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About this collection

Orville Charles Goldner was born on May 18, 1906 in Toledo, Ohio. Goldner moved to California in the early 1920s to pursue his undergraduate degree at the California School of Fine Arts in Berkeley, CA. In 1940 he earned his master’s degree from Stanford University. While at Berkeley he met Dorothy “Dot” Thompson of Modesto. They were married on October of 1925 and had two children, Maxine and Janet. Goldner lived many places including Hollywood where he held various positions including: Art and Technical Director, Technical Director, Designer, Special Effects and Creator of Animated Films on such Hollywood films such as The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and King Kong (1933). Goldner and his wife made many educational films for the state of California. During World War II, Goldner served in the United States Navy as the Head of the Training Films and Motion Picture branch. After the war Goldner worked as a Professor at San Francisco State University from 1954-1960 and at Chico State College from 1967-1971 serving as an instructor for Mass Communication and as director of the Audio-Visual Center. Goldner died February 28, 1982.

This photograph collection contains images from the time he was hired by the California Department of Education to photograph migrant farm workers and their children. The photographs were taken from February to March of 1940, in migrant camps from Bakersfield to Red Bluff, California; and later, in May of 1940, when he visited the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, where he photographed Hupa Indian students as well as Paiute and Hupa Indian lifestyles.

Please also see our web exhibit
Picturing California’s Migrant Children: Orville Goldner’s Photographic Trek of 1940

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