As I mentioned in my blog entitled “Turning Points,” I recently visited the exhibition Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California at the Oakland Museum of California. The exhibition explored a handful of Bay Area visual art movements and their influences on the larger world of art and photography. Included in the exhibition was one striking photo by Minor White from 1949 entitled: Taylor Street and Huntington Hotel, SF.
My first impression of this photo was how the central figure had been so exquisitely abstracted by motion blur. Then moving out from the center, the figure contrasted with the angular solidity of the surrounding elements, completely impressed me.
And with that impression came a startling shift in thinking and feeling. Having overlooked Minor White for decades, I now recognized him as a kindred spirit.
Shortly after seeing the exhibition, I strolled by California and Taylor Streets to see where Minor’s photo was taken. Above is how it appears today.