Chester Kessler

San Francisco and the Beat Generation. Vintage Prints.

Chester Kessler.  Self-portrait,  ca. 1950.

Chester Kessler. Self-portrait, ca. 1950.

Chester Kessler (1919–1979) a Missouri native, moved to Los Angeles following WWII where he studied photography at the Los Angeles Art Center School and studied animation and film making at USC. After relocating to San Francisco in 1949 he took classes in Minor White’s photography program at the California School of Fine Arts.

During the 1950s he immersed himself in the North Beach scene, photographing Beat writers, poets and artists, including Allen Ginsburg, Kenneth Patchen, Jonathan Williams, and James Baldwin. During the late 1950s and the early 196os he photographed and documented performances of post modern dancer Anna Halprin’sSan Francisco Dancer’s Workshop and photographed the San Francisco Playhouse Group and film maker Kenneth Anger. Kessler made his own experimental films during the late 1960s and 1970s.

After his death on his 60th birthday, Kessler’s archive of prints and papers went to a friend acting as estate executor who held most of the work until recently. Kessler’s films and some of his papers were placed in the Special Collections Department of the U.C. Santa Cruz Library. We are pleased to offer for sale these vintage prints from Kessler’s personal archive of work.

Click image to view EXHIBITION.

Personal Work. 1950s–1960s

Personal Work. 1950s–1960s


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