Veterans Gallery San Francisco, Room 102: The Veterans Gallery San Francisco, is dedicated to preserving and presenting historical artifacts and information related to our country’s wars and military service in an accessible and educational setting. Wars and military service are often mythologized in ways that obscure the horror of wars, and the lasting effects they have on the men and women who serve, the civilians caught up in them, and the environmental damage they inflict. The Veterans Gallery seeks to bring an honest and wide ranging series of temporary exhibits to these issues.
REMEMBERED LIGHT 13 artists created 25 windows and glass art pieces from stained glass shards. US Army Chaplain Frederick McDonald found in the rubble of war-shattered churches and a synagogue during World War II. The McDonald Peace Windows Sponsored by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, Exhibit Dates: August 28 – November 20, Wednesdays–Sundays, 1–6pm. Closed on holidays.
“You don’t understand what it’s like to be walking through desolation with no one else there. It was my first experience at how obliterating war can be to the efforts of mankind…..There was glass everywhere and I picked up quite a number of these broken pieces that were deeply smoked by the explosion of the bombs. I put them away and then mailed them home. The shards represented something deep that you ought to remember about this. It’s so often a little thing that can bring back a flood or memories into your head.”
Reverend F. A. McDonald
PAST EXHIBITS 2022
- We SERVED WITH COURAGE, HONOR, DETERMINATION & HOPE January 12-March 11, 2022, 4-7pm, A visual history of African Americans in the military from the Revolutionary War through World War II. The exhibit honors the strong and brave black and brown people who served and fought for freedom in America and overseas. Photographs, posters and memorabilia tell the story of their service. They fought and died in battles and wars for their country while being denied respect, human dignity and freedom at home. These patriots served heroically with courage, honor, determination and with the hope of receiving their basic rights as American citizens. Exhibit curated by Vietnam Veteran Bertram C. Clark. from his personal collection. Opening Reception January 12
– African Americans In Service: WW1 To Tuskegee — What It Means To Serve February 26, Saturday, 1pm, Free
– The Story Of Segregation In The US Army During The Great War — World War 1. Presented by Dana Lombardy, World War 1 historian, author, editor, cartographer, graphic artist, and designer.
– An Afternoon With A Tuskegee Airman The life and service of Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. the 1st commander of the World War 2 Tuskegee Airmen and first US Air Force African-American brigadier general. Presented by Prof Jim Armstead, retired professor of Strategy and International law from the US Naval War Colleg
- FROM CHINATOWN TO BATTLEGROUND May 4-June 12, highlights the contributions of patriotic Chinese Americans who served their country even while they were excluded from immigration. Partially due to the service of these Chinese soldiers, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was repealed in 1943 therefore clearing the way for citizenship and clearing the way for their wives to immigrate as well. Artifacts and exhibit from military historian Montgomery Hom and author of Fighting On All Fronts – Profiles Of WWII Chinese Americans From The Golden State. is sponsored by the Chinese American GI Project a project of the Chinese American Historical Society of America
- WAGING PEACE US Soldiers & Veterans Who Opposed The War – A TRAVELING EXHIBIT June 29-August 14, The story of the GI movement, anti-war coffeehouses, and hundreds of GI newspapers which gave an independent voice to active soldiers and veterans. Exhibit includes the stockade revolts, the strikes, and the near-mutinies on naval vessels and in the air force. The companion book, Waging Peace In Vietnam is also available. Sponsor: Veterans For Peace, San Francisco, Chapter 69. Contact Paul Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org .
2021 — Gallery Closed
- Jan 16 – Mar 13 Violins Of Hope an exhibit of surviving instruments from the WWII extermination camp orchestras. Some instruments will be use in concerts around the Bay Area or in the Wisley Center, 4th Floor, Veterans Building. violinsofhopesfba.org, PBS documentry: Violins of Hope Instruments From The Holocaust. School visits, docent tours, contact: Lisa Coscino email@example.com Exhibit was open Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5pm.
2019 Past Exhibits:
- 2019 Jan 22-Feb 28: We Served With Hope, Dignity, Dedication and Patriotism African American Military Experience from the Revolutionary War through WWII. Wed-Fri, 1-5pm Panel Feb 9, 2-5pm
- Feb 20-28: National Veteran Art Competition Exhibit of local entries. Winners go on to the National Competition. Daily 1-6pm.
- Mar 6-December 20: The Great War|World War I: The American Experience this exhibit returns by popular request. Monday-Friday, 1-6pm
- September 16–December 20: American Legion Centennial—100 Years: A traveling exhibit celebrating the founding of the American Legion 100 years ago is included The Great War|World War I: The American Experience, Monday-Friday, 1-6pm
2018 Past Exhibits:
- 2018 April 4-11 My Lai Memorial Exhibit — Remembering 50 Years Ago A Memorial To The Vietnamese Victims Of The American War — 50th Commemorative traveling exhibit created by the Chicago Chapter of Veterans For Peace.
2017 Past Exhibits:
- 2017 January 28, 11am Combat Paper + Crochet Jam Part II Two renowned workshops in two interactive afternoons — participants creatively transform donated military uniforms into handmade art objects. Part 1 make paper from uniforms: dry process and Part 2 wet process and learn a single-stitch technique that will have you crocheting in minutes. Iraq War veteran Drew Cameron (Combat Paper) and Ramekon O’Arwisters (Crochet Jam) lead discussions about life, trauma and transformation.
2016 Past Exhibits:
- 2016 May 2-13 Karski: A Pole — An American — Humanity’s Hero. World War II: He is known for having acted as a courier in 1940–1943 to the Polish government-in-exile and to Poland’s Western Allies. He reported on the state of Poland, with first hand reports on Germany’s destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the extermination camps. Read more wiki/Jan_Karski, Jan Karski, Humanity’s Hero, A Soldier Of An Allied Army, Video: Jan Karski Exhibit Opening, May 2, 2016.
- 2016 October – December World War II in the Philippines – The Legacy Of Two Nations The Exhibition includes the role of San Francisco during WWII and the two Executive Orders that made a huge impact on the Bay Area: EO 8802 which opened up the defense industry to minorities and EO 9066 which led to the incarceration of the Japanese Americans.
Veterans Building, Photos: San Francisco Public Library