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Historic exhibit at CSUB Library
January 10, 2005
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or


A rare collection of photographs depicting migratory farm life in the Central Valley during the Great Depression by renowned photojournalist Horace Bristol is on display at the Walter Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield.

The exhibit, titled “A Journey Shared: Photographs by Horace Bristol,” is a traveling collection organized by the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas from a show held there in 2003. It features Bristol’s journey with John Steinbeck in 1937-38, documenting the conditions of migrant farm workers for a photographic book. Steinbeck later abandoned the photographic book project, instead using the experience as a basis for his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

The photos present subjects named for the central characters in the novel, a classic of American literature that shocked the sensibilities of the nation with its graphic depiction of migrant life. The photographs also served as references for the 1939 movie adaptation of the novel.

Bristol was a staff photographer for LIFE Magazine, serving as a foreign correspondent in Asia for most of his career. He died in Ojai in 1997.

The photographs will be on display on the first floor of Stiern Library until Feb. 28. There is no charge.

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