Joanne Leonard and Helen Nestor Collections
The Art Department continues to acquire major photographic collections. In 1998 the Museum received the archive of Berkeley photographer Helen Nestor. Containing more than 2,000 prints and 20,000 negatives, the collection highlights Northern California’s counterculture of the 1960s and '70s. Nestor’s photographs of the Free Speech Movement at U.C. 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. She used her camera to capture the grit and grace of everyday life in one of California’s oldest African American neighborhoods. Leonard made the gift in honor of the late Oakland Museum of California curator of photography Therese Heyman.