'RECOVERED VIEWS: African American Portraits, 1912-1925" presents 40 digital prints from vintagephotographs and glass negatives attributed to John Johnson, a photographer who lived and worked in Lincoln, Neb., in the early 20th century.

The exhibition is on view at the De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University through July 31.

Traveling through Lincoln by horse and buggy, Johnson, the son of a black Civil War veteran, documented life in a vibrant black community. John Carter, senior research associate at the Nebraska State Historical Society, writes that the photographs are valuable "not only as documents of people in a seldom-seen time and place, but as masterful examples of the photographer's art."

A companion exhibit, "Here and Now," features six contemporary African-American photographers from the Bay Area: April Banks, Keba Konte, Emmanuel Pratt, Bayet Ross Smith, Hank Willis Thomas and Carla Williams. Their work addresses the theme of community.

The De Saisset Museum is at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Call (408) 554-4528 or visit http://www.scu.edu/desaisset.

Body of work

Photographs by Debbie Hudson and Barbara Stone, who work together at HudStone Images, are on exhibit at Body Therapy Center in Palo Alto through the Community Sites program of the Pacific Art League.

The show, called "Serenity," includes sensual floral images as well as intriguing sand images taken at the Dunes National Recreation Area in Oregon. Hudson and Stone shoot with Nikon Coolpix 8800 and Coolpix 8700 digital cameras.

"Serenity" is on view through July 31. Body Therapy Center is at 368 California Ave. Public viewing hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Sundays. Call (650) 328-9400.

Paintings and pottery

An exhibit of impressionistic watercolors by Virginia "Ginny" Branstool and pottery by Jean Prophet opens Wednesday at the Portola Valley Art Gallery. Branstool, a signature member of the Society of Western Artists, paints primarily in plein air. Prophet explores new shapes and forms produced from white stoneware, to which she applies high-fire reduction glazes, colorful slips and oxides.

The show will remain through Aug. 28. The Portola Valley Art Gallery is at 765 Portola Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Call (650) 851-1563.

Stanford Art Spaces

Mixed media work by Kim Thoman, paintings by Alice Louise Marston and paintings and sculpture by Kathleen Otley are on view at the Center for Integrated Systems Art Spaces at Stanford University. Artwork by Gunn High School students is also presented.

The majority of Thoman's works in the show are from the "Spiral Series," which evolved from an investigation of motion. Two other pieces are the beginning of a new series entitled "Witness Series."

Marston uses rhythm, emotion and color to project her deep feelings on canvas. She is still driven by artistic feelings rooted in her childhood.

In addition to painting, Otley works in decorative fiber, for which she has won numerous awards. She paints in acrylic, using bold and colorful images that juxtapose the contemporary and the primitive.

The exhibit continues through Aug. 18. A reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 12. The gallery is at Campus Drive and Via Ortega on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. Call (650) 725-3622.

Oh happy day

The public is invited to an art talk and reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Bucheon Gallery in San Francisco with Djerassi Resident Artists Program members Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver. "The Happiest Day" features miniature dramas in video viewboxes.

The two artists are in residence at the renowned Djerassi program in Woodside. Harp holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Parsons School of Design and a fine arts master's from Tyler School of Art. She has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts Grant and has been awarded residencies from the Kohler Center for Arts and Industry and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. 

Silver received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego, and a master's of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Past awards include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship and a Jerome Foundation Production Grant.

Bucheon Gallery is at 389 Grove St. Admission is free, but reservations are appreciated. Call (650) 747-1250.

Information on visual and literary arts can be sent to Bonny Zanardi, San Mateo County Times, 1080 S. Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94402, faxed to (650) 348-4446 or

e-mailed to Bzanardi@aol.com.