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. A selection of these stories and pictures follows.
San Francisco Photographs by Minor White
Opening on November 18, 2020Shortly 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. White photographed African Americans in the Fillmore District, previously inhabited by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during the war. In the Financial District, he saw a new class of office workers—women. All throughout postwar San Francisco we see construction as the Victorian Gold Rush city rubbed up against trucks, freeways, and newly poured cement sidewalks. This exhibition is drawn exclusively from the more than 400 photographs White gave to the California Historical Society in 1957.