It’s nearly unfathomable to think of a time when California had less than 10,000 residents, its capital was not Sacramento, and perhaps most surprisingly, it wasn’t even a state. Not until the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed did the Mexican War end, and consequently, Mexico ceded a significant portion of the Southwest, including California, to the U.S. On 9 September 1850, California was admitted into the Union, thus becoming America’s 31st state, and under the Compromise of 1850, a free-labor, non-slavery one at that. To honor the state whose artists are as plentiful and thrilling as its famous Gold Rush once was, we examine some of our favorite Californian creatives, many of whom have featured works in our upcoming New York Contemporary Curated sale on 29 September.