Monday, October 22, 2018

Launching Boomtowns with our San Francisco Community

On October 11, the California Historical Society celebrated the opening of its newest exhibition, Boomtowns: How Photography Shaped Los Angeles and San Francisco, with CHS members, VIP guests, and staff!

The exhibition, curated by CHS’s Erin Garcia, considers the first one hundred years of photography in what would become California’s two most prominent cities. As San Francisco and Los Angeles entered a period of rapid, unimaginable growth following the state’s entry into the Union in 1850, photography played a significant role in defining and shaping how the rest of the country understood California. Photographers also captured and responded to the distinctly different topography and development patterns of the two cities. The exhibition features work by both anonymous photographers and well-known artists—such as Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Minor White, Laura Adams Armer, and Arnold Genthe—and includes photographs made for a broad range of purposes, from civic boosterism and real estate development, to industry and art. From pictures of San Francisco on fire following the 1906 earthquake, to photographs taken in the 1920s of the nascent Hollywoodland housing development—which bequeathed the city its iconic sign—Boomtowns draws exclusively from CHS’s extensive photographic holdings.

The Thursday night opening including remarks by the curator, Erin Garcia, and CHS’s Executive Director, Dr. Anthea Hartig. Food was provided by CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services), a 5-month culinary training program that provides instruction in technical and professional skills enhancement necessary for entry into the food service industry, with refreshments from Fort Point. Guests also enjoyed a jazz trio from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music!

Boomtowns: How Photography Shaped Los Angeles and San Francisco remains on view at CHS’s headquarters at 678 Mission St. in San Francisco until March 10, 2019. Please visit or call us at 415 357-1848 for more information.

Want to hang out with us at hip, fun, history events like this one? Join today!


Images courtesy of Shannon Foreman photography

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