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Frank Matsura - thumb
Spring 2015

Gallery: Self-portraits of Okanogan photographer Frank Matsura

The works of Frank Matsura, a photographer born in Japan who moved into the Okanogan valley in 1903, chronicle the end of mining in the area and the influx of farmers and families. In his 10 years as a valley pioneer, Matsura became a friend, neighbor, and trusted resource to the community. He also shot a number of self-portraits that capture the lighter side of frontier life.


Northwest bounty still life
Spring 2012

A delicious dilemma: Ingredients for a photographic still life

A Feast of Good Things - photo by Bruce Andre

With Washington’s abundance of food, we struggled to limit the still life photo for our feature “A Feast of Good Things” to just a few ingredients. Besides the native, naturally occurring foods like shellfish and salmon, our state rates second in the nation in sheer number of crops produced. Here’s a sampling:

Olympia oyster  While clams and other oysters reach market size in two years or less, the Olympia can take four to five years. Even then, it’s still quite small. Native … » More …

Fall 2009

“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing…”

“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing…”

—Henri Cartier-Bresson

In 1948 20-year-old photographer Don Normark walked up a hill in Los Angeles looking for a good view. Instead he found Chávez Ravine, site of three ramshackle Mexican-American neighborhoods tucked into Elysian Park “like a poor man’s Shangri-La,” he thought. He spent much of the next year photographing this uniquely intact rural community. Accepted by the residents, he returned often with his camera to witness a life that, though limited by poverty, was lived fully, openly, and joyfully.

In 1950 the people received letters telling them that they must sell their homes to the government … » More …

Spring 2003

Palouse Country

George Bedirian’s Palouse Country is a handsomely produced volume of over 100 duotone photographs. This revised WSU Press edition contains many previously unpublished images that provide an eloquent insight into a premotorized age of magnificent barn structures and the towns that supported their production.

These striking photographs of agricultural architecture are reminiscent of the photographic style of Wright Morris and Walker Evans. They are juxtaposed with the magnificent temporal seasonal landscapes of the Palouse. Bedirian has produced this volume of images as an insightful mythology to farming and the grandeur of this exceptional region. His images reflect a visceral appreciation and an understanding of the … » More …

Winter 2007

O Palouse!

O Palouse!, a DVD about the area, obviously started as one of those absolutely great ideas. Take an area that’s extraordinarily photogenic. Good geologic bones, good seasonal color. Unique personality. Add a rich history of relatively recent European settlement and a fairly well documented Native history. Throw in a few major conflicts between settlers and natives for drama. Then there’s the two-universities-in-the-middle-of-nowhere angle. Then we’ll get a lot of sponsors and work them into the story just a little, and bingo! O Palouse! Oh! Oh! Oh!

And for the most part, it works. O Palouse! is a fine general introduction, a perfect stocking stuffer, a … » More …

Fall 2007

The Best Dog in the World: Vintage Portraits of Children and Their Dog

Its square format, 8¼-inch page size, and consciously retro design mark The Best Dog in the World: Vintage Portraits of Children and their Dogs by Donna Long ’89 as a gift book—not a weighty tome by any means. Yet, unlike many other books of its kind, there’s enough substance in this little volume to keep readers coming back to it again and again. The book brings together 111 photographs—both formal studio portraits or amateur snapshots—taken from 1875 to 1925. A number of the images were originally printed as photo postcards, and Long takes pains to preserve their identity as such, reproducing the entire image side … » More …