A photo by Irwin Nash showing a farming camp

2022 | Our Stories, Our Lives: Irwin Nash Photographs of Yakima Valley Migrant Labor

EXHIBITION | May 24, 2022 – March 11, 2023

PROGRAM 10/7| Guided Conversation with Lipi Turner-Rahman, Friday, October 7, 2022, 3:00-4:30 p.m. (In-Person and Online)
Stream the program live on YouTube

PROGRAM 10/7| Reception, Friday, October 7, 2022, 4:30-6:00 p.m. (Museum)

ABOUT | The bounty and diversity of Washington State’s agriculture is possible because of the labor of agricultural workers. However, this work, and the individuals 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 nevertheless returned to the farming communities around Yakima each season until 1976 to document the lives of these workers. In the process, he created a compelling archive of more than 9,400 photographs. These images capture the moments of daily life—children playing, Chicano student meetings, family scenes, asparagus harvests—as well as chronicle an era of rising labor and protest movements, strikes, and social awareness that swept across Washington state and the nation.

In collaboration with WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU will exhibit a selection of over 40 photographs from the Irwin Nash Yakima Valley Migrant Labor Collection. This important collection, which until recently was largely unknown, documents the histories, experiences, stories, and perspectives of the Yakima Valley migrant labor community. These photographs have inspired the community to share their stories and help us document previously undocumented histories.

Organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU and guest curated by Lipi Turner-Rahman, Director of Development at Washington State University. Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Endowment, Nancy Spitzer, and members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.

LOCATION | The  Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus. For more information please visit museum.wsu.edu/about.