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Portraits from the Hipolita Orendain de Medina correspondence and miscellany
MSP 1441  
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The collection consists of 93 cartes de visite and 57 cabinet card portraits dated between 1863-1906, collected by Hipolita Orendain de Medina. The bulk of the photographs were taken in Guadalajara, Mexico, and San Francisco, California, and depict Mexican and Mexican American men, women, and children with whom Medina was connected by family ties or friendship. Many of the photographs are inscribed to Medina, with affectionate messages in English and Spanish. Major photographers in the collection include: the San Francisco studios Bradley & Rulofson, Wm. Shew, Edouart's Photographic Gallery, Bayley & Cramer's Studio, and Fowzer; and the Guadalajara studio Octaviano de la Mora.
Hipolita Orendain de Medina was born in Mexico circa 1847. In the late 1850s, she settled in San Francisco with her sister, Virginia, and their widowed mother, Francisca Tejada de Orendain. According to family tradition, Francisca inherited a fortune from her late husband, Jesus Orendain, who owned a Mexican silver mine. She invested her wealth in Oakland waterfront property, married Virginia native Humphrey Marshall, and provided financial support to a company of men fighting to liberate Mexico from French rule. Marshall died in the American Civil War, and the Orendain family lost much of their fortune. To help support the family, Hipolita and her sister Virginia worked as dressmakers in San Francisco. In October 1869, Hipolita married Emilio (or Emigdio) Medina, a professional musician, diplomat, and editor of the Spanish-language newspaper La Republica; they had four daughters, Josefina, Virginia, Zarina, and Mercedes. In 1880, the couple separated, and later Hipolita referred to herself as a widow. She died circa 1922, and was buried in Los Angeles.
8 folders
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