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Esvelt Gallery Exhibit: Irwin Nash Collection

September 18 @ 8:00 AM - October 19 @ 5:00 PM

The bounty and diversity of Washington State’s agriculture is possible because of the labor of agricultural workers. However, this work, and the humans who perform it, are often hidden from view. In 1967, Irwin Nash visited the Yakima Valley to take photographs for a freelance magazine piece on valley agriculture. After completing this assignment, he continued to photograph farming communities around Yakima each season until 1976. In the process, he created a compelling archive of more than 9,400 photographs documenting the lives of workers who rarely appear in the historical record. These images capture the moments of daily life—children playing, Chicano student meetings, family scenes, asparagus harvests—and are testimony to an era of rising labor and protest movements, strikes, and social awareness that swept across Washington state and the nation.

In collaboration with the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), this exhibition presents a selection of photographs from the Irwin Nash Yakima Valley Migrant Labor Collection. This important collection was largely unknown until its recent digitization by MASC. These photographs inspired the Yakima Valley community to share their stories and help us record previously undocumented histories.

This exhibition is on loan from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU, and the Washington State University Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC) and curated in collaboration with Columbia Basin College’s Esvelt Gallery and Washington State University Tri-Cities.


September 18 @ 8:00 AM
October 19 @ 5:00 PM
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CBC Esvelt Gallery
2600 N 20th Ave, P Bldg
Pasco, WA 99301
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