This installment picks up where the first one, which focused on Portuguese immigration to California, left off. All new displays feature artifacts and photos that highlight “all the community and family activities that led to building multi-generational relationships” in this new land, said curator Michael Semas, noting that “community was, and still is, a big part of the Portuguese culture.”
Specific exhibits are devoted to local Portuguese halls and fraternal organizations, Portuguese-language media and festivals. Particular attention is paid to the central role religion has played among members of this community, most of whom have deep roots in the Azores Islands. The stories about the miracles of Our Lady of Fatima and Queen St. Isabel figure prominently in the exhibition.
“The first installment focused on the newly arrived. This one focuses on the many ways that faith sustained them,” co-curator Kathi Mendes Gulley said, citing as examples the creation of the Holy Spirit and fraternal organizations and the establishment of local Catholic churches.
“They clung to their faith and culture and strived to maintain and share them, all the while taking seriously the importance of family, hard work and becoming American.”
The third and final installment of the exhibition will open in early September and close in mid-December. It will focus on the many contributions local Portuguese have made in fields as varied as politics, education, the arts, industry and agriculture.
The Carnegie Museum of Kings County is located at 109 E. Eighth St. in Hanford. The Portuguese exhibition will be open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. except when the museum is between installations. Admission is $5 per person (ages 12 and up), $2 per child up to age 12 and a maximum of $10 per family.