Exhibit Opening – Dolores Huerta at the Smithsonian
Last October in a blog post, I announced that the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. had acquired Harvey Richards’ photo of Dolores Huerta taken in 1965 during the grape strike for use in their upcoming exhibit, “One Life: Dolores Huerta.” Now, the exhibit has opened and Dolores Huerta appeared there opening the exhibit standing in front of the mural-sized photo by Harvey Richards mounted in the hallway outside the exhibit. The Smithsonian published the above photo about Dolores Huerta’s appearance. She is the first Latina woman featured in the ongoing Smithsonian series “One Life”. The Harvey Richards Media Archive is proud to have contributed to the much deserved national recognition that Dolores Huerta is getting. No one deserves it more. Congratulations Dolores Huerta.
This exhibit followed another exhibit, which also included photos by Harvey Richards, involving Dolores Huerta at the Smithsonian-affiliated Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, California which ran from April 10‒July 7, 2014.
Harvey Richards photographed farm workers on strike from 1957 to 1966. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s farm workers went on strike many times in a seemingly futile effort to win higher wages and better conditions in a labor market dominated by captive, low paid bracero labor. The first strike efforts came from the United Packinghouse Workers Union who had successfully kept bracero labor away from the packing houses and had increased their wages and the number of contracts. Harvey photographed and filmed these early strikes, including the 1962 lettuce strike for $1.25 per hour centered in the Imperial Valley. Factory Farms, the Harversters, and Uno Vientecinco were three films made for the UPWA and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. His fourth farm worker film, The Land Is Rich, told the story of the spring 1966 March to Sacramento by the United Farm Workers and the strike wave that preceded it, including the grape strike of 1965. His films were used as organizing tools and fund raising for the unions. His farm worker photography is displayed in ten galleries on the Harvey Richards Media Archive website.