A Partnership with The Lower East Side Tenement Museum & the 1882 Foundation Network.


The 1882 Foundation convenes a national network of museums, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and federal agencies to foster collaboration around civil rights education with a focus on the history and legacies of the United States’ Chinese exclusion laws. By creating space to build partnerships across sectors, we preserve and interpret the experiences of Chinese Americans through creative, generative projects.

The objects and stories featured on the 50 Objects page on the Tenement Museum’s Your Story, Our Story platform reflect the breadth of efforts occurring across the country to document Chinese American history. Under the stewardship of diverse organizations and individuals, these stories are powerful touchstones to our nation’s past—demonstrating how personal experiences resonate collectively and reinforcing how Chinese American history is American history.

View the stories here.

In its first year, the 50 Objects Project featured 56 objects, bringing together over three dozen organizations and represents more than 20 community histories across the United States.

That was just the beginning. Coming out of Symposium VII (May 2019), we are excited to announce an on-going collaboration with the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) as the 50 Objects Initiative contributes to their upcoming exhibition.

Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History will open at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in fall 2019 on the 150 year anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. It will be the first exhibition to bring together all the organizations in the United States that collect and document the history of Chinese in America.

Some of the confirmed organizations are: Chinese Historical Society of America (San Francisco); Chinese American Museum (Los Angeles); Wing Luke Museum (Seattle); Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum (Cleveland, MS); Portland Chinatown Museum (Portland, OR); Walk of Remembrance (Monterey, CA); Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (Santa Clara, CA); Chinese Historical Society of New England (Boston); and many others.

MOCA’s curatorial team (Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Andrew Rebatta, Associate Curator) will be working closely with each organization, and the 1882 Foundation and its 50 Objects Project, to tell the unique histories of the people and projects that, like MOCA, collect, document, and interpret the history of Chinese in America. Our goal is to showcase the breadth, depth, and investment of organized documentation and collection of Chinese history in
America. By bringing America’s Chinese historical museums, societies and projects together, we want to expand the dialogue, strengthen connections, and increase collaborative work among these organizations.