Richard Nagler Bio

Richard Nagler is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in the fields of philosophy and politics. After studying painting, he began to photograph in the early 1970s. Since then, he has garnered widespread attention. Three critically acclaimed books featuring his photography have been published: “My Love Affair with Miami Beach,” (Simon & Schuster, 1991), “Oakland Rhapsody: The Secret Soul of an American Downtown,” (North Atlantic Books, 1995), and “Word on the Street” (Heydady, 2010).

On a local scale, Nagler has been a respected member of the San Francisco Bay Area photographic community for the past thirty years. He is an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of the photographic arts, having served on many non-profit boards and committees over the years. The Richard Nagler Competition for Jewish Photography is an international photo competition held annually for photographers working with Judaic themes at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California. In addition to the wide recognition Nagler receives for his photographic work and charitable contributions, he is also highly regarded as an astute photography collector.

Nagler’s photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally over the past thirty years. In addition to his solo exhibitions in 2004 and 2007 at the George Krevsky Gallery, he has been featured in one-person shows at the Oakland Museum, the Albert Einstein Center in Sacramento, the May Museum in Lawrence, New York, and the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv, Israel. Additionally, he has been included in group exhibitions at the Twining Gallery in New York City, the Klein Gallery in Chicago, the Dalian Gallery in China, and the SF Arts Commission Gallery in San Francisco.


New York City, 1947


1969    University of Pennsylvania, BA, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

1972    California College of Arts and Crafts

Solo Exhibitions

2007    “The Unspoken Word” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004    “Such is Life, 30 Years of Photography” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1995    “My Love Affair With Miami Beach” University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

1994    “My Love Affair With Miami Beach” traveled to May Museum, Lawrence, NY & Koret Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

1993    “My Love Affair With Miami Beach” traveled to Gilbert Pavilion, Riverdale, NY; Dubin/Wolf Exhibit Center, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of the Diaspora,

              Tel Aviv, Israel; Jewish Festival of the Arts, Vancouver, B. C.; Jewish Community Center, Washington, D. C.; & Albert Einstein Center, Sacramento, CA

1992    “My Love Affair With Miami Beach” Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

1984    “Selected Images” Oakland Museum Collector’s Gallery, Oakland, CA

1984    “Lost Miami Beach” Catskill Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY

1983    “The Urban Landscape” Image Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

1983    “Focus on Old Oakland 1973-1983” Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022    “Picturing Resistance” Art Intersection Gallery, Gilbert, AZ

2018    “In Focus: Current Photography” Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

2017    “South Beach, 1974-1990: Photographs of a Jewish Community” History Miami Museum, Miami, FL

2012    “Keeping Time” Kala Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2012    “Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti” artist portrait, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA

2012    “Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2010    “Summer Reading” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2009    “Signs: Wordplay in Photography” de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA

2008    “Looks Given/Looks Taken: Jews in Urban Photography” Univ. of Michigan, Frankel Center

2007    “Faces and Places” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2007    “Spring Training: The Art of Baseball” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2005    “Architecture in Art” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004    “Faces/Places/Identity – Portraits of Jews 1975-1995” Beth Hatefutsoth Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel

2004    “Art of the Game:  The Art of Baseball” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004    “Contemporary Perspectives” Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Rosa, CA

2000    “Diamonds and Dust: the Art of Baseball” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1999    “By-the-Sea” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998    “Gallery Artists” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998    “Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Pure Art vs. Agit-Prop” George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1996    “Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey” The Jewish Museum, New York City, NY

1996    “Hubba City,” a play by Ishmael Reed, slide presentation, reviews New York Times, Village Voice, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY

1995    “It Belongs in a Museum: Acquisitions 1992-1995” Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

1991    “Through the Lens Lightly, Photographers Look at Oakland” Gallery Arcade, Oakland, CA

1989    “A Kiss is Just a Kiss” Klein Gallery, Chicago, IL

1989    “Best of the Decade” (Best of Show, Grand Prize) Festival at The Lake, Oakland, CA

1989    “Best of the Decade” Faulkner Color Lab, San Francisco, CA

1988    “A Kiss is Just A Kiss” Twining Gallery, New York City, NY

1987    “Selections” Eye Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1987    “Only in Miami Beach” Blake Street Gallery, Berkeley, CA

1986    “Oakland, California, U. S. A.” Dalian, China

1985    “Snap ’85” San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA

1984    “Picture Oakland” California ProArts, First Prize Color Photography

1978    “San Francisco Photographic Fair” First Prize Color Photography, Juried, CA

Selected Public Collections:

The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

The Jewish Museum, New York City, NY

The Port of Oakland Collection, Oakland, CA

The Forum Gallery Collection, New York City, NY

Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA

Beth Hatefutsoth, Tel Aviv, Israel

di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA

Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA

Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Rosa, CA

One California Bank, CA

The de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA

Selected Private Collections:

Paul and Prentice Sack

Rene di Rosa

John and Gretchen Berggruen

Andrew and Barbara Fremder

Robert Mailer Anderson

Jane Levy Reed

George and Doris Krevsky

Books by Richard Nagler:

My Love Affair with Miami Beach, Photographs by Richard Nagler, Introduction and Commentary by Isaac Bashevis Singer, (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1991)

Oakland Rhapsody: The Secret Soul of an American Downtown, Photographs by Richard Nagler, Introduction and Commentary by Ishmael Reed, (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 1995)

Word on the Street, Photographs by Richard Nagler, Introduction by Peter Selz, (Heyday Books, Berkeley, California, 2010)

Looking at Art/The Art of Looking, Photographs by Richard Nagler, Introduction by Malcolm Margolin, (Heyday Books, Berkeley, California, 2014)

Book Awards:

2014    Finalist USA Book Awards/Best Photography Book    

2014    Gold Medal for Photography in the Non-Fiction Book Awards

2014    First Prize in Photography at the Beverly Hills Book Awards   

            National Independent Book Award for Excellence in Photography

2014    Finalist in the Indiefab Book Awards

Selected Publications:

The Oakland Tribune, “Images of Old Oakland by Richard Nagler,” December 8, 1983, illustrations

Exhibition catalog, “Focus on Old Oakland, 1973 – 1983, Photographs by Richard Nagler,” The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

California Living, “Picture Show, Photography by Richard Nagler,” March 11, 1984, text and photograph

Judisk Krönika, Stockholm, Sweden, November, 1992 “Miami Beach – en fotoessä av Richard Nagler,” illustrations

Hudson Monitor, August, 1992, “Down Miami Way,” by Rose E. London, illustration

ARTFORUM INTERNATIONAL, March 1993, “Miami Fantasia, Part 2,” by Rhonda Lieberman, illustrations

Moment, April 1993, “Loving It Up in Miami Beach: I. B. Singer discovers remnants of the Old World, documented by the photographer Richard Nagler, in a New World Paradise,” by Jacob A. Stein, illustrations

South Florida, May 1993,”What Stocks Would You Buy For Your Mother?” by David Nickell, illustrations

South Florida, May 1994, “The Last Resort,” by Beth Dunlop, illustration

Forward, May 27, 1994, “Searching for Their Place in the Sunbelt: How Jews Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Miami and L. A.,” illustration

The Montclarion, May 23, 1995, “Illustrating Downtown’s Poetry,”

by Michael Fitelson, illustrations

The Oakland Tribune, May 25, 1995, “Ode to Oakland: Photographer Richard Nagler and author Ishmael Reed Offer an Unflinching Portrait of the City,” by Jolene Thym, illustrations

San Francisco Examiner Magazine, Sunday, June 11, 1995, “Oakland Rhapsody; Its People Make This City of Extremes Virtually Indestructible,” Text by Ishmael Reed and Photos by Richard Nagler.

Journey to My Father, Isaac Bashevis Singer, by Israel Zamir (Arcade Publishing, New York, 1995) illustrations

Docteur Zorn, by James Michener, (Editions du Rocher, Paris, 1996) cover photograph

Ocean Drive,  September 1990, “A to Z, The Ultimate Guide to South Florida,” illustration

The Book of Blessings,  by Marcia Falk, (HarperCollins, San Francisco 1996,) author portrait

School is Not Cool: Youth, Color and Opportunities, edited by Steen Fiil and Inger Lehman, Klims Sprogserie Engelsk, Forlaget Klim, Denmark, 1996, front cover and back cover illustrations, interior illustrations

Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1998, “Tough Jews,” book review, illustration

San Francisco Bay Guardian, November 10, 1999, “ ‘By-the-Sea,’ through December 11, George Krevsky Gallery” Critic’s Choice, review 

Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Rose, by Martin Sherman, theatre program, illustration, May 2000

The Reed Reader, an Ishmael Reed anthology, (Basic Books, New York, 2000,) cover portrait, author portrait

Showing Out: A Novel, by Timothy Reed,  (Thunder Mouth’s Press, New York, 2003)  author portrait

Blues City, by Ishmael Reed, (Crown Publishers, New York,  2003) author portrait, illustration

Art of the Game: The Art of Baseball, (EPress Books, San Francisco, 2004), illustration

Isaac Bashevis Singer: An Album, (The Library of America, New York, 2004) illustrations

Jack Levine: America’s Living Master, (EPress Books, San Francisco, 2004) artist portrait

Playboy Magazine, September 2005, author portrait, Ishmael Reed

The Forward, December 15,2006, “Sunrise? Sunset?: Two New Projects Train a Lens on Jewish Florida,” illustration

Diablo Magazine,  June 2007, “7th Street Blues: An  Amazing Music Scene Once Thrived in West Oakland,” illustration

One Voice, Many Echoes: Selected Prose, by Rebecca Camhi Fromer, (Regent Press, Berkeley, California 2007), illustration

Mixing It Up: Taking on the Media Bullies and Other Reflections, by Ishmael Reed, (Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Massachussetts, 2008) cover illustration

Artweek, February 2008, “Richard Nagler at George Krevsky Gallery,” review

The Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2011, “Word on the Street Collects Richard Nagler’s Word Pictures,” by Leah Ollman

The San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 2011, “About Word on the Street”

Black and White + Color Magazine, June 2011, “Creative Journey/ Richard Nagler: Staying One Step Ahead of Time,” by Richard Pitnick

Rangefinder Magazine, January 2012, “Richard Nagler: When the Picture is a Word,” by Jim Cornfield

Shutterbug Magazine, July 28, 2014, Photo Book Review: “Looking at Art: The Art of Looking” by Richard Nagler

San Francisco Chronicle, September 2, 2014, “Photography: Images that reframe the experience of art,” by Julian Guthrie

Bay Area News Group, June 8, 2014, ”The Art of Appreciation/Photographer Takes Camera into World’s Great Institutions”

San Francisco Examiner, September 4, 2014, “’Looking at Art’ a Photo Book with Wit, Power”

Wait Till I’m Dead/Uncollected Poems of Allen Ginsberg, edited by Bill Morgan, (Grove Press, New York, 2016,) illustrations

How To Photograph Everything, Popular Photography/WeldonOwen Press, (San Francisco, 2016,) illustrations

Go Ask Ozzie, by Patricia Polacco, Simon & Schuster, 2021, illustrations

Selected Public Appearances:

Miami Book Fair International, November 16, 1991, Miami, Florida,  “Richard Nagler on My Love Affair with Miami Beach,” lecture and slide presentation

National Public Radio, “All Things Considered,” December 17, 1991, interview with Lynn Neery

Beth Hatefutsoth Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel, “Miami Beach and the Jews of South Florida,” June 14, 1993, lecture and slide presentation

National Public Radio, “Photography Talk,” May 24, 1995, interview with Michael Johnson

KRON TV, Channel 4, “Bay Area Close-Up,” June 6, 1995, interview with Belva Davis

Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, Lecture, November 30, 2010

Berkeley Public Library Foundation, Honored Authors Dinner, February 6, 2016, Berkeley, California

Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach, Florida, February 2019, Wolfsonian Foundation, lecture and video presentation


Trustee, The Friends of Photography, San Francisco, California,  1989 – 1996

Trustee, The Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, 1994 -2004 present, vice-president 1996 – 1999

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Foto Forum, 1996 – 2008

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Photography Accessions Committee, 1997 – 1998

Trustee, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, California 2009 – 2013


Founded and Endowed 1997, “The Richard Nagler Competition for Jewish Photography,” at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, an annual international photography competition for photographers working on a Jewish subject