San Rafael Illustrated: Then & Now
On view May 30, 2017 – September 22, 2017
This exhibit juxtaposes views of San Rafael in 1884 and 2017. It was inspired by “San Rafael Illustrated & Described,” a rare promotional brochure published by W.W. Elliott & Co in 1884. The brochure’s purpose was to attract new residents and investors to San Rafael by showcasing prominent homes and businesses and emphasizing the natural beauty of the area. It also highlights modern amenities of the day including the train and ferry systems. Featured are 29 sets of historic and contemporary views of San Rafael - such as the Cheda House, pictured above - each accompanied by interesting details about the history of the site depicted.
From 2016 through 2017, Marin County historian and photographer Michelle Sarjeant Kaufman photographed the same views depicted in the 1884 lithographs and researched their history in collaboration with the staff at the Anne T. Kent California Room. Kaufman’s modern views of San Rafael are presented here alongside their 1884 counterparts. The 1884 illustrations are original stone lithographs made from the sketches of Mr. Chris Jorgensen, a teacher at the San Francisco Art School.
This exhibit was organized by Laurie Thompson & Carol Acquaviva of the Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library and Marin historian and photographer Michelle Sarjeant Kaufman. Thanks to Philanthropist Jeff Craemer for underwriting the Exhibit.
A Digital collection of the 1884 views from “San Rafael Illustrated & Described” can be found at: marinlibrary.org/californiaroom.
This exhibit is on display in the 1st and 3rd floor galleries of the Marin County Civic Center. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8am - 6pm.