This self-taught photographer created hundreds of glass-plate negatives that document the exotic sights and rich street life of Chinatown before its devastation in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Thirty of these works are shown as a group for the first time in an exhibition that unveils Genthe's early career as a pictorialist photographer, San Francisco's Chinatown during the turn-of-the-century, and the history of these illuminating photographs.

The images on display were purchased by the Fine Arts Museums from Genthe's estate in 1943. San Francisco's Old Chinatown: Photographs by Arnold Genthe is co-curated by FAMSF Curator Karin Breuer and Dr. Rodger Birt, Professor of Humanities at San Francisco State University. The exhibition travels to the Chinese Culture Center in January 2000.

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