Sliva medium img

February 1 - July 6, 2018

Special Collections Gallery

San Francisco State University
J. Paul Leonard Library
1630 Holloway Avenue, 4th floor
San Francisco, CA 94132

​Frank Silva was born in Oakland, CA and began working on the Oakland waterfront in 1965 after serving in the US Navy. While working on the docks in the 1970s and 1980s, Silva was a part of the Waterfront Writers and Artists, a group of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members who held poetry readings and art shows celebrating dock work and the union experience. In the late-1970s, Harper and Row published The Waterfront Writers highlighting their work, and many of the images in this exhibition are drawn from this publication.

Silva photographed the waterfront from 1978 through 1988. His photographs are highly compelling images of workers on the waterfront, documenting a significant period of change from break bulk cargo handling to mechanized containerization and the advent of globalization. Because he worked alongside the subjects in the pictures, Silva’s portrayals are very moving and reflect a rare trust and intimacy.

Exhibition Closing Program
June 30, 2018, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Featuring Frank Silva

This exhibition and supporting programming was organized by The Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University
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Organized by: 

Labor Archives and Research Center

Spotlight Exhibit Wednesday, June 20, 2018