shadows of a fleeting world: pictorial photography and the seattle camera club

This is a really interesting public radio story out of Seattle about a new exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, "Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club," showcasing 200 photos taken by a group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s: A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club.
All of the photos were taken by members of the Seattle Camera Club, a mix of hobbyists and professionals who gathered regularly at the Empire Hotel in what used to be Seattle's Japantown.

Clubs like these existed up and down the West Coast. They were mostly founded by Issei men -- first-generation Japanese immigrants.
But the Seattle club had one unique distinction, points out Nicolette Bromberg, Special Collections archivist at the University of Washington Libraries.

"They didn't necessarily make the camera club to be solely Japanese. Right from the beginning, they invited other people."

So the group included a few Caucasians, as well as a few women. This made the interracial club – at a time when racial segregation existed in the city -- especially unique.
Both the photos and story of the Seattle Camera Club itself encapsulate a pretty fascinating slice of Japanese American history. "Shadows of a Fleeting World" runs February 12 to May 8 at the University of Washington. For more information, go to the Henry Art Gallery website here.

angry archive