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The Unseen World of the Tenderloin: Rare Historic Photographs, 1907-71

“The Tenderloin – so what’s to like?... What’s to like is the action, the struggle to survive on one’s own terms, the togetherness of losers and loners…” – Herb Caen

The Tenderloin Museum’s first major temporary exhibition, The Unseen World of the Tenderloin highlights both historic neighborhood scenes and the intimate spaces familiar to its inhabitants. Rare photos of backstage dressing rooms, streetscapes, legendary clubs, and daily hangouts together form a kaleidescopic view, showcasing the diversity and energy that the neighborhood is still known for today.

The Tenderloin is where San Francisco keeps its secrets – home to underground gay bars, illicit nightclubs, and the core of the vice industry. It’s also where everyday people have lived, worked, and made art for generations. Over the decades, these unlikely neighbors have created one of the city’s most tightly-knit communities, wrought by the Tenderloin’s dynamism, chaos, and unique beauty.

Members-only preview: Tuesday November 15th, 5:30pm Reception, 6:30pm Program

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