Jon Lewis photographs of the United Farm Workers movement
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of approximately eleven thousand photographs created by Jon Lewis that document the activities of César Chávez, the National Farm Workers Association, and United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in California, 1966-1971, as well as related publications and audiovisual materials, 1967-2009. Most images document activities related to the California Grape Strike in 1966.
Images include migrant agricultural laborers during the picketing fields of table grape growers, including the Di Giorgio Fruit Corporation, in Delano, California, during the California Grape Strike. Other images related to the strikers depict the labor of farm workers, their housing, and the vineyards. A group of images depicts strikers picketing the arrival of Governor Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. at the meeting of the California Democratic Council in Bakersfield, California, February 1966. A significant group of images documents a visit to strikers by Senator Robert F. Kennedy in March 1966, as well as a related local hearing for the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor that he conducted with Senators Harrison A. Williams and George L. Murphy in Delano. Groups of images also document college student volunteers supporting the strike during the summer of 1966.
Many images document a peregrinación (pilgrimage) march during the California Grape Strike from Delano to Sacramento, March-April 1966, including informal portraits of César Chávez; views of marchers and flag bearers holding flags for the National Farm Workers Association; and images of a banner that depicts the Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Related images to the peregrinación show volunteers and activities that provided material support for the march, including food caravans and temporary camps, as well as rallies held along the route of the march.
A substantial portion of images in the collection document performances of El Teatro Campesino, a theatrical troupe founded by Luis Valdez and Agustin Lira, which performed as a cultural arm of the National Farm Workers Association.
A small group of images depict César Chávez at an outdoor religious service during his Fast for Nonviolence at the Field Office of the United Farm Workers of America in Delano, also known as "Forty Acres," February-March 1968.
Few individuals involved with the strike are identified in the images. Individuals identified in the collection include César Chávez and his wife, Helen Chávez, as well as other members of the union leadership, including James L. Drake, Marshall Ganz, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong, Antonio Orendain, Gilbert Padilla, and Fred Ross.
Besides documenting the activities of the groups and individuals, the photographic material in the collection documents the evolution of images from negatives captured by Lewis to resultant prints and publications. The negatives and contact sheets show variant images captured by Lewis. The books and audiovisual materials document the ways in which Lewis and others used the images.
- 1966 - 2009
- Majority of material found within 1966 - 1968
Language of Materials
In English and Spanish.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Jon Lewis Photographs of the United Farm Workers Movement is the physical property of The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, also retains any and all copyrights in the Jon Lewis Photographs of the United Farm Workers Movement collection and full authority to control commercial use of materials in it. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Gaylord Jon Lewis on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2009-2010.
Organized into two series: I. Photographs, 1966-1971. II. Books and Audiovisual Materials, 1967-2009.
17.65 Linear Feet (53 boxes)
This collection consists of approximately eleven thousand photographs created by Jon Lewis that document the activities of Ce?sar Cha?vez, the National Farm Workers Association, and United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in California, 1966-1971, as well as related publications and audiovisual materials, including videotapes and videodiscs, 1967-2009. Most images document activities related to the California Grape Strike in 1966.
Jon Lewis (1938-2009)
Gaylord Jon Lewis (1938-2009) was a photographer and printer in San Francisco, California. After service in the United States Marine Corps, Lewis earned a baccalaureate degree from San Jose State University. In 1966, Lewis joined the farm worker movement and documented the work and activities of César Chávez and the California Grape Strike. He later earned a graduate degree in photography at San Francisco State University.
United Farm Workers of America and the California Grape Strike
The United Farm Workers of America (UFWA) is a labor union created from the merging of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) led by Larry Itliong (1913-1977), Philip Vera Cruz (1904-1994), and others, with the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) led by César Chávez (1927-1993) and Dolores Huerta (born 1930).
On September 8, 1965, the AWOC and its primarily Filipino membership started a strike against grape growers in Delano, California. During the strike they demanded salaries equal to the federal minimum wage. The predominantly Mexican-American NFWA joined the strike soon after it began. During the California Grape Strike and related boycott of table grapes, the AWOC and NFWA recognized their common goals and methods. On August 22, 1966, the groups combined to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee and became a member of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. The union eventually became the United Farm Workers of America. By 1970, the UFWA reached a collective bargaining agreement with the table-grape growers.
- Agricultural industries -- California
- Chavez, Cesar, 1927-1993 -- Pictorial works
- DVD-Video discs
- Delano (Calif.) -- Strike, 1965-66 -- Pictorial works
- Di Giorgio Fruit Corporation -- Pictorial works
- Documentary films -- California
- Grape Strike, Calif., 1965-1970 -- Pictorial works
- Guadalupe, Our Lady of -- Pictorial works
- Huerta, Dolores, 1930- -- Pictorial works
- Labor leaders -- United States -- Pictorial works
- Labor unions -- United States -- Pictorial works
- Lewis, Jon, 1938-2009
- Lewis, Jon, 1938-2009 -- Pictorial works
- Lira, Agustín -- Pictorial works
- Mexican American labor union members -- Pictorial works
- Mexican American migrant agricultural laborers -- Pictorial works
- Migrant agricultural laborers -- California -- Pictorial works
- National Farm Workers Association -- Pictorial works
- Negatives (photographs)
- Photographic prints
- Slides (photographs)
- Strikes and lockouts -- Agricultural laborers -- California -- Pictorial works
- Teatro Campesino (Organization) -- Pictorial works
- United Farm Workers Organizing Committee -- Pictorial works
- Valdez, Luis -- Pictorial works
- Guide to the Jon Lewis Photographs of the United Farm Workers Movement
- by Matthew Daniel Mason
- February 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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