Houses of the Chinese in Madera, California

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Identifier SixMoisChronological.xml
Title 1885 and 1886 : Images from Albert Tissandier's trips to North America during 1885 and 1886, in the approximate order of their creation.
Type Text
Format application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6bk1cds
Setname uu_umfa_at
Date Created 2004-02-02
Date Modified 2006-12-07
ID 415994
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Identifier 1978_264_chinatownMadera.jpg
Title Houses of the Chinese in Madera, California
Alternate Title La ville chinoise à Madera, Californie
Creator Tissandier, Albert 1839-1906
Subject Chinese--Structures--California--Madera--1880-1890; Wooden buildings--California--Madera--1880-1890; Neighborhoods--California--Madera--1880-1890; Cities & towns--California--Madera--1880-1890; Cityscape drawings--1880-1890
Published Location Reproduced in the exhibition catalog, Albert Tissandier : Drawings of nature and industry in the United States, 1885, by Mary F. Francey ([Salt Lake City, UT] : Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 2001), p. 51.
Short Essay California's rapid growth resulted in demand for technological development and better connection to the Midwestern and Eastern States. By 1850 the gold rush had subsided and California had achieved statehood. Logically, the economy seemed best supported by agriculture. Production of abundant crops of barley, wheat and a variety of fruit required efficient shipping and export procedures, a demand that was met when California's first railroad, the Central Pacific, began construction in 1869 creating a demand for labor. Unemployed Chinese miners easily solved the need for 5,000 railroad workers. Existence of anti-Chinese employment groups did not deter railroad project leaders from hiring the immigrants who worked hard for long hours for minimal pay. They were efficient, patient and always on time, qualities their employers valued. While working on railroad construction, the Chinese camped in tents alongside the work site. Those who stayed there created the Chinese community in Madera that caught Tissandier's attention. He recognized the grim reality of their existence in the United States where, unlike immigrants from Europe and Ireland, they were not accepted. Tissandier's reaction was different: "My reaction to the Chinese is that they work for meager wages, and they save what little they earn. Americans say they have done their compatriots a disservice by encouraging people who work for such low salaries that Americans would not do, and that they finally export their dollars to China without leaving any here. Nevertheless, one can easily see the useful work done by the Chinese. They accept the most laborious of tasks and complete them satisfactorily without complaint." This drawing shows a row of six small wooden buildings with five others that stand directly across a road, making up the living and business quarters for the minority community. Tissandier did not dwell on figural representation, rather he concentrated on the character of the small structures, the living conditions they imply and the social status of the occupants within American society.
Publisher Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Contributors Mary F. Francey
Date 1885-07-06
Type Image
Format application/pdf
Source Albert Tissandier: Drawings of Nature and Industry in the United States
Language fre
Rights Management Digital image c2001 Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah
Source Physical Dimensions 33.02 cm High x 40.64 cm Wide
Source Characteristics Graphite and brush applied ink on paper
Light Source Kaiser Softlite ProVision 6x55W flourescent 5400K daylight
Archival Resolution TIFF: 4993 x 4223 pixels
Display Resolution JPEG: 900 x 718 pixels
Bit Depth 36-bit color
Scanning Device Leica S1 Pro scanning camera; Hasselblad CFi 50mm F/4 lens; f/11
Exhibit Catalog ISBN: 0-9657215-0-7; Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2001094211
Setname uu_umfa_at
Date Created 2004-05-18
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 415811
Reference URL