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.
Major support for California and the West: Photography from the Campaign for Art is provided by Lisa and John Pritzker. Generous support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher and The Bernard Osher Foundation.
Additional support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation.
Header image: Michael Jang, Golden Gate Bridge Fiftieth Anniversary (detail), 1987; collection SFMOMA, gift of the Woodrow Jang family; © Michael Jang; photo: Don Ross