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Minor White Photograph
Featured Exhibition

San Francisco Photographs by Minor White

California Historical Society will reopen to the public on November 18, 2020 with a new exhibition entitled San Francisco Photographs by Minor White. The show presents a selection of sixty gelatin silver prints from 1948 to 1953 picturing San Francisco amid a post-World War II boom. The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the more than 400 photographs White gave to the California Historical Society in 1957. This exhibition will be on view through January 22, 2022.

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Currently on View

Minor White, Elks' Shoe Shine Parlor

Minor White: San Francisco Photographs

Shortly after completing a tour of duty in the South Pacific, Minor White spent the late 1940s teaching at the California School of Fine Arts (today’s San Francisco Art Institute). During those years he photographed San Francisco extensively, capturing a city in the midst of a postwar boom. The photographs are at once sophisticated abstract compositions and socially astute documents that reveal a growing, rapidly modernizing, and more ethnically diverse San Francisco. This exhibition will be on view through January 22, 2022.

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From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection

From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection

From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake: Selections from the Collection presents highlights from the California Historical Society’s holdings of paintings, photographs, manuscripts and ephemera. Focusing on key topics in California’s late-nineteenth-century history, the exhibition features selected works from the Gold Rush, the exploration of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and coastal regions, the rise of agriculture and industry in the state, San Francisco’s Chinatown, and the city’s devastating 1906 earthquake and fires.

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Online Exhibitions

Venutra County

California Counties - 150 Years Documenting California History

This year marks one hundred and fifty years since the California Historical Society’s founding. On this milestone anniversary, we find ourselves looking both back and forward to our organization’s future. Though CHS has always been a statewide organization, we recently embarked on a bold new initiative to share our work more broadly throughout the state. It is with this in mind that staff scoured our archives to find images from each of California’s fifty-eight counties to feature in this online gallery.

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Tell Your Story—California in the Time of COVID-19

Selections from the Tell Your Story Project

Tell Your Story—California in the Time of COVID-19 is an online project to document the personal experiences of people across the state as they face a historic crisis. View a selection of these stories and pictures.

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Upcoming Exhibitions

Chinese women and children at the immigration station, ca. 1910-40 [ Angel Island, Calif.]

Chinese Pioneers: Power and Politics in Exclusion Era Photographs

Opening January 28, 2022, Chinese Pioneers presents a visual history of the social, political, and judicial disenfranchisement of Chinese Californians—as well as moments of Chinese agency and resilience—during the Exclusion Era (1882–1943). The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the California Historical Society’s collections.

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Past Exhibitions

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