First-ever exhibition documenting life of Franciscan missionary and impact on California culture

RIVERSIDE – A first-ever exhibition documenting the life of the Franciscan missionary who founded California’s mission system — and its impact on California Indians and culture — is under the curatorship of two UC Riverside history professors in San Marino, according to UCR officials.

Professors Steven Hackel and Catherine Gudis are running the exhibition,”Junipero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions,” that opened Saturday at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. The exhibition runs until Jan. 6.

Hackel and Gudis approached the library three years ago with a proposal to develop an exhibit that would open this year, 300 years after Serra’s birth in Mallorca, Spain. It features 261 rare documents, artifacts and art from Spain, Mexico and California for its focus on the influences that played a role in Serra’s life and led him to found 21 missions in California, UCR officials said.

Serra was born Nov. 24, 1713 and died Aug. 28, 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borromoeo del rio Carmelo, Carmel-by-the-Sea. He established the first Spanish mission in 1769, UCR officials said.

The Huntingtion Library is located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino. Anyone wanting more information on the exhibition and admission prices can go to

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