Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange, made famous by her black-and-white “migrant mother” photo of a Dust Bowl refugee, also visited the Yakima Valley. In 1939, Lange documented the lives of the rural poor, among them agricultural workers. Nearly 30 years later, photographer Irwin Nash followed her path, finding similar scenes of rural poverty but also a thriving, mostly Chicano culture. And whereas Lange never returned to the Yakima Valley, Nash did — every year for 11 years. He not only documented a decade of day-to-day life there, but also the emergence of the United Farm Workers union to combat worker exploitation. Forty of Nash’s 9,400 photographs are displayed for this exhibition, offering a rare and heartfelt glimpse into the history of our Central Washington neighbors.
Our Stories, Our Lives: Irwin Nash Photographs of Yakima Valley Migrant Labor • May 24-Dec. 10 • Free • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU • 1535 N.E. Wilson Rd., Pullman • museum.wsu.edu • 509-335-1910
— Carrie Scozzaro