his satirical caricatures of lawyers, noblemen, actors and military officers. His talent made him successful; his cunning kept him consistently employed. How he kept out of prison despite a second career stealing prints is a tale worth telling.

An illustrated talk by Karen Zukor, art conservationist.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The 2019 Next Generation Printers Showcase
Monday, May 13, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A presentation and pop-up exhibition of work by emerging Bay Area fine printers.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The Browns of California
Monday, May 20, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Even in the land of reinvention, the story is exceptional: Pat Brown, the beloved father who presided over California during an era of unmatched expansion, Jerry brown, the cerebral and iconoclastic son who became the youngest governor in modern times- and then returned three decades later as the oldest.

In The Browns of California, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and scholar Miriam Pawel weaves a narrative history that spans four generations, from August Schuckman, the Prussian immigrant who crossed the Plains in 1852 and settled on a northern California ranch, to his great-grandson Jerry Brown, who reclaimed the family homestead one hundred forty years later. Through the prisim of their lives, we gain an essential understanding of California- an appreciation of the history and importance of the fifth largest economy in the world.

A talk by Miriam Pawel, journalist and author.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Running North and Underground: Salinas Valley
Monday, June 3, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

An illustrated talk by Janet Whitchurch, author and illustrator.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Historic Tassajara: From Esselen Tribal Legend to Pioneering Zen Monastery
Monday, June 10, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Discover a short history of Tassajara, from Native American Sweat Lodges to Pioneering Zen Monastery. In Marilyn McDonald’s book (forward by David Chadwick), you’ll meet the people who have loved Tassajara. Its healing waters, rugged remoteness, memorable characters, perilous road, fires, restorations, conversations under the Gossip Oak, peace and quiet are beautifully documented in this book by the late author Marilyn McDonald. Join her daughter, Lee Doyle, for a talk about Tassajara and the book.

“Everywhere I looked were wonderful old stone buildings. Being inquisitive, I wanted to know who had built them and why. None of the Zen students I asked had answers that were complete enough for me.” — Marilyn McDonald, author of A Brief History of Tassajara

A talk by Lee Doyle, daughter of author Marilyn McDonald, and David Rogers, Tassajara historian.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Remembering the California Missions
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 5:30–7 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

An illustrated talk by Pat Hunter, artist, and Janice Stevens, author.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The White Devil’s Daughter: Fighting Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Monday, June 17, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Beginning in 1874, the Occidental Mission Home on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Run by a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters. With compassion and an investigative historian’s sharp eye, Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the home defied contemporary convention–even occasionally breaking the law–by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled in–and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. She also shares the moving stories of many of the girls and young women who sought refuge at the mission, and she writes about the lives they went on to lead. This is a remarkable chapter in an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor.

A revelatory history of the trafficking of young Asian girls that flourished in San Francisco during the first hundred years of Chinese immigration (1848-1943) and an in-depth look at the “safe house” that became a refuge for those seeking their freedom.

A talk by Julia Flynn Siler, journalist and author.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

M & H Type Foundry: A History
Monday, June 24, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A talk by Brian Ferrett, typecaster, Arion Press.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

 

Details to come. Please check back for updates or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information on events, exhibitions, and publications.

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