Frederic Hamer Maude (1858-1959) Collection, ca.1890-1920

Finding aid created by Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County staff using RecordEXPRESS
Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007-4057
(213) 763-3359

Descriptive Summary

Title: Frederic Hamer Maude (1858-1959) Collection, ca.1890-1920
Dates: ca. 1890-1920
Collection Number: P-002.2
Creator/Collector: Maude, F. H. (Frederic Hamer)
Extent: 42.1 linear feet (Boxes: letter, ½ letter) Photographs and negatives.
Online items available
Repository: Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, California 90007-4057
Abstract: F.H. Maude was a photographer and photographic collector of the American Southwest. Relocated from England to Los Angeles, California, Maude ran a commercial photography business, acquiring local photographers’ collections in addition to his own work. This collection depicts the urban development of Los Angeles and San Francisco at the turn of the nineteenth century, as well as the rural surrounding areas and wildernesses. Native tribes of the American West are also heavily represented, with a focus on the Acoma, Navajo, Havasupai and Zuni communities.
Language of Material: English


Research is by appointment only

Publication Rights

Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the Seaver Center. The Seaver Center does not claim copyright to images, however it is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission from any copyright holder. In addition culturally-sensitive materials, including photographs of ceremonies and sacred places of Native Americans, are restricted in their use and are not available for reproduction or publication.

Preferred Citation

Frederic Hamer Maude (1858-1959) Collection, ca.1890-1920. Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Acquisition Information

The collection made its way to the Seaver Center after passing through many hands after Maude’s retirement. The negatives most likely went to Maude’s photographer friend George Robinson, and after his death was inherited by his son Stanley who sold them to the Keystone Photo Company. The company eventually went out of business, at which point the Los Angeles photographer Al Greene acquired the images. Al Greene sold the collection to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in 1966.

Biography/Administrative History

Frederic Hamer Maude was born in 1858 in Little Mollington, Cheshire, England to Thomas James Maude and Louisa Emily Hamer, a well-off and distinguished couple. He attended prestigious schools in both the towns of Rugby and Highgate, and in 1883 he earned a medical degree at the University of Aberdeen. During Maude’s short-lived medical career, he explored his interest in photographic arts at the Royal Photography Society in London. Maude left England in 1887 for California by way of Canada, settling in Ventura. By 1895 Maude had relocated to Los Angeles and bought the commercial photography business of C.B. Waite on West 1st Street. Maude’s purchase included the large inventory of Waite’s own photographic negatives, well known works featuring views of Southern California. Maude changed the name of the business to F.H. Maude & Co. and began selling Waite’s collection as well as other local photographers’ works with an imprint of his own name, as was common practice at the time. Maude led a successful career by selling prints to individuals and to publications and began specializing in lantern slides. Maude’s photographic expertise and notoriety grew, as he twice served as president of the Los Angeles Camera Club, lecturing on the photographic arts and on his own body of work. Maude’s photography is best known for its focus on the American Southwestern desert and mountains; images made possible by arduous expeditions to the Grand Canyon and to various Native American pueblos. However, his importance to California history lies more in his acquisition and aggregation of other local photographers’ collections rather than in his own work. Maude’s name last appeared in the city directory in 1924 alongside a mentioned profession, and so it is presumed that this was the year that he retired from active business. Maude continued to travel the Southwest with his camera equipment for decades after retirement. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1959 at the age of 100.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection of 4,000 glass-plate negatives is one of the two most important collections of Maude images (the other is housed at the Braun Research Library at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles). The images feature early urban development in Los Angeles, views of the Southern California wilderness, and various other areas of the Southwest including the Grand Canyon and certain Southwestern native tribal lands and peoples. The collection is divided by geographical headings and subdivided by subject headings

Indexing Terms

Acoma Indians
Formations (Geology)
Havasupai Indians
Historic buildings
History, Local
Indians of North America Dwellings
Missions, Spanish
Navajo Indians
Sedimentary structures
Zuni Indians
New Mexico

Additional collection guides