Current Galleries – Photos for Purchase:

Duncan Miller Gallery

Barry Singer Gallery

Smith Andersen North


2013 California Legislature Resolution Commending Joe Schwartz for his “Demonstrating perseverance, steadfastness, honesty, and integrity throughout his life, Joe Schwartz’s value to the community has been displayed through his unique ability to capture interracial harmony and the “humanity within all of us.” by Honorable Katcho Achadijian, 35th Assembly District, and the Honorable William W. Monning, 17th Senatorial District, Relative to commending.

2013 Recognizing Joe Schwartz on his Centennial Birthday: “Does hereby recognize and commend Joe Schwartz, one of Atascadero’s most beloved and respected citizens, for his lifelong dedication as an artist who sought to inspire all of us to see and appreciate the humanity in ourselves and in others.”  Presented by The County of San Luis Obispo District Supervisors and County Clerk.

2013 Atascadero City Commendation to Joe Schwartz, Folk Photographer: Presented by the Mayor and City Council Members.

2012 Lifetime Commitment to Diversity: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s colloquium, Celebrating Diversity.

2012 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, Presented to Joseph Schwartz, in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Presented by Congresswoman Capps

2005 Recognition for “Outstanding Service to the Cause of Human Rights and equal Justice.” Presented by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

2001 “Artist Recognition” to Joe Schwartz for his significant impact on the arts.” Presented by San Luis Obispo Arts Counsel

1984 “Outstanding Service to the Cause of Human Rights and Equal Justice for Unselfish and Dedicated Support.” Presented by Southern Poverty Law Center.

1983 Peace Advocate Award. Presented by Volga Peace Cruise of 1983.

1986 “In recognition of devoted and valuable services rendered to WISE and the elderly of our community.” Presented by Westside Independent Services To The Elderly.

1962 First Place: Photo Exhibit, (Judged by: Gilien & Mesches.)

1950 First Place, Douglas Aircraft National Group Exhibit (Judged by Lionel Barrymore)

Collaborative Projects:

September 24, 2016 – Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) exhibiting the work of humanist documentary photographer Joe Schwartz, depicting the lives of poor and working class people during the first half of the 20th Century.

May 2016 – Atascadero Public Library, California

May 2016 – “Figurines”- Art Central, San Luis Obispo, California

An ongoing exhibit of Joe Schwartz Photo Archive at Atascadero Art Association Gallery, 5820 Traffic Way, Atascadero, California.

2013 When 100 Meets 100: Atascadero City Hall, Atascadero, CA (in collaboration with the City of Atascadero, celebrating both Joe and the city’s 100 birthdays with photo exhibition at Atascadero City Hall)

2004 Joe Schwartz Photographic Exhibit: Sharing The Dream Concert & Cultural Festival at the Clark Center for Performing Arts, Arroyo Grande, CA (celebrating Black History Month)

1999 Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project: (Mission is to help fight hate crimes through hard-hitting lawsuits since 1971, started teaching tolerance when center realized they needed to go beyond fighting hate in the courtroom)

1993 Tribute to Reverend Fritchmand: The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

1989 Painters and Photographers Exhibition: Annual Art Benefit Dinner & Auction, Museum of African American Art, Oakland, CA

1972 For Sale:  Benefit for the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Los Angeles, CA

Solo/Featured Exhibitions:

Ongoing Joe Schwartz exhibit, BLACK LIVES MATTER – Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, San Luis Obispo, CA

2016 – Poetry in Photography, The Fig, Atascadero, CA

2016 – Poetry in Photography, Hush Harbor, Atascadero CA

2016 – Poems I’ve Never Written, Joebella Coffee and Gallery, Atascadero CA

2015 & 2016 – Joe Schwartz Street Photography, BRU, Atascadero, CA

2015 Joe Schwartz-Folk Photography-Poem’s I’ve Never Written: Smith Anderson North Fine Art, San Anselmo, CA

2015 A Thought, A Memory, An Image; The Photography of Joe Schwartz: African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland, CA

2015 A Camera With a Conscience, The Photo Shop, San Luis Obispo, CA

2015 Harmony in Black and White, the Life Affirming Photos of Joe Schwartz, Atascadero Public Library, CA

2013 A Camera With A Conscience: Olive Tree Gallery, Atascadero, CA

2013 Art of Iconic Folk Photographer, Joe Schwartz: Steynberg Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

2012 Celebrating Diversity: Cal Poly State University Kennedy Library, San Luis Obispo, CA

2012 Poem’s I’ve Never Written: Envisions Gallery, Atascadero, CA

2011 Joe Schwartz Photographs-taken over the last 80 years: San Luis Obispo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, San Luis Obispo, CA

2011 Atascadero Art Association-All Member Show-Featuring Joe Schwartz: Martin Polin Room, Atascadero Library, Atascadero, CA

2011 Joe’s 98th Birthday Celebration in Pictures: Envisions Gallery, Atascadero, CA

2009 The Work of Photographer Joe Schwartz in Celebration of Black History Month: Lavender Rose Garden, Atascadero, CA

2009 Joe Schwartz-Legendary Folk Photographer: The Red Tree Gallery, Atascadero, CA

2009 BLACK and WHITE: Photographs and African Art from the Collection of Joe Schwartz: ARTS SpaceObispo, San Luis Obispo, CA

2008 Images of Joe Schwartz: Black & White Gallery, Atascadero, CA

2007 An Unobserved Life: Folk Photography by Joe Schwartz: Santa Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

2007 Joe Schwartz: The Urban Myth: Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

2006 L.A. Unstaged:  Three Decades of Folk Photography by Joe Schwartz: Ruby Gallery, Skirball Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

2006 Featuring Joe Schwartz: Steynberg Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

2005 Joe Schwartz at Home: San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA

2004 University Concourse Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

2004 Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, MS

2005 Street Photographers-Joe Schwartz: Michael Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2001 The Street People: Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum, Santa Barbara, CA (with painter Pat Berger)

2001 Joe Schwartz and Bill Witt: Vintage Photographs: Daiter Gallery, Chicago, IL

2000 Joe Schwartz: Sunfire Gallery, Cambria CA

1996 Steven Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1995 Poems I’ve Never Written: Pepperdine University Cultural Enrichment Center, Elikins Auditorium, Malibu, CA

1994 Poems I’ve Never Written-Celebrating Black History Month: Amistad Gallery, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

1994 In Honor of Black History Month: Poem’s I’ve Never Written: The Julian A. McPhee University Gallerie, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA (curated by Jeanne LaBarbera, Director and Curator [catalogue])

1989 Joe Schwartz-Peoples’ Photographer: In Celebration of Black History Month, Atascadero City Library Gallery, Atascadero, CA

1986 The Peoples’ Photographer: Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles, CA

1985 Photo League Work: PhotoFind, Howard Greenberg, Woodstock, NY

1980 Folk Photographer-Joe Schwartz: Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

1980 Folk Art-Painter and Photographer: The Galarie, Venice, CA

1977 Artistic Reflections in Black History: Leadership Gallery, Los Angeles High School, Los Angeles, CA

1976 I Remember: Black Studies Center, Clark Humanities Museum, Claremont, CA

1976 I Remember: The Gallery, Los Angeles, CA [catalogue]

1970 Photography – As Eye See It:  Westside Jewish Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

1970   Joe Schwartz-One Man Show: Fullerton College, Anaheim, CA

1967 The Canvas And The Camera: Two Painters & Two Photographers: Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA

1964 Retro: Veterans Hospital, Brentwood, CA

1963 Love Story of a Photographer: Synanon House, Santa Monica, CA

1960 I Remember- Retrospective: Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA

1950 Photo Retrospective by Joe Schwartz: First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, CA .(Dr. Steve Fritchman, Minister)

1950 Los Angeles Photo League: Los Angles, CA (Joe helped organize group show [critiqued by Weegee])

1948 Community League of Kingsboro Activities: Kingsboro Housing Project, Brooklyn, N.Y.

1948 Fight for Playgrounds: Harlem School Basketball Court, Harlem, NY

1940 Photo League Group Show and Critique: NY

Group Exhibitions:

2002 NY NY: Vintage Photographs From The Photo League and The New York School work by Lida Moser, Joe Schwartz, Erika Stone and Bill Witt: Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1993 11th Annual Artists Salute to Black History Month: Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw Plaza, Los Angeles,CA

1988 Time of Your Life: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

1972 Group Show: For Sale: Southern Conference Educational Fund, Los Angeles, CA

1971 Group Arts Show: Westwood Art Association, Los Angeles, CA

1965 1 -2 -3 -For The Show II: Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles, CA (with Max Bailey & Robert Bassler)

1950’s Los Angeles Photo League: Los Angeles, CA (Critique by Weegee)

1950’s National Group Exhibit, Douglas Aircraft, Santa Monica, CA (judged by: Lionel Barrymore)

Curated Group Exhibitions:

In Focus-Play: 2014-2015, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA.(Curated by Erin C. Garcia, independent curator [publication: Photography And Play, Getty Publications])

American Scene Photography: 2014-2015, NSU Museum of Art at Fort, Lauderdale, FL.(Curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Director and Chief Curator [catalogue])

City Streets: Photographs of American Life: 2003-2004, Samual P. Harn Museum, University of Florida Cultural Plaza, Gainesville, FL (Curated by Kerry Oliver-Smith-Curator of Contemporary Art [catalogue])

Photo League: A Progressive Era of American Photography 1936-1951: 1990, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (Curated by Charles A. Meyer [catalogue])

Curated Traveling Exhibitions:

The Radical Camera; New York’s Photo League 1936-1951:(Curated by: Mason Klein ‘Jewish Museum’ and Catherine Evans, ‘Curator of Columbus Museum of Art’ [published book: The Radical Camera; New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951 and catalogue])

2013, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

2012, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

2012, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

2011-2012 The Jewish Museum, New York, NY

Shout Freedom! Photo League Selections from the Columbus Museum of Art: 2010-2011(Curated by Catherine Evans, Chief Curator, Columbus Museum of Art)

2011, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA

2011, Ball State University Museum of Art, Munice, IN

2010, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

Gettin’Along-A View of Racial Integration in America: Photographs by Joe Schwartz:

2005, Rapp Family Gallery, Indiana Historical Center, Indianapolis, IN

2004, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL

2004, Public Library of Charlotte, Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, NC

2003 – 2004 – “Gettin’ Along” – A View of Racial Integration in American (a touring photographic exhibition for museums and art organizations by Curatorial Assistance; 1978 – “Photographic Crossroads” – National Gallery of Canada.

2003, Louisiana State University, Union Art Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

2002, The Picker Art Gallery-Colgate University, Dana Creative Arts Center, Hamilton, NY

The Photo League 1936-1951: Gallery Association of New York. (Curated by Howard Greenberg and Neil C. Trager [book])

1990, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, N.Y.

1987, State of New York College, New Paltz Art Gallery

Photographic Crossroads: The Photo League: [catalogue]

1980, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum of Art, Wausau, WI

1979, University of Iowa, Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA

1978, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

1978, Upper Brown Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

1978, International Center of Photography, New York, NY

1978, Photography Gallery of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN

Collections:  (Private, Public, Corporate)

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Museum of Modern Art New York City (MOMA)

Jewish Museum of Art, New York

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Skirball Cultural Center

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Martin Z. Margulies

The National Gallery of Canada

Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson

Museum of Art, Huston, TX

Westside Independent Services For The Elderly


DOUBLE EXPOSURE – (collaboration with the Smithsonian)


Inaugural publication: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America

A Souvenir Book: The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Getty Publications: Photography and Play

Jewish Museum of New York and the Columbus Museum of Art: The Radical Camera – New York’s Photo League

Stephen Daiter Gallery: This Was the Photo League

Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida: American Scene Margolies collection

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston: War Photography, Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath

Scripps College, Claremont: Jacob Lawrence Paintings and Drawings – a cultural presentation of the United States – 1978

Photographic Quarterly – 1970s

Black Art, 1970s