Discovery of Gold in California
5.75 in HIGH x 7.375 in WIDE
(14.60 cm HIGH x 18.73 cm WIDE)

Description: Painting, Series 8.5.97 #10 Abstract painting with different tones of gold, with reddish-brown splashes over it. Matted showing raw edges of painting, in white with new gold frame.

From a brochure distributed at Indian Market in Santa Fe New Mexico, 2004:Harry Fonseca was born January 5, 1946 in Sacramento, California. The brochure contains a listing of Fonseca exhibits."California StoriesDiscover of Gold in California, 1997, is a series of 24 pieces that Fonseca completed as part of a larger project completed for the California Museum of Art and History, Oakland. Fonseca considers the impact that the discovery of gold had on the Maidu people of northern California. The California Gold Rush ushered in a dark period in California history when hunting down and killing Indians was the law of the land. Like many other bands of Northern California Indians, the Maidu suffered the effects of the genocidal policies. The population of the Maidu and other bands were reduced drastically.Many of the devastated bands had to merge with other bands or with groups of non-whites for survival. Fonscea painted these small works on the banks of the American River in Sacramento Valley. He drew upon the river and land for inspriation. Fonseca uses a veryb loose, dripping applicastion of green, brown, blue and red overlaid with gold leaf and mica (also known as fool's gold). In his work the tranquility of nature is disrupted by the stains of genocide motivated by greed and racism."...The article continues with a discription of Discovery of Gold and Souls, a Fonseca work that "explores the colonial practice of using Christianity to justify the racist practices of the Europeans against Indian people."Margaret Archuleta, Pueblo/HispanicDirector of the Institute of American Indian Art Museum

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