I found this collection
of photographs of old Mexico at a small estate sale in Los Angeles
in 1965. For most of the years since, the negatives have rested quietly
in a drawer. When, last year, friends moved to San Miguel de Allende,
I asked them to try to locate a gallery there that might be interested
in showing the work. That was successful and it began a cycle of
interest that I hope will give Thresher some of the posthumous recognition
|Thresher posing with men dressed in Indian costumes.
(Left) Thresher posing by a giant tree in Chapultapec. (Right)
G. P. Thresher was born in a small town in Massachusetts in 1854
so this year is the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Just before going
to San Miguel for the opening of the show in June of this year, I
acquired a document from the history archive of the Los Angeles main
library, written in Thresher’s own hand. It tells about his arrival
in Los Angeles in the spring of 1895 along with his wife and three
daughters. It lists his profession as a realtor and builder but there
is no mention of his work as a photographer or of his love of the
diverse culture and architecture of Mexico.
During the last years
of the 19th and early years of the 20th centuries, Thresher traveled
widely throughout Mexico, California and the Arizona Territories.
He was clearly an accomplished photographer whose images exhibit
an unvarying elegance.
|One of the Thresher
Mrs. Florence Thresher, their three daughters,
Maria, Florence, Helen and two unknown women. (Right)
At The Huntington Library in San Marino, near Pasadena and The Bancroft
Library on the campus of U.C. Berkeley there are a few examples of
Thresher’s photographs of California Missions but this collection
of photographs of Old Mexico seems to exist nowhere else.
This collection is beginning to be exhibited
in galleries and museums around the world. The original showing was
at The Galleriea de Fotographia in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
It was scheduled for a month beginning June of 2004 but because of
intense interest by a growing audience the show was extended by three
At present, negotiations are in progress for
exhibitions at the Instituto de Cultura de Guanajuato, The Museum
of Art in Oaxaca and The Mexican Museum in San Francisco.
Each photograph has a number as well as a full or partial title.
These are what was written on each of the film sleeves in Mr. Thresher's
hand. The photographs are all 5X7 film positives that were scanned
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