Photographs by Richard Misrach on View at the Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Museum of California is showing 1991. Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath. Photographs by Richard Misrach an exhibition on view October 15, 2011 – February 12, 2012.


Richard Misrach, Oakland Fire Aftermath, 1991, Edition #1/3, Archival Pigment Print. ©Richard Misrach.

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 8×10 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. museumca.org

Lower image: Richard Misrach, Oakland Fire Aftermath, 1991, Edition #1/3, Archival Pigment Print. ©Richard Misrach

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