Horace Bristol’s Compelling 1930s Photographs On Exhibition At Agriculture Museum
More than two dozen images by famed LIFE Magazine photojournalist Horace Bristol are on exhibition March 3 through May 20 at the Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula. Horace Bristol Photographs: Selections From the 1930s features not only work from his best known Grapes of Wrath series, but other selections from the 1930s period, including such diverse images as a never before exhibited aerial photograph of a Santa Paula orange orchard, and a migrant child pitting apricots. The exhibition is in the Agriculture Museum’s Reiter Affiliated Companies Visitors Center and Calavo Hall.
Born in 1908, Bristol spent time during his teens in Santa Paula and as a young man established his first commercial studio there. During the Depression, Bristol traveled with John Steinbeck through the California migrant camps. His resulting black and white photographs documenting the human toll of the Dust Bowl displacement were published in LIFE magazine in the early 1940s. Bristol’s total body of work was extensive and varied, covering such subjects as World War II, Asia, famous personalities, and the architecture of American industry. Many of the negatives were later burned and the photographs that remained were largely forgotten until 1985, when Bristol showed them to his son 12 years before his death in Ojai, where he had retired. The Agriculture Museum’s exhibit presents photographs from the Museum of Ventura County Collection and from the Horace and Masako Bristol Estate.
The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum is located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula, in their historic downtown, near the Depot and next to the railroad tracks. Hours are 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, free for Museum of Ventura County members, and for children ages 5 and younger. On first Sundays of the month, general admission is always free. For more information, go to www.venturamuseum.org or call (805) 525-3100.