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Molly Low Photograph Collection
MSS 0708  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Molly Low Photograph Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0708
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Languages: English
    Physical Description: 2.6 Linear feet (1 archives box, 2 flat boxes and 12 mapcase folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1984 - 1992
    Abstract: Photographs, prints and negatives created by photographer Molly Low. The majority of the images are portraits from several projects including "Hidden Faces of La Jolla," "Teens at Risk," "Women in Recovery" and "Images of Aging."
    Creator: Low, Molly

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Molly Low Photograph Collection, MSS 708. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2009, 2016.


    Molly Low began photographing in New York in 1970. She retired to San Diego in 1978 where she became more focused on learning and practicing photography. Her main focus was portraiture, creating several photographic series including "Images of Aging," "Hidden Faces of La Jolla," "Teens at Risk" and "Women in Recovery."

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    The Molly Low Photograph Collection contains contact sheets, negatives and gelatin silver prints, ranging in size from 8x8 in. to 16x20 in. The images, mainly portraits, span several series including "Images of Aging," "Hidden Faces of La Jolla," "Teens at Risk," "Women in Recovery," and "Story of a Marriage." With the exception of "Story of a Marriage," all original photographs feature captions which tell the story of the sitter in his or her own words.
    Low's first portrait series, "Images of Aging," documents the lives of residents in retirement and nursing homes. "Story of a Marriage" depicts staged scenes of a couple involved in the various seasons and trials of married life. This series was completed in 1987 and consists of gelatin silver prints and negatives. "Hidden Faces of La Jolla: Portraits of Black San Diegans" records the dwindling African-American community of La Jolla in 1989 and 1990. Materials in this series include contact sheets, gelatin silver prints and negatives. The "Teens at Risk" project chronicles the progress of teenagers in the San Diego based Summit School Program, 1990-1991. Portraits of the program's probationary officers also feature in this series. Materials consist of contact sheets, gelatin silver prints and negatives. The series "Women in Recovery" was commissioned by the San Diego Department of Health Services in 1992 to inspire hope for recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. The portrait series was then exhibited around the county and published in a book, distributed to at-risk women. Materials include gelatin silver prints and negatives.
    A small number of contact sheets, which appear unrelated to any of the above series, can be found in a folder labeled "Miscellaneous projects."

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Contact sheets
    Gelatin silver prints
    Negatives (photographic)
    Portrait photography
    Women photographers -- California -- San Diego -- 20th century
    Women photographers -- New York (State) -- 20th century