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Frank Espada photographs and papers, 1946-2010, bulk 1964-2000 56.2 Linear Feet — 76 boxes; 3 oversize folders — approximately 14,500 items

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Frank Espada was a political activist and documentary photographer of Puerto Rican extraction based in New York and California. His photographic archives comprise thousands of black-and-white photographs and negatives as well as supporting papers and recordings, chiefly dating from the mid-1960s through 2000. The materials relate to Espada's lifelong work documenting the Puerto Rican diaspora, civil and economic rights movements, indigenous Chamorro communities in Micronesia, and HIV/AIDS outreach in San Francisco. The Puerto Rican Diaspora series includes over 150 oral history recordings. The Civil Rights series documents voter registration drives and school desegregation rallies in New York City, 1964-1970, as well as discriminatory housing and anti-poverty movements, primarily in California. The professional papers provide supporting documentation of his life and work as a photographer, activist, community organizer, and teacher, and include files related to research and writings, exhibits, teaching, and publicity. The earliest dated item is a 1946 essay by Espada, "What democracy means to me." Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Frank Espada's photographic archives comprise thousands of photographic prints, contact sheets, and negatives, as well as professional papers, spanning the length of Frank Espada's career as a photographer and community activist from the mid-1950s through 2010. The materials document Espada's Puerto Rican diaspora around the world; indigenous Chamorro communities in Micronesia, primarily in Guam, Tinian, and Saipan; drug abuse prevention programs and HIV/AIDS outreach in San Francisco; and civil rights, education, and housing rights movements, primarily in New York City and San Francisco. Espada was not only an observant photographer, but was also deeply involved in all of his projects as an activist, social worker, and humanitarian.

A large series of professional papers provides supporting documentation of his life and work as a photographer, activist, community organizer, and teacher. The earliest dated item, an essay Espada wrote in 1946, "What democracy means to me," is found in this series, which also contains research files on documentary and research topics; preparation for his many photography projects and related exhibits; a few videocassettes; teaching syllabi and notes from his photography courses at U.C. Berkeley; awards and memorabilia; and publicity.

The largest body of materials, which numbers over 12,000 items and includes photographs as well as manuscripts and over 100 recorded oral interviews, derives from Espada's work with Puerto Rican communities in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico.

Another significant group of materials derives from Espada's activism on behalf of voter registration and school desegregation in New York City from 1962-1970, and later in California in support of anti-poverty, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention and outreach, and housing rights.

Each of the photographic project series includes finished prints ranging in size from 8x10 to 24x30 inches; contact sheets and work prints; and negatives, which are housed in a separate series and are closed to use.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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William Gedney photographs and papers, 1887, circa 1920, 1940-1998 and undated, bulk 1955-1989 115.0 Linear Feet — 336 boxes, 1 oversize folder — Approximately 66,800 items

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Collection comprises the entirety of William Gedney's photographic career, beginning with his student years at Pratt Institute in the 1950s to his early death in 1989. The materials reveal Gedney's intense and meticulous dedication to his work, and his interest in street photography, portraiture, night photography, and the study of human nature. His earliest serious project was undertaken in Kentucky, where he stayed with a coal-miner's family for several weeks in 1964 and again in 1972. His work took him across the U.S. several times, with extensive photographic projects in Chicago, Detroit, Pennsylvania, South Dakota - particularly the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, and southern and northern California. During these trips, as well as in New York City, he also photographed well-known composers. Fascinated by human group dynamics, he photographed parades, hippies and other street people, and crowds. He also traveled to Kolkata (Calcutta) and Varanasi (Benares), India, England, Ireland, Paris, and Amsterdam. The collection offers roughly 76,000 unique images represented by the over 2000 contact sheets, with over 19,000 selected images in the form of work prints and 1466 exhibit-quality large prints. Other formats include slides, a complete set of master negatives, and personal snapshots. The breadth of these materials offers deep insights into Gedney's editorial process and artistic vision. Additional perspectives on his life and work can be found in his many notebooks and journals; artwork; handmade books; correspondence files; financial, legal and medical records; memorabilia; audiocassettes; and teaching materials. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection comprises the entirety of William Gedney's photographic career, beginning with his student years at Pratt Institute in the 1950s to his early death in 1989. The materials reveal Gedney's intense and meticulous dedication to his work, and his interest in street photography, portraiture, night photography, and the study of human nature. His earliest serious project was undertaken in Kentucky, where he stayed with a coal-miner's family for several weeks in 1964 and again in 1972. His work took him across the U.S. several times, with extensive photographic projects in Chicago, Detroit, Pennsylvania, South Dakota - particularly the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, and southern and northern California. During these trips, as well as in New York City, he also photographed well-known composers. Fascinated by human group dynamics, he photographed parades, hippies and other street people, and crowds. He also traveled to Kolkata (Calcutta) and Varanasi (Benares), India, England, Ireland, Paris, and Amsterdam.

The collection offers roughly 76,000 unique images represented by the over 2000 contact sheets, with over 19,000 selected images in the form of work prints and 1466 exhibit-quality large prints. Other formats include slides, a complete set of master negatives, and personal snapshots. The availability of every format in the photographic process offers deep insights into Gedney's editorial process and artistic vision.

Additional perspectives come from his many notebooks and journals; artwork, including many sketches and drawings; handmade books and book project materials; correspondence files; memo books; financial, legal and medical records; memorabilia; and teaching materials, all described in fuller detail in this collection guide. Gedney's writings, in particular, provide extraordinary views into his life and work. Notebooks, memo books, travel diaries, and loose writings contain a compelling mix of personal entries, essays, poetry, quotations, expenses, travel notes, observations on slang, music and book lists, and clippings. Viewed as a whole, Gedney's professional and personal papers record his thoughts on photography, human behavior across continents, society and art, and on his own development as a photographer.

The large exhibit-quality prints, and the large groups of work prints from which they were selected, are arranged in series by bodies of work, in alphabetical order: Composers; England/Ireland; The Farm; India, subdivided into Benares and Calcutta; Night; Nudes; Paris; and United States, further divided into the subseries Kentucky, New York, San Francisco, and U.S Trips. The latter comprises his travels to other states such as Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Montana, and Tennessee. The contact sheets and negatives are described and listed under their own series.

To support himself, Gedney undertook commercial work. There is very early work for a bread company and other firms, and he then worked for Time-Life (and photographed office parties there) and other magazines. There are two larger, significant bodies of other commercial work: the earliest consists of portraits of deaf children and their teachers commissioned around 1958 by the St. Joseph's School for the Deaf. The second project, commissioned by the Social Security Administration in 1969, contains only photographic prints - portraits of rural inhabitants of Hays, Kansas (farmers, pensioners, and widows), and Federal employees. A published catalog is found in this series, listing other photographers involved in the projects. The Social Security Administration's archives hold Gedney's original negatives of this work. During the same period, Gedney visited a state mental hospital in Norton, Kansas and photographed a series of arresting portraits of the young people housed there. These bodies of work have not been published online for copyright and privacy reasons; however, the physical prints are open to onsite use.

For further descriptions of each of Gedney's major bodies of work, please follow the series links in the collection guide, keeping in mind that contact sheets, which offer the most complete set of images in thumbnail size, are represented by their own separate collection guide series.

Many of William Gedney's earliest images incorporate personally-significant locations and people. His first serious photographic study, undertaken in the 1950s, centered on his grandparents and their dairy farm in Norton Hill, New York. During this period, Gedney also photographed neighborhoods in his birthplace, Albany, and his hometown of Greenville. Later photographs of friends and family in New York (Arnold and Anita Lobel), San Francisco (Eric Hoffer and Lili Osborne), and Paris (photographer Raghubir Singh and wife Anne Henning) are found throughout the collection, as well as a few shots of his mentors Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus. Self-portraits of Gedney show up frequently in the contact sheet images but there are no known larger images of the photographer.

Gedney was particularly drawn to human gatherings. He photographed people not only on Brooklyn's streets, but also at parties, car and flower shows, motorcycle rallies, body building exhibitions (where he also photographed Diane Arbus), and in bars and at Coney Island boardwalk and beaches. Early series include African American parades and gospel revivals. He continued to focus on crowds everywhere he traveled, particularly in large cities such as San Francisco (where he photographed Golden Gate gatherings in 1966-1967), Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Paris, often turning his camera to young people and their street culture. In the 1960s he also documented organized labor rallies and migrant programs in Southern California (Cesar Chavez appears in several images), and in the 1970s, important marches and rallies for gay rights in California and New York.

The photographic series also house a handful of large copy prints and contact sheets of Gedney images printed by photographers Margaret Sartor, Julie Stovall and others affiliated with the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. Finally, there is also a cluster of late 1980s contact sheets and prints processed by Gedney's former student and close friend Peter Bellamy from rolls of film found among Gedney's belongings at his death.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Preferred source for image titles: titles as written by Gedney on the backs of photographic prints. Second preferred source: titles on index cards prepared by Gedney for individual best-quality prints. Third source: captions written by Gedney on contact sheets, describing photo sequences. When no title was found, library staff have used "No title known."

Folder- and group-level titles for work prints, negatives, and papers were devised by library staff in the 1990s and 2010s, and are noted as such when known. Many if not most of these were derived from Gedney's original folder labels and notes; in the absence of an original description, titles have been devised by library staff.