Through My Father’s Eyes

July 14, 2012 – January 6, 2013


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History San José Presents “Through My Father’s Eyes: The Filipino American Photographs of Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado (1914 – 1976)”

Opening July 14 at the Pacific Hotel Gallery at History Park

A special Members & VIP Reception will be held from 5:30 – 8:30 on July 25 at the Pacific Hotel Gallery, with music featuring Steve Monteclaro  & Friends.

by Ricardo Alvarado
Tractor, California, 1950s

Through My Father’s Eyes: The Filipino American Photographs of Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado (1914 – 1976) is a collection of 50 photographs chosen from more than 3,000 discovered by his daughter, Janet Alvarado after his death. This exhibit offers a rare view into the daily life of the Filipino American community in the post-World War II era in the Bay Area.

“It is such an honor for History San José to offer the South Bay premiere of this photography exhibit, Through My Father’s Eyes,” says Alida Bray, President & CEO of History San José. “Mr. Alvarado’s perspective has kept alive the Filipino American experience in the Bay Area.”

by Ricardo Alvarado
Migrant Farm Children, California, 1950s

Ricardo Alvarado emigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1928, part of the early 20th-century wave of immigrants known as the ‘Manong Generation,’ meaning ‘older brother’ in the Ilocano language. He served in the Pacific Theater with the U.S. Army’s First Filipino regiment during World War II. When the war ended, Alvarado supported his passion for photography by working as a civilian cook at San Francisco’s Letterman Hospital in the Presidio.  For more than 20 years following the war, Alvarado documented postwar Filipino American life. His poignant photographs capture every aspect of day-to-day activities, public and private.

“We are proud to partner with History San Jose,” said Janet Alvarado.  “My father would be pleased to know that his life’s work is being shared with members of all communities.” Alvarado’s photography was more than a hobby. He photographed weddings, funerals, baptisms, and parties. His ‘view camera,’ a Speed Graphic, documented street scenes, beauty pageants, cock fights, agricultural workers tending crops, and entrepreneurs on the job. His daughter Janet, now the Executive Director of The Alvarado Project, created the nationally recognized nonprofit devoted to her father’s photos demonstrating the Filipino American cultural history.  “My father’s collection tells a million stories,” added Alvarado.

“I am excited that a new audience and generation will have the opportunity to view a beautiful exhibit of photos that truly captures the Filipino American experience,” states Ron P. Muriera, Administrator for the FANHS Santa Clara Valley Chapter.

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