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The Great Depression caused many photographers to consider the camera as an instrument of social change.Foremost among this group was Berkeley photographer Dorothea Lange, whose intimate pictures of people in distress were driven by a deep personal empathy.This thematic approach allows visitors to see works in different media and from different periods side by side, inspiring new ways of looking at California’s evolving role as a cutting-edge center of visual expression.Seminal works by artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Dorothea Lange, Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Weston, and David Ireland remain highlights of the art collection, but museum-goers can also count on making new and thought-provoking discoveries every time they visit.More at OMCA Collections Online Once the intense excitement of the Gold Rush calmed, Californians turned their gaze to the natural beauty of the environment.East Coast and European painters like Albert Bierstadt and William Keith, and California’s first African-American artist, Grafton Tyler Brown, conveyed a sense of the sublime in the newly discovered wonders of Yosemite.As part of OMCA’s recent transformation, the Gallery of California Art has been revitalized into a living, breathing space, pulsating with energy and ideas.
More at OMCA Collections Online The Art Department continues to acquire major photographic collections.
Nestor’s photographs of the Free Speech Movement at U. Berkeley are among the most familiar images of that turbulent era.
Joanne Leonard, Nestor’s close friend, has donated an archive of 2,000 negatives and 500 prints documenting her West Oakland neighborhood in the 1960s.
Art, history, and science are deeply intertwined, and OMCA’S galleries embody these interrelationships.
Do deeper dives: Stop in a Loaded Lounge to explore connections, get different perspectives, and ask: what is art, anyway?
The collection includes early Bay Area Figurative painters, such as David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn, as well as later practitioners such as Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and Nathan Oliveira.