In October 1991, immediately following the catastrophic firestorm which struck the Oakland and Berkeley Hills,
Bay Area photographer Richard Misrach ventured into the fire zone armed with his 8x10 inch view camera. Working alone amidst the ruins, he roamed devastated neighborhoods, recording both stark vistas and intimate details of destroyed homes. Out of respect for the victims of the fire—which killed 25 people, injured 150 others, and destroyed 1,520 acres—Misrach’s images have remained in storage with limited visibility to the public. In October 2011, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the monumental firestorm, the Oakland Museum of California and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive simultaneously present identical exhibitions featuring 14 large-format photographs documenting this tragic part of the Bay Area’s history.
1991: Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach is made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Museum Women's Board and Stone and Youngberg.
The exhibition is organized by Curator of Photography Drew Johnson.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive presentation of 1991: Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach is on view from October 12, 2011 through February 5, 2012. OMCA Members may view their presentation at no charge with proof of membership.