San Francisco ‘64

1964 has been called the ‘last innocent year’, a turning point in US history between the optimism of Camelot and the tumultuous era of social and cultural radicalism understood as the ‘sixties’. 1964 saw a presidential election, a sweeping Civil Rights Act, the advent of Freedom Summer in Mississippi, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the birth of the Free Speech Movement on college campuses. On a lighter note, the Beatles' appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show fuelled a national teenage epidemic of Beatlemania. This is the subject matter of the more than nine hundred negatives made by Tress in San Francisco during the spring and summer of 1964.

The San Francisco photographs were set aside and all but forgotten. The death of his sister, Madeleine, in September 2009, led the artist back to San Francisco to organise her estate. In the process he rediscovered a cache of his vintage prints and youthful letters. Tress was inspired to revisit this substantial body of work dating from the start of his career and to commission new prints from the original negatives. The collection forms a time capsule in black and white that retains the astonishing clarity of Northern California sunlight as filtered through Tress's unique artistic sensibility. The photographs capture a vital moment in the life of the city and of the artist, while also making an important contribution to San Francisco’s rich photographic history.

11am - 5pm Tue - Sat


Stadium Plaza

Wood Street

CF10 1LA

San Francisco ‘64

Arthur Tress

01 -31 October