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Guide to the Seema Aissen Weatherwax Photographs
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Photographs and negatives of the Long Beach earthquake, 1933, Woodie Guthrie, Fred Ross, and the Shafter farm labor camp, 1941, a Los Angeles labor demonstration, 1945, the Hollywood strike, 1945, and many informal and formal photographs from the Yosemite camera workshops with Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, 1941-42. Included is a 24-page typescript, "The Queen of Montgomery Street," by her husband, John M. Weatherwax.
Emigrating from Tsarist Russia with her parents in 1913 to escape persecution and the conscription act, Seema graduated from high school and began studying science courses in Leeds, England. A few years after her father's death, her mother took the three daughters to Boston to join relatives, and Seema became involved in photography. She moved to Southern California in 1929, lived in Tahiti in 1931, 32 for a year and back to Southern California where she joined the film and photo league in 1934. Ansel Adams asked her in 1938 to run his darkroom in Yosemite and assist him in his work. She helped him with his First Camera Workshop in Yosemite in 1939. In 1941 Seema met the writer Jack Weatherwax and with him and Woody Guthrie visited the Shafter Farm Security Administration Camp where she photographed Dust Bowl refugees and their surroundings. Since Jack's death in 1985, Seema has continued her activism in Santa Cruz and has had several exhibits of her work.
3 linear ft.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.