New Exhibit Images of the Korean War: One Soldier’s Perspective Opens this Month at Payson Library

Williams (right) on the front 1952
Hanson (right) on the front, 1952.

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce a new exhibition highlighting the Korean War photos taken by Hanson Williams Jr., a 1950 graduate of Pepperdine, who received a photography scholarship to attend the university. Six months after his graduation, he was drafted by the United States Army and was stationed in California for one year before being deployed to Korea to serve as a war photographer. In this capacity, he often photographed soldiers in combat, special events, and visiting dignitaries such as generals, politicians, and celebrities. Williams recalled carrying his personal camera with him every day, and even resorted to developing film in rivers and rice paddies when necessary. In addition to his military duties, Williams tried to get a better understanding of the country and its people. He would spend his spare time riding his bike into remote locations and photograph such things as local villagers and their farms. Williams spent 13 months in Korea traveling to cities such as Seoul, Incheon, and Taegu.

Korean man 1952
A photo Hanson took while in Korea, 1952.

The exhibit serves as Williams’s visual diary showing his journey from basic training at Fort Ord in Monterey, CA to his time served in Korea. Many of the photos taken by Williams during his spare time in remote villages have never been exhibited before. The materials will be on display on the first floor of Payson Library until April 15th . The exhibit is viewable during library open hours. For questions about the exhibit please contact Katie Richardson, Archivist for Special Collections and University Archives, at 310-506-4323 or

 A reception for the exhibit will take on February 21st from 12-2. If you are interested in attending the event, please RSVP to Jeanette Woodburn, Director of Library Advancement at 310-506-6785 or

Special thanks to Special Collections and University Archives interns and student workers Emily Hansen, Sophie Zhu, and Candice Erdos for all of their help preparing for this exhibit.

Emily prepping
Emily prepping for the exhibit.
Candice assisting with exhibit installation.



New Exhibit Images of the Korean War: One Soldier’s Perspective Opens this Month at Payson Library
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