The collection of 19 photographs taken
by Charles Georges Spitz and Sophia Hoare depicts people and events as well as everyday life
in Tahiti during the last three decades of the 19th century. Included are portraits of the
Tahitian royal family; photographs depicting the funeral of Pōmare V; and a group portrait
of M. Chessé and the chiefs of Tahiti and Mo'orea, taken at the time of France's annexation
of Tahiti in 1880.
Sophia Hoare, née Johnson, (also known as Mrs. S. Hoare, Madame S. Hoare, Suzanne Hoare, or
Susan Hoare) immigrated from Manchester, England to Auckland, New Zealand with her husband,
Charles Burton Hoare and their three daughters in 1863. There Charles established a
photography studio called Hoare & Wooster; the partner named Wooster has yet to be
identified with certainty. By 1868 the Hoare family had moved on to Papeete, Tahiti, where
Charles again opened a studio. There is no record of him in Tahiti after 1876, and he may
have traveled to San Francisco, dying there or elsewhere in the United States around 1879.
Sophia took over the business and ran Atelier Hoare for over 30 years.