The Santa Monica History Museum opened a new exhibit last week entitled, “Santa Monica, a Look Back to 1902 from Today.” The exhibit blends 110 pictures found in a pamphlet from 1902 with shots retaken today by Michael Murphy and Jens Lucking to create unique images showing how Santa Monica has changed.
Murphy will be on hand tomorrow night, Thursday May 24 at 6 p.m., to sign a book of the same name that accompanies the exhibit. To get more information on the exhibit hours or the book signing, visit the Santa Monica History Museum Website, or the exhibit/book website.
“It’s a book born from a book called SantaMonica Fire Department, Souvenir Book of Santa Monica, 1902, that I found as a child while living in the former home of Edmond S. Gillette, the S.M. city mayor in the 1930s,” explains Murphy. “I recently rediscovered the “souvenir” book, which contains 110 photographs of Santa Monica–as it looked over a century ago.”
From there, Murphy spent months researching, verifying and mapping the locations using 1902 and 1909 Sanborn Insurance Maps, Google Maps, and the Santa Monica Digital Library.
Once he had all of the addresses confirmed, he and Lucking biked or walked to every location, carefully matched the camera angles, and re-shot the historic photographs.
“Traversing Santa Monica by foot and bike made me appreciate how the people of the day must have experienced the City,” writes Murphy on the Facebook page for the exhibition. “The slower pace of transportation (and life) in 1902 may have allowed them to enjoy the city’s character in a more personal way than most people do today–until now.”
The exhibit runs through July 21, with an encore viewing in September.