The Shades project began in Los Angeles in 1991 as a local exhibition of the city’s diverse communities. The phenomenal success of this “Shades of LA” project generated interest in a statewide version, the “Shades of California.”
At “Photo Days” at public libraries throughout the state, sponsored by the California State Library, people were invited to bring their family albums and personal photograph collections. Community volunteers and project staff then selected photographs that were reshot on-site by professional photographers.
Shades of California brings together the most arresting, humorous, poignant, and memorable images from the entire Shades project for the first time. These photos from the late 1800s to 1998, the faces of California, are a reflection of ourselves and our place in this state we call home.
Published in conjunction with the California State Library
Kimi Kodani Hill, the editor of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment, is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the California College of Arts and Crafts. She has served as the consultant for numerous Obata projects and lectures on his work. She lives in Berkeley, California.