Gonzales-Day, Ken 1964–

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Gonzales-Day, Ken 1964–


Born 1964. Education: Pratt Institute, B.F.A.; City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.), Hunter College, M.A.; University of California, Irvine, M.F.A.; L'École des Arts Plastique, Institute Superieur, Liège, Belgium, certificate in studio art.


Home—Los Angeles, CA. Office—Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected].


Scripps College, Claremont, CA, professor of studio art, 1995—, chair of the art and art history departments, 2003-06, chair of the art department, 2006-08. Member of board of directors for the College Art Association, 2007—.

Exhibitions: Solo exhibitions include "Private Investigations," Cristinerose Gallery, New York, NY, 1996; "Ken Gonzales-Day," White Columns, New York, NY, 1996; "Bone-Grass Boy: The Secret Banks of the Conejos River," Out North Contemporary Art House, Anchorage, AK, 1997; "Derm," POSTdowntown, Los Angeles, CA, 1998; "Projects99," Walkins Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside, CA, 1999; "Dysmorphologies," Deep River, Los Angeles, CA, 2000; "Project Room," Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA, 2000; "Lynching in the West," Cue Art Foundation, New York, NY, 2006; "Project Series 30: Hang Trees," Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, CA, 2006; "Memento Mori," Gallery Two, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA, 2007; "Nightfall II-Redux," Highways Performance Space and Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2007; "The Wonder Gaze," Space, Porland, MA, 2007; "Physiognomy and the Love of Mankind," Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, 2008. Work exhibited in collections at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Eileen Norton Collection, Santa Monica, CA; Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; and Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA. Also involved in several group exhibitions in North America and Europe.


Van Lier fellow, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1992, for Independent Study Program in Studio Art; Western States Art Federation/National Endowment for the Arts awards, 1996 and 1997; artist competition grant in the visual arts, Durfee Foundation, 2001; Arnold and Lois Graves Award, 2002, for achievement in the humanities; Smithsonian Institution Latino studies senior fellow, 2003; Los Angeles Artists mid-career fellowship, California Community Foundation, 2007; Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy; and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 2008.


(With Tyler Stallings, Amelia Jones, and David R. Roediger) Whiteness, a Wayward Construction, Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach, CA), 2003.

Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2006.

Contributor of essays to various art books and journals.


Ken Gonzales-Day is an artist and writer who lives and works in the Los Angeles, CA, area. He received his B.F.A. in painting from the Pratt Institute, a M.A. in art history from Hunter College, and his M.F.A in studio art from the University of California, Irvine. Over the years, he has received numerous fellowships and grants for his work. Currently, Gonzales-Day is a professor at Scripps College, where he has taught studio art since 2003. He also served as chair of the art and art history departments there until 2008. His areas of interest include contemporary art and photography, and he has shown his artwork at a number of solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and Europe. Gonzales-Day's artwork often deals with such controversial topics as race, culture, identity, and sexuality. In addition to his 2006 book Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, he has published numerous essays in various art books and journals.

Unlike many other books on the phenomenon of lynching in America published prior to Lynching in the West, Gonzales-Day's book takes a look at this often racially motivated form of vigilantism in an overlooked region of the United States: the American West. The inspiration for the book came from research Gonzales-Day undertook during a sabbatical from teaching. Through examining historical records and photographs of Latinos in mid-nineteenth century California, he discovered a trend of racially motivated lynchings in the West beginning during the early years of California's statehood and ending with the last recorded lynching in 1935. Armed with his findings, Gonzales-Day set out on a road trip through California to photograph these lynching sites. The pictures that he took on this journey later became part of his "Hang Trees" series, and are featured throughout the book. Prior to Gonzales-Day's meticulous research, only fifty lynchings were on record. However, he uncovered 252 instances of lynching in California, with most of the victims being Latino, Native American, or Asian American. These findings were compiled into a detailed appendix in Lynching in the West.

Critic Kurt Hohenstein expressed his admiration for Lynching in the West in a review for the Canadian Journal of History: "An associate professor of Studio Art, not history, I read his account with the skepticism of an historian's eye. Gonzales-Day won me over with his path-breaking research, providing accounts of a previously untold narrative, the erasure of the story of white-Mexican relations in the West that resulted in the lynching of hundreds of people in California. Gonzales-Day paints his narrative with broad brushstrokes focused on cultural evidence and graphic illustrations of lynching."



American Literature, December, 2007, Koritha Mitchell, review of Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, p. 838.

Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, January, 2008, Clive Webb, review of Lynching in the West, p. 445.

AZTLAN—A Journal of Chicano Studies, fall, 2005, "Interview with Ken Gonzales-Day," p. 173; spring, 2008, Jose Luis Benavides, review of Lynching in the West, pp. 221-223.

Canadian Journal of History, spring-summer, 2007, Kurt Hohenstein, review of Lynching in the West.

Journal of the West, summer, 2007, Robert Miller, review of Lynching the West, p. 83.

Scripps, fall, 2006, Margret Nilsson, "The Last Witness."

Western Historical Quarterly, winter, 2007, Christopher Waldrep, review of Lynching in the West, p. 532.


H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (April 1, 2007), William D. Carrigan, review of Lynching in the West.

Ken Gonzales-Day Home Page,http://www.kengonzalesday.com (June 15, 2008).

Scripps College Web site,http://www.www.scrippscollege.edu.com/ (June 15, 2008), author biography.

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Gonzales-Day, Ken 1964–