“I have written about coteries, but artists like Nowinski represent rovers, people who study and document other communities and make it possible to see something of how culture is born and nurtured in many places. This is art in service of memory, the memory of the enormous variety one species has developed, of struggles to survive, of arias, celebrations, friendships, and dreams.” —Rebecca Solnit, from the Foreword
What catches Ira Nowinski’s eye and what he captures with his lens are people—the beat poets of North Beach, opera divas radiating passion and delighting in adulation, cigar-smoking old Italians, tenant organizers, and an alert shirtless old man in a boxer’s stance. These are photographs from three decades that speak eloquently and powerfully about the timeless virtues of courage and dignity, photographs that probe the depth of the human spirit, indeed the very heart of San Francisco.
Published in collaboration with the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
Ira Nowinski has published half a dozen books, most recently The Studio of Man Ray (Nazraeli Press, 2006). His photographs have been collected extensively of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, Stanford University Library Special Collections, the Library of Congress, Bilbiotheque Nationale in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and other national and international institutions. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Nowinski lives in San Francisco.