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Charles Schneider Photograph Collection
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Collection Overview
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The Charles Schneider Photograph Collection consists of 4,673 negatives comprised of images related to La Jolla, California. Included are photographs of La Jolla architecture, businesses, scenery, homes, fashion, people, places, events and portraits.
Charles Schneider was born in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He grew up on the east coast and graduated in 1937 from the New York Institute of Photography. His first job was going door to door in New York City, offering to shoot photographs of children for 50 cents each. He then found a job as an apprentice in the studio of a top New York advertising fashion photographer. Drafted into the army during World War II, Schneider served as an aerial photographer in north Africa and Egypt. In 1943, When Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai Chek convened at the Mena House Hotel in Cairo to plan the allied invasion of Normandy, Schneider was there to record the event. After his discharge from the army, he moved to La Jolla. While processing film for Handley’s Camera Exchange, he was approached by United Press International, who needed someone to shoot the opening of the new La Jolla Playhouse. Soon, he had a regular celebrity gig for United Press, capturing on film such movie icons as Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy McGuire, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Mansfield and Deborah Kerr. He also went on to photograph many aspects of La Jolla and San Diego society. Soon he had contracts such as furniture for Cannell & Chafin, scenic San Diego for Home Federal, a wine list cover for Hotel del Coronado, and work on magazines such as Architectural Digest, Vogue, Time and Life. The La Jolla Historical Society inspires and empowers the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life. The La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections encompass over 80 years of actively collecting archival material, books, maps, scrapbooks, ephemera, fine art, newspapers, street and land use files, business and personal documents and historic and archaeological artifacts. The Society boasts over 20,000 photographs, over 1000 postcards, 400-plus architectural drawings and approximately 200 oral history recordings. Collecting was initiated by Howard Randolph and volunteers on the historical committee of the Library Association of La Jolla. The Collection began by gathering photographs and documentation in the late 1930s, which later became the nucleus of the La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections. The Society was created in 1963. Through many moves in location the Society continued collecting and expanding. Accumulated Collections took on its current construct in 2010 after the renovation of the La Jolla Historical Society’s campus of structures in central La Jolla, which consists of the 1904 Wisteria Cottage and 1940s Balmer Annex used for exhibits and programming, and a 1909 cottage used for business and research offices. The late Ellen Browning Scripps’ 1916 automobile garage was also renovated and now houses the Collection in a modern collections storage facility. Materials are housed in archival boxes, sleeves, envelopes and other archival-safe materials and are cared for according to standards and best practices of the museum profession. In 2016, the Society initiated new PastPerfect Museum Software to manage and catalog its Collections and in 2018 started using the Online Archive of California to upload searchable information from its Collections to enable improved public access. The Society will continue these processes and look forward to utilizing new opportunities to collect, preserve and share the history of La Jolla.
4,673 negatives
The La Jolla Historical Society holds the copyright to any unpublished materials
The Collection is open for research