1916 – 2016
Born in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, Joe’s family moved to California in 1926, but later relocated to Monterey. In 1937, he began working in the now world-renowned sardine canneries of Cannery Row. After the serving in WWII, Joe began attending Hartnell College where he met his teacher, mentor, and friend, noted regionalist painter, Leon Amyx. At Amyx’s insistence, Joe went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Art at San Jose State and a Masters in Art from Stanford University. Joe began teaching high school in Stockton, California but in 1948 returned to Salinas to begin a 30-year teaching career at Hartnell College.
In the early 1960s, while working to save the fragile Monterey Bay coastline from the imminent threat of a major oil refinery, Bragdon became friends with photographer Ansel Adams who inspired Joe to pursue photography. Joe spent many hours photographing with Adams both in the High Sierra and along the California Coast. The photographs in this exhibition are a result of this shared passion for nature.