Sea of Clouds (University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z)

From February 12 to May 8, the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington will be displaying photos from the Seattle Camera Club. The club, which ran from 1924 to 1929, was founded mostly by Issei men: first-generation Japanese immigrants. However, it had an eclectic mix of members, including non-Japanese men and even several women; its membership was unique during a time of racial segregation. The club was well known during its time, but has been dismissed by modern academics until recently.

I’m not a photography expert, so don’t take my word for it when I say I like these photos. But this club was founded as a way for the Issei men to cope with the sudden change of moving to the United States. Photography allowed them to communicate with others when language didn’t. Even if you don’t like the photos, the story is good.

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