Harlem of the West
Written by Pepin & Watts


Harlem of the West...Revisited Exhibition
Now On Display!
December 6 2008 - March 7, 2009

The Harlem of the West exhibition, currated by Elizabeth Pepin & Lewis Watts and first organized by the Museum of Performance & Design, will be on public view December 6, 2008 - March 7th, 2009 in the Koret Heritage Lobby of the Jazz Heritage Center (1330 Fillmore Street @ Eddy, San Francisco). Admission is free. The lobby of the Fillmore Heritage Center is open 7 days per week, from noon until 11PM.

Harlem of the West...Revisited, is an art and photographic exhibit that celebrates the bustling Fillmore jazz era of the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibit celebrates a unique and rediscovered chapter in jazz history and the African American experience on the West Coast. The exhibit also marks the formal opening of the Jazz Heritage Center's Koret Heritage Lobby (1330 Fillmore St.), named for the JHC's lead donor, the Koret Foundation.

The exhibition includes two components:
  • Harlem of the West- The exhibition marks the return of the popular Harlem of the West exhibit. This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Performance & Design (MPD) and was originally displayed at MPD in 2006 in conjunction with the publication of the book of the same title from Chronicle Books. Curated by the book's authors, Elizabeth Pepin and Lewis Watts, the new exhibition features nearly sixty rare archival photographs of the Fillmore at its height in 1940s and 1950s, including photos inside of famed clubs such as Jimbo's Bop City.
  • Harlem of the West Revisited - Displayed at the Jazz Heritage Center's Lush Life Gallery (1320 Fillmore Street), this new exhibit features original paintings from San Francisco's golden era of jazz, including a rare impressionistic painting of the exterior of nightclub Jimbo's Bop City by master African-American painter, Joe Overstreet. Additionally, original murals that hung in the Texas Playhouse Bar (formerly 1836 Fillmore Street) will be on display. These paintings haven't been displayed on Fillmore Street in nearly 40 years. The gallery exhibit also includes photographs of the Fillmore by three prominent local photographers: David Johnson and Gerald Ratto (both of whom studied under Ansel Adams), and Mars Breslow.
For more information, call (415) 377-4565 or visit the Library's website at www.jazzheritagecenter.org
If you can ID someone in an uncaptioned photograph or have Fillmore memorabilia you'd like to share, please contact us!
Fillmore Street Cleaners
Jacks Tavern