The Golden Decade - Art Exhibit at the Bankhead Theater Gallery


A new photography exhibit coming this March to the Gallery in the Bankhead Theater will showcase the post-WWII era photography of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). Renowned photographer Ansel Adams was hired by CSFA and, working with Minor White, established one of the first fine art photography departments in the US.  “The Golden Decade” highlights the work of some of their early students and will be on display from March 4 through May 1, 2017.  A free opening reception and book signing will be held on Friday evening, March 10th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition to Adams and White, CSFA’s photography program welcomed some of the great photographers of the era as guest instructors, such as Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Imogen Cunningham,  Lisette Model, Nancy and Beaumont Newhall, and Homer Page. The newly-enacted G.I. Bill enabled all veterans to attend the college or trade school of their choice, opening doors to educational opportunities which might otherwise have been unavailable.

The Gallery exhibit and accompanying book, “The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts 1945-1955,” is the result of a collaboration between three former students of Adams and White:  William Heick, Ira H. Latour, C. Cameron Macauley, and editors Ken and Victoria Whyte Ball. Local Livermore residents, the Balls inherited a wealth of negatives and contact prints from Victoria’s father, Don Whyte, a former student of CSFA. The book represents the work of over 32 photographers including Pirkle Jones, Ruth Marion Baruch, Philip Hyde, Rose Mandel, David Johnson, Gerald Ratto and John Upton.

Part of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the Visitor’s Center and Galley is located in the lobby of the Bankhead Theater at 2400 First Street, Liver­more, and is open seven days a week from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.  

Photo by Bob Hollingsworth