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Peter Stackpole: Bridging the Bay

This exhibition features stunning black-and-white photographs chronicling the original San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge construction in the 1930s.

Featuring stunning black-and-white photographs chronicling the original San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge construction in the 1930s by American photographer Peter Stackpole, the exhibition Peter Stackpole: Bridging the Bay continues OMCA’s ongoing series exploring contemporary topics in California through photography. On view in the Gallery of California Art during the opening of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in fall 2013, the exhibition of 22 of Stackpole’s works from OMCA’s collection connects visitors back in time to the bridge’s first iteration and serves as a complement to the Museum’s major exhibition on the San Francisco Bay, opening in concert with the new bridge and America’s Cup. The son of California sculptor Ralph Stackpole, Peter Stackpole was educated in the San Francisco Bay Area and Paris, where he grew up under the influence of his parents’ friends and peers such as Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, and Diego Rivera. His appreciation for the hand-held camera and his technical expertise found a perfect subject chronicling the construction of both the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. An honorary member in the Bay Area’s Group f/64, Stackpole’s work appeared in Time, Fortune, U.S. Camera, Vanity Fair, and LIFE magazine, where he was an original staff photographer.

Peter Stackpole, Waiting on Catwalk, 1935. Gelatin silver print, 6.25 x 9.375 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Museum of California Founders Fund.
Peter Stackpole, Catwalk and Marin Tower, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 6.25 x 9.375 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Museum of California Founders Fund.
Peter Stackpole, Bridge with Worker, 1935. Gelatin silver print, 8.75 x 13 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, gift of Douglas Elliott.
Peter Stackpole, Quitting Time, 1935. Gelatin silver print, 7 x 9.13 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Museum of California Founders Fund.
Peter Stackpole, I Beam Silhouette, 1935. Gelatin silver print, 8 x 11.75 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Museum of California Founders Fund.