History has always been a powerful reminder of our connection with others. Our permanent exhibition showcases a prominent timeline on a central wall to bridge our displayed items with their respective histories. One side of the wall depicts a timeline of Chinese history from the Shang to the Qing dynasty, while the other side depicts the Chinese American immigration story with a focus on the community in San Diego. The history of our organization is displayed on a segment at the end of the long wall, which honors the individuals who were key players in establishing the museum that we know today.
The permanent exhibition in our Mission building is story-based and presented in several sections. For example, we have a corner dedicated to Traditional Chinese Medicine. This area includes a herbal cabinet grinding tools, herb samples and other artifacts that you would find in a typical herb shop. Other sections include Religion and Philosophy, Chinese Folk Art, Chinese Laundries, and much more!
Images of the permanent exhibition are available @https://photos.app.goo.gl/WaX5k41ayHcEi4Z29
Docent Tour: Mission Refresh
Dr. Robert Stein (SDCHM Interim Director), Lily Tou Birmingham (SDCHM Interim Director), and Michael Yee (SDCHM Historian-Educator) provide an overview tour of the refreshed permanent exhibition in the Museum's Mission building. Videographer Alan Su recorded the images featured in this tour video. Elizabeth Hensley C. (SDCHM Programs Coordinator) produced this edit.
Over view of Exhibition
Acupuncture is an ancient system of manipulating human energy pathways with thin needles to balance the body. It came to our shores with the Chinese immigrants in the 1800s, but was still illegal in the USA in the 1970’s. Then, a bursting appendix, deep in the heart of China, exploded a media sensation in the New York Times in 1971. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, James Reston, traveled to Beijing ahead of President Richard Nixon’s historic visit in 1972. There he underwent emergency appendix surgery and was given acupuncture to relieve intense post-op pain.
Reston’s New York Times front page account of the mysterious nature of Chinese acupuncture ignited a media frenzy. However, it took decades of a hard-won fight for legalization, education and licensing to allow acupuncture to become established in the USA. Many insurance companies pay for acupuncture treatments as an alternative medicine now. Also, acupuncture is a typical service at the animal rescue centers.
Our Acupuncture exhibition glimpses a rich history of the integration of cultures and medicine. Many advocate for Traditional Chinese Medicine won legalization and education, and continue the practice of this 5000-year old system in medicine here.
Images of the exhibition are available @https://photos.app.goo.gl/9EPuAutGFh2xEWyH9