A Dream Begun So Long Ago


A photographer with over half a century of experience, David Johnson has the distinction of being Ansel Adam’s first African American student at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), now known as the venerable San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). After graduating from CSFA David Johnson went on to establish his own studio on Fillmore Street diligently documenting the development of the neighborhood during the 40’s, 50’s, & 60’s. David Johnson combined his professional training as a photographer and personal interest in music to visually record the heydays of the Fillmore’s clubs, dance halls and way of life. His work has been published in books such as Harlem of the West- as well as the KQED documentary The Fillmore. Another significant component of his work is his documentation of the civil rights movement in San Francisco, the NAACP registration drives, including the March on Washington.
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