UNEARTHED: Hand Colored Slides of Early Twentieth-Century Portland Gardens from the Oregon Historical Society

  Garden3442_low  Garden3452_low  Garden3475_low

On view: August 7 – September 26, 2015
See below for related events

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) and Newspace Center for Photography are proud to present UNEARTHED, an exhibition of hand colored lantern slides of Portland gardens from ca. 1920 – 1935. These images, all drawn from the OHS permanent collection, were created by George C. Stephenson (1866-1940) on behalf of the Portland Garden Club (PGC). Following the First World War an effort was made to record the beautiful yet quickly disappearing estate gardens in and around Portland. Stephenson, identified in his obituary (1940) as the official photographer of the PGC, created hundreds of slides locally – many of which document the famed Portland gardens of the time, including the Kerr brothers’ gardens and the Frank Estate (now Lewis and Clark College). All slides were then colored by hand, taking great pains to accurately record the color palette of each garden or plant subject. These slides embody the ways in which archival collections of this kind function over time—what we learn from them about our past and the ways in which they can reflect on our present. In addition to the public programs (listed below) the exhibition will include prints of select images, as well as the display of the slides themselves.

Related Events:
All events are free, open to the public, and take place at Newspace unless otherwise noted.

Opening Reception: Friday, August 7, 6 – 9pm

Lantern slide show and presentation: Friday, August 14, 6:30-7:30pm

UNEARTHED panel discussion: Thursday, September 10, 6:30-7:30pm

Lecture: Women, Gardens, and Modern Landscape Architecture by Thaisa Way, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington: Thursday, September 17, 7 – 8pm

Lantern slide show and presentation at the Portland Garden Club (1132 SW Vista Ave, Portland, OR 97205): Thursday, October 15, 10-11am


Related Classes:

On Location: The Garden at Twilight: August 9 & August 13. Instructor: Zeb Andrews.

Finding Beauty: Themes in the Traditional landscape: September 13, September 20, October 4. Instructor: Ray Bidegain


Also on view:

Women in the Landscape



Radio interview with Newspace Curator Yaelle Amir and OHS Archivist Matthew Cowan, KBOO’s Art Focus, August 11, 2015

Briauna Skye McKizzie, “Oregon Historical Society and Newspace Center for Photography Present Unearthed,” GoLocal PDX, August 7, 2015


Visitor information:

Newspace Center for Photography is located at 1632 10th Ave, Portland, OR.

Gallery hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00am-9:30pm; Friday – Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm.

Generous support provided by:

Collins Found logo blk vector OCFLogo7532TagLargeKinsmanLogo2NEA-logo-color-300x214 OACLogoColor