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Picturing Resilient Communities:

Photographs of Chinese American Encounters in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Peking, 1900-1925

April 30 – July 27, 2024


This exhibition features old photographs taken in Old Beijing, then known as Peking, and San Francisco’s Chinatown. These cities have changed dramatically in the last 100+ years due to human actions and natural disasters. German American Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) and U.S. Marine Howard C. Goodrich (1902-1984) were early camera enthusiasts. Genthe moved to San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake and fire devastated Chinatown and much of the city. Goodrich was stationed in Beijing in the 1920s, during a period of political unrest in China. Although their images are largely positive, both Genthe and Goodrich made photos of the Chinese and their communities to satisfy Western curiosity about “exotic” places and people. Genthe’s photographs were intended to reach a large audience through publication, but Goodrich’s photographs were shared only with family and friends. Rather than focusing on the photographers, this exhibition directs attention to the people and places depicted in these images. The photographs show everyday life and special events in both Beijing and Chinatown, highlighting how people adapted and interacted at troubled moments in American and Chinese history. The individuals in these images often look back at the photographers, and in turn, at us, with curiosity, confidence, and resilience. 

Student Curators | Kate Battershell, Daniel Bonilla, Molly Johnson, Amanda Weaver

Related Events


Enjoy the photographs and light refreshments.

Thursday, May 2, 2024 | 5 – 7 PM

Student curator remarks at 5:45 PM

Flyer | Facebook Event

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