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Photograph Album from Charles F. Lummis to Susanita Del Valle: Finding Aid
photCL 504  
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An album of 83 cyanotype photographs by American journalist, author, and ethnologist Charles F. Lummis given as a gift from Lummis to Susanita Del Valle in 1888. (Susanita was a nickname for Susana Carmen Del Valle (1871-1907)). The majority of photographs depict Rancho Camulos in Ventura County, California, as well as members of the Del Valle family, who owned the rancho. Lummis included several self-portraits as well as scenes that invoke a romantic view of 19th century California ranch life. In addition, there are two original poems inscribed by Lummis to Susanita Del Valle.
In 1884, Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859-1928) walked from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Los Angeles, California, in a public relations gambit to announce his new job as city editor of the Los Angeles Times. The provocative New Englander went on to become an outspoken and influential promoter of California and the American Southwest. Lummis wore many hats during his illustrious forty-year career: incendiary journalist; editor of Out West magazine; Los Angeles city librarian; presidential advisor; patron of artists and writers; and cultural preservationist. In addition, Lummis was a talented photographer, producing thousands of photographs between 1885 and 1920. Lummis started making photographs in 1885, soon after his arrival in Los Angeles. He favored the cyanotype process which was popular among amateur photographers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The cyanotype, notable for its blue tone, is made by bringing sensitized paper into contact with a negative in direct sunlight. The print is then washed in a solution of distilled water.
83 cyanotype photographs in 1 album; album 13 x 21.5 cm. (5.25 x 8.5 in.)
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Due to the fragility of the album, access to the original item is granted only by advance permission of the Curator of Photographs. Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.