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 and 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
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 prehistoric
artifacts. The Society boasts over 20,000 photographs, over 1000 postcards, 600-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 1964.
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 state-of-the-art 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. 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.