California Studies Association

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Pirkle Jones, Calif. Photographer, dies: “I did the talking through the photographs.”

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Pirkle Jones, photographer of California and its mid and late 20th century history, has died at age 95.  From the Los Angeles Times’ obituary:

Pirkle Jones, a California photographer admired for his stirring images of migrant workers, endangered landscapes and social movements, including a controversial series on the Black Panthers at the height of their activism in the late 1960s, died March 15 in San Rafael.

. . .

His best-known work includes a collaboration with [Dorothea] Lange called “The Death of a Valley 1956,” which portrayed the Berryessa Valley in Napa County during the year before completion of the Monticello Dam that flooded the valley; “Walnut Grove 1961,” a series Jones shot with his wife, Ruth-Marion Baruch, which documents a dying Sacramento River town; and “Black Panthers 1968,” also in collaboration with Baruch, which caused a furor for its sympathetic view of the black power movement.

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