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  • Light & Shadow: Capturing Early Santa Monica


    The Santa Monica Public Library and the Santa Monica History Museum present a joint exhibition showcasing the work of early Santa Monica photographers.

    From: March 9 - June 15, 2019

    Download the Light & Shadow: Capturing Early Santa Monica booklet.

    A portion of the exhibition will be on display in the lobby of the Main Library and part will be on display next door at the Santa Monica History Museum. 


    The joint exhibition will highlight seven local photographers whose imagery documents our city’s past. The Main Library will present work by Kenneth Strickfaden and Victor Barnaba.

    Best known as an electrical special-effects pioneer on films like Frankenstein (1931), Strickfaden as a young man photographed the natural beauty, piers and street scenes in the Santa Monica Bay Area.

    Barnaba’s illustrious career stretched decades, including his service as a military photographer during WWII. In Santa Monica, Barnaba built a studio photography business and was commissioned by the city to document the built environment, civic affairs, and notable figures until his retirement in 1973.

    The Santa Monica History Museum will present work by H.F. Rile, Adelbert Bartlett, Emerson Gaze, Bill Beebe, and George Tate. Rile was active in the 1880s through the 1910s and produced cabinet cards documenting everything from local businesses and school children to city events and views of Palisades Park. Bartlett, active in the 1920s, is known for his ethereal representations of daily life in Santa Monica. 

    Emerson Gaze, active from the 1930s to the 1960s, and Bill Beebe, active from the 1940s through the 1990s, both worked for the Evening Outlook newspaper recording Santa Monica’s notables and happenings. George Tate, who was active in the 1950s and 1960s, had an excellent eye for composition and his images express the exuberant energy of Muscle Beach.  


    Thank you to our partner, 

    Automobiles in front of Venice High School, 1927. 
    Photographed by Kenneth Strickfaden, Elliott Welsh Collection [L46]

    Passengers boarding the bus of a new bus service between Culver City, Venice and Los Angeles, 1928.
    Photographed by Kenneth Strickfaden, Elliott Welsh Collection [L36]

    Trolley traveling north on Windward Avenue by the Colonnade in Venice, 1927.
    Photographed by Kenneth Strickfaden, Elliott Welsh Collection [L35]


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