California and the West: Photography from the Campaign for Art


May 14 – September 5, 2016
SF MOMA

California and the West — the title taken from Edward Weston’s celebrated book — consists of gifts and promised gifts to the museum that depict wild nature as a spiritual resource, illustrate how land here has been used over time, and explore diverging photographic approaches, from evocation to documentation to self-conscious art making. Arranged roughly chronologically, from the medium’s invention in the nineteenth century to the present, this exhibition reveals changes in the landscape as well as shifts in photographic attitudes and subject matter. Artists on view include Ansel Adams, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lewis Baltz, Imogen Cunningham, and Lee Friedlander, as well as Dorothea Lange, Ed Ruscha, Larry Sultan, Edward Weston, and Minor White, among others.

Carleton E. Watkins, Yosemite Falls, View from the Bottom
Carleton E. Watkins, Yosemite Falls, View from the Bottom, Yosemite, ca. 1878; gift of Helen and Charles Schwab through the Art Supporting Foundation
Dorothea Lange, The Road West, U.S. 54 in Southern New Mexico, 1938
Dorothea Lange, The Road West, U.S. 54 in Southern New Mexico, 1938; collection of the Sack Photographic Trust and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Shirley Ross Davis; © Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland, gift of Paul S. Taylor; photo: Don Ross
Timothy H. O'Sullivan, Cañon de Chelle from the album Photographs Showing Landscapes
Timothy H. O’Sullivan, Cañon de Chelle from the album Photographs Showing Landscapes, Geological and Other Features of Portions of the Western Territory of the United States, Obtained in Connection with Geographical and Geological Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, 1871-1873; gift of Betsy and Mark Gates; photo: Katherine Du Tiel