The Museum of Chinese in America

Founded in 1980, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States.

MOCA Monday: The Lotus

The Museum of Chinese in America maintains an extensive archive and collection of Chinese American artifacts and oral histories. MOCA Mondays will briefly highlight one image or item from the collection. For more information, visit our website

Menu for The Lotus, Washington, DC, circa 1940s. Harley Spiller Collection.

Menu from The Lotus, a part of MOCA’s 2004 exhibition “Have You Eaten Yet?” which took a historical look at a central image of Chinese American life – the Chinese restaurant. Often the first introduction to Chinese culture for many Americans, the Chinese restaurant has functioned since the nineteenth century as a site of cultural exchange. The exhibit traced the Chinese restaurant’s origin and growth in America, and explored how these cultural negotiations have been made over time. It took a revealing look at American and Chinese perceptions and expectations through historical menu collections, and Chinese food stories and legends.

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