Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
Arnold Genthe (American, born in Germany, 1869-1942), The Fish Dealer’s Daughter, ca. 1895-1906, printed later, gelatin silver print. Collection of OSU Museum of Art, 2015.014.029.

Student-curators explore photography in new exhibition

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Media Contact: Casey Ihde | OSU Museum of Art Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2783 |

A thought-provoking new exhibition, curated by Oklahoma State University students, will open on April 30th at the OSU Museum of Art. 

“Picturing Resilient Communities: Photographs of Chinese American Encounters in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Peking, 1900-1925” offers a unique juxtaposition of two distinct photography collections.

The photographs in the exhibition were taken in Old Beijing — then known as Peking — and San Francisco’s Chinatown in the early 20th century. Both cities have undergone drastic changes in the past century, either due to human actions or natural disasters. Both collections capture everyday life and special events in both Peking and Chinatown, highlighting how people adapted and interacted during troubled moments in American and Chinese history.

The exhibition features photographs from German American photographer Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) and U.S. Marine Howard C. Goodrich (1902-1984). Genthe, who settled in San Francisco before the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, captured the spirit of Chinatown before and after the catastrophe. Goodrich, stationed in Peking during the 1920s amidst political unrest in China, documented the daily lives of its inhabitants. Genthe’s photographs were intended to reach a large audience through publication, but Goodrich’s photographs were shared only with family and friends.

While influenced by personal bias, skill level and outsider status, both Genthe and Goodrich offer more than mere “exoticism” aimed at satisfying Western curiosity. They offer today's viewers evidence of rich human lives and cultures. The individuals in these images often look back at the photographers, and in turn, at the viewer, with curiosity, confidence and resilience.

Under the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Brienen, professor of art history and Faculty Fellow for Enriching and Integrating the Arts, students curated the exhibition with a commitment to fostering understanding and empathy. 

“We hope that the exhibition teaches people about this important history and allows them to see Chinese American relations in a more sympathetic and informed light,” she said.

The opening reception, from 5-7 p.m. on May 2, will feature remarks from the student curators and offer attendees the opportunity to explore the exhibition while enjoying light refreshments. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, visit

Left: Howard C. Goodrich (American, 1902-1925), Untitled (Street Scene with Guardian Lion, Peking), 1925, gelatin silver print. Private Collection. Right: Howard C. Goodrich ( American, 1902-1925), Untitled (Paifang Street Scene, Peking), ca. 1923-1925, gelatin silver print. Private Collection.

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.