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Pictorialist Photographs of California Missions by Louis Fleckenstein: Finding Aid
photCL 411  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Pictorialist Photographs of California Missions by Louis Fleckenstein
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1920
    Collection Number: photCL 411
    Creator: Fleckenstein, Louis, 1866-1943.
    Extent: 33 photographs in 1 box; prints 13 x 10 cm. (5 x 4 in.), album 18 x 25 cm. (7 1/4 x 10 in.)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This disbound album contains 33 pictorial photographs of California mission ruins taken by photographer Louis Fleckenstein (1866-1943) around 1920; most notable are San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Obispo, and San Fernando Rey. Also included are photographs of smaller missions and Catholic churches, such as San Antonio de Pala Asistencia, Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels, and the Royal Presidio Chapel.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pictorialist Photographs of California Missions by Louis Fleckenstein, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Partial gift from Jonathan Stein and partial purchase from Paul Kopeikin in August 1998.

    Biographical Note

    Louis Fleckenstein was born in 1866 in Faribault, Minnesota, and began a career as a painter. He began to delve into photography when his wife gave him a camera in 1895. Over time, Fleckenstein became involved in pictorial photography, focusing on the beauty of subject matter over reality. He founded the Salon Club of America in 1903, and was appointed Director. In 1907, Fleckenstein moved to Los Angeles, California, and opened a portrait studio there. Seven years later, he founded the Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles. Around 1920, he photographed the California missions, seeing them as good subjects in their ruined state for atmospheric prints; his photographs helped fuel the public’s interest in the missions’ romantic image. Fleckenstein moved to Long Beach in 1924, where he continued to work with pictorial photography until his death in 1943.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This disbound album contains 33 pictorial photographs of California mission ruins taken by photographer Louis Fleckenstein around 1930, including Missions San Carlos Borromeo, San Francisco Solano, San Gabriel Arcangel, San Juan Capistrano, San Jose, La Purísima Concepción, San Luis Obispo, San Miguel Arcangel, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, San Antonio de Pádua, San Buenaventura, San Fernando Rey, San Francisco de Asís, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Rey, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Diego, and Santa Inés. Churches and missions that are also shown are Plaza Church (also known as the Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels), the Royal Presidio Chapel (also known as San Carlos Cathedral), and San Antonio de Pala Asistencia.
    Item titles transcribed from penciled captions below photographs.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  
    California missions -- Photographs.
    Catholic church buildings -- Photographs.
    Mission San Antonio de Pala -- Photographs.
    Mission San Carlos Borromeo (Carmel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Francisco Solano (Sonoma, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Juan Capistrano -- Photographs.
    Mission San Jose (Alameda County, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission La Purísima Concepción (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Miguel Arcangel (San Miguel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Mission : Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Plaza Church (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Royal Presidio Chapel (Monterey, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Antonio de Pádua (Mission) -- Photographs.
    San Buenaventura Mission -- Photographs.
    San Fernando, Rey de España (Mission : San Fernando, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Francisco de Asís Mission (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Juan Bautista (Mission : San Juan Bautista, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Luis Rey Mission (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Barbara Mission -- Photographs.
    Santa Clara Mission -- Photographs.
    San Diego Mission -- Photographs.
    Santa Inés Mission (Solvang, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Photograph albums.