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Finding Aid to the Elise Stern Haas Family Papers, 1789-1992 (bulk (1893-1990))
BANC MSS 92/810 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Elise Stern Haas Family Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1789-1992
    Date (bulk): (1893-1990)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 92/810 c
    Creator: Haas, Elise S. (Elise Stern)
    Extent: Number of containers: 8 boxes, 8 cartons, 4 v., 1 oversize box, 14 oversize folders, 1 oversize item Linear feet: 17
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Contains correspondence, personal and family papers, providing an intimate account of several generations of this distinguished San Francisco family. The bulk of the collection dates from 1893 to 1990, and focuses on the immediate family of Elise and Walter A. Haas, but also includes a significant amount of materials collected by Elise's mother, Rosalie Meyer Stern. Elise's father, Sigmund Stern, was president of Levi Strauss and Co., and nephew of the company founder. The collection spans Elise's life from birth to great grandmother; aside from a few childhood mementos, Walter's contribution to the collection begins with his courtship of Elise in 1914.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English, French
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Elise Stern Haas Family Papers, BANC MSS 92/810 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Related Collections

    Title: The Appreciation of Quality: Elise Stern Haas Oral History,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 80/68 c
    Title: Civic, Philanthropic and Business Leadership: Walter A. Haas Sr. oral history transcript,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 76/137 c
    Title: Levi Strauss and Company: Tailors to the World, Walter A. Haas Jr. oral history transcript,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 77/76 c

    Material Cataloged Separately

    Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Objects have been transferred to the Object Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Fleg, Edmond, 1874-1963. Juif du pape. English
    Haas family
    Haas, Elise S., 1893-1990
    Haas, Walter A., 1889-1979
    Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954
    Stern family
    Stern, Rosalie Meyer, 1869-1956
    Stern, Sigmund
    Philanthropists--California--San Francisco Bay Area

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Elise Stern Haas Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Rhoda Haas Goldman in 1992.

    Funding

    Funding for processing provided by an anonymous donor.

    Biography

    Elise Stern Haas was born in San Francisco on October 29, 1893, the only child of Rosalie Meyer and Sigmund Stern. Her father was president of Levi Strauss and Co., and nephew of Levi Strauss, a Bavarian immigrant who founded the firm in 1850.
    Elise was raised in the family home on Pine Street and was taught to read and write at home by Miss Katherine Burke, who later founded The Burke's School. At the age of nine, Elise was sent to Pacific Heights School on Jackson Street, and she graduated from high school in May 1911.
    In 1914, Elise Stern married Walter A. Haas, president of Levi Strauss and Co. from 1928 to 1955. They had three children: Walter A., Jr., Peter, and Rhoda. Under the management of their sons, the company became the world's largest apparel manufacturer. Walter A. Haas, Jr. was also the owner of the Oakland Athletic's baseball team. His son, Walter J. Haas recently retired as president and chief executive officer of the company. The Haas family includes 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
    Elise Haas is remembered as a civic-minded philanthropist and devoted patron of the arts and culture of the city. She served as the first female president of Mount Zion Hospital from 1938 to 1940, and led the San Francisco League of Women Voters, the Visiting Nurses Association, and Red Cross Blood Drives during World War II.
    Mrs. Haas was involved with the Museum of Modern Art from it's inception in the 1930's and served as Chairman from 1964 to 1966. Under her leadership, the museum solidified its financial base and built up its permanent collection.
    Mrs. Haas, along with several family members, received the Alexis de Tocqueville Society award from the United Way of America in 1985. The citation stated that the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, founded in 1952, reflected "the family philosophy that wealth is a responsibility and the sharing of it is a way of life".
    Walter and Elise were married for 65 years. On their 60th anniversary, Walter said that of all their accomplishments, their children were the most significant. The Haas family continues to carry on the family legacy and makes generous contributions to educational and health institutions, the environment, and social services organizations.
    Elise Stern Haas died at Mount Zion Hospital on October 20, 1990.

    Scope and Content

    The Elise Stern Haas Family Papers, 1789-1992, contains correspondence, personal and family papers, providing an intimate account of several generations of this distinguished San Francisco family. The bulk of the collection dates from 1893 to 1990, and focuses on the immediate family of Elise and Walter A. Haas, but also includes a significant amount of materials collected by Elise's mother, Rosalie Meyer Stern. Elise's father, Sigmund Stern, was president of Levi Strauss and Co., and nephew of the company founder. The collection spans Elise's life from birth to great grandmother; aside from a few childhood mementos, Walter's contribution to the collection begins with his courtship of Elise in 1914.
    Correspondents such as Dianne Feinstein, Clark Kerr and Albert Bender reflect the Haas' interest in local politics, education and the arts. Personal papers include birth certificates and genealogy information for both the Stern and Haas families, but the focus is on Elise and Walter's life together and their philanthropic work. The Walter and Elise Haas International Fund and gifts to the University of California, Berkeley and Mills College are illustrated in detail. Their wedding anniversaries, travel and local charity and social involvements are also fully documented.
    Family papers include mementos, documents and clippings collected by Elise and her mother. Most immediate and extended family members are represented; a significant amount of material regarding the Meyer family is included. Rosalie Meyer Stern was the oldest child of Eugene and Harriet Meyer, and her brother, Eugene Jr., was publisher of The Washington Post. The newspaper was family owned and managed by Elise's cousin, Katherine Meyer Graham.
    Elise met Michael and Sarah Stein in the early 1950s. She purchased two major works from their collection, "Femme au Chapeau" and "Portrait of Sarah Stein" by Henri Matisse, in 1953-54. Both pieces are now part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The materials collected here focus on the period after the purchase of these paintings and includes correspondence from Matisse's granddaughter, Marguerite Duthuit and Alice Toklas. Exhibitions catalogs, miscellaneous drawings by Sarah Stein, and clippings give details about the history of the collection and the Steins friendship with Matisse.
    Miscellaneous papers include personal and household accounts, as well as drafts from the French play, "The Pope and the Jew" by Edmund Fleg, which Elise translated into English, beginning in 1928.