Arbuckle Gallery at the Pacific Hotel

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte – Opens October 26th


11:00 am to 4:30 pm

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte Exhibition at History San José Shines a Spotlight on Migrant Farm Workers

A new exhibition chronicling the lives of contemporary migrant farm workers will be on display in the Arbuckle Gallery at the Pacific Hotel from October 26, 2017 to June 3, 2018. In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte features photojournalist David Bacon’s evocative, powerful photographs alongside moving oral narratives from migrant farm workers.

The exhibition, fully translated into both English and Spanish, gives viewers a reality check on the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it. Traveling with migrant workers as the fruit and harvest season moves from the Mexican border to Washington state, In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Nortesheds light on some basic questions: How much do we know about the lives of the people who feed us? Where do they live? How does it feel to do some of the hardest repetitive labor imaginable? And, what answers do farm workers themselves have to end their poverty and endless migration?

Photographer, journalist, and activist David Bacon has spent over three decades documenting the lives of migrant workers, building upon his previous work as a union organizer. The exhibition is based upon the book of the same name, recently published by University of California Press. As Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center, writes, “Bacon captures the humanity of workers who work each day in demanding physical labor, in the hot sun, and for poverty wages. This is one of the few publications that captures the authentic stories of California farm workers, through their own voices and with the images of their living and working conditions.” Bacon is also the author of The Children of NAFTA, Communities Without Borders, Illegal People, and The Right to Stay Home.

Photo credits
Home page: Maria Antonietta Gonzalez and Jose Angel Martinez Gonzalez, two migrants from Carranza, Chiapas, top and bag onions. María Antonietta González y José Ángel Martínez González, dos migrantes de Carranza, Chiapas, retiran los tallos y empaquetan las cebollas. Photograph by David Bacon

This page: A Oaxacan dance group. Uno grupo de danza oaxaqueño. Photograph by David Bacon

Related Programs

Talk by Dr. Francisco Jiménez
Sunday, November 12, 2:00pm
History Park – Empire Firehouse
Tickets: $5 HSJ Members / $8 General Public
Author and educator Francisco Jiménez emigrated from Mexico and worked alongside his parents in the fields of California. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures at Santa Clara University. His books have been published in five languages and his four-book series has been included in the American Library Association Booklist’s 50 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. Join us to hear the incredible story of Dr. Jiménez’s life. Click here for tickets!

Exhibition Support

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte features the works of David Bacon; is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San José; and is touring the U.S. through Exhibit Envoy.

About Exhibit Envoy

Exhibit Envoy provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California. Exhibit Envoy’s mission is to build new perspectives among Californians, create innovative exhibitions and solutions, and advance institutions in service to their communities. For more information, please visit

About Clyde Arbuckle

Clyde Arbuckle was instrumental in preserving San José’s history by collecting historic materials, and founding the San José Historical Museum, which later became History San José. Find out more about Arbuckle’s contributions to local history and his legacy at History San José.

About the Pacific Hotel

The Pacific Hotel was originally located at 74-80 South Market Street in downtown San José, near the Plaza de César Chavez. The first hotel at this location was founded in 1860, but the Pacific Hotel itself was not opened until 1880. Charles Schiele, a Prussian immigrant and former waiter, purchased the property, then known as Otter’s Hotel, and was the first owner of the Pacific Hotel. Schiele remained in charge for seven years, until he sold the hotel to Julius Neifing and Jacob Schlenker and was elected to the San José City Council. Schlenker owned the hotel with different business partners until 1903, when he sold it to George Pfeffer. The Pacific Hotel remained in business until July 1907, when the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company bought the building. Read more.