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J. Allen Hawkins Studio Collection of Negatives: Finding Aid
photCL 330  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical and Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Index Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: J. Allen Hawkins Studio Collection of Negatives
    Dates (inclusive): 1924-1972
    Collection Number: photCL 330
    Creator: Hawkins, J. Allen, 1915-
    Extent: 50 boxes (23.66 linear feet)
    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: The J. Allen Hawkins Studio Collection of Negatives consists of 3027 negatives and 3607 prints (both vintage prints and copy prints), 1924-1972, that depict commercial sites, residences, and other subjects in and around Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. The images provide a look at the commercial, residential, social, and cultural development of Pasadena and surrounding areas during the middle years of the twentieth century. The collection also provides, through its breadth and depth of subject matter, an example of the career activities of a commercial photographer in Southern California in the early years of the twentieth century. Some of the early photographs may be attributable to Harold A. Parker.
    Language: English.


    Advance arrangements for viewing negatives must be made with the Curator of Photographs. The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    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

    J. Allen Hawkins Studio Collection of Negatives. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Edward and Michael Hawkins, 1987.

    Processing Information

    The collection was arranged, numbered and rehoused by Huntington staff in the late 1980s. In 1994, Leonardo Arriola began the process of cataloging the collection's negatives in a Filemaker Pro database. Jennifer Watts continued this process in the early 2000s; currently, item numbers 1-1808 are cataloged in this in-house database. In 2007, Sue Luftschein created this finding aid using the arrangement scheme created during rehousing.
    In 2000, 199 negatives (item numbers 2781-2973) dated 1913-1931 were transferred to the Harold A. Parker Studio Collection of Negatives (photCL 402).

    Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

    The Hawkins Collection is a negative collection. Access to images is available through copy prints. Arrangements for viewing original negatives must be made with the Curator of Photographs.

    Biographical and Historical Note

    J. Allen Hawkins (1915-1986) was born and raised in Pasadena, California. He developed an interest in photography at an early age, performing odd jobs for local photographers Frederick W. Martin, E. Willard Spur, and Harold A. Parker. Hawkins bought his first camera at the age of 10, and opened his first studio, in his parents' house, at the age of 18.
    Hawkins' work as a photographer is intimately tied to the city of Pasadena. He photographed nearly every Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl football game from 1935 to 1975. He was the official photographer for the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce, and documented the growing development, both commercial and residential, of Pasadena during the middle years of the twentieth century.
    In addition to his career as a commercial photographer, Hawkins also owned and operated Al's Motor Shop at Hudson and Colorado in Pasadena from 1938 to 1945. Al's Motor Shop allowed him to pursue his interest in building racing cars, which he also photographed. In the 1930s and 40s Hawkins worked as a professional musician and played with most of the big band orchestras in Southern California.
    Sometime in the 1940s or 1950s, Hawkins acquired approximately 35,000 of Harold A. Parker's original negatives from the photographic firm of Lee Mac. Hawkins had worked for Parker as a young boy. The Parker negatives were stored at Hawkins' studio until construction of the 210 Freeway in the 1970s forced a relocation. Hawkins destroyed many of the negatives prior to the move, selling the remainder to a movie photographer who subsequently gave them to Donald Parker, Harold Parker's son. Some of the negatives, however, remained in Hawkins' possession, and were included in the gift of the Hawkins collection to the Huntington Library.

    Scope and Contents

    The J. Allen Hawkins Studio Collection of Negatives consists of 3027 negatives and 3607 prints (both vintage prints and copy prints), 1924-1972, that depict commercial sites, residences, and other subjects in and around Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. The images provide a look at the commercial, residential, social, and cultural development of Pasadena and surrounding areas during the middle years of the twentieth century. The collection also provides, through its breadth and depth of subject matter, an example of the career activities of a commercial photographer in Southern California in the early years of the twentieth century. Some of the early photographs may be attributable to Harold A. Parker.
    While the collection does concentrate on Pasadena, other communities are included. These are Alhambra, Altadena, Compton, El Monte, Glendale, Highland Park, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Monrovia, Ontario, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, and Van Nuys. In addition, the collection contains a few images of Mount Baldy, Kern County, and San Jacinto Peak; these are likely by Harold A. Parker.
    The collection's commercial images include views of vehicles (automobiles, trucks, buses, and travel trailers), automobile dealerships and automotive service businesses; mortuaries and funeral homes; department stores; small retail businesses; dairies; business districts (with an emphasis on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena); banks; movie theaters; grocery stores (with an emphasis on Market Basket stores); window displays; machinery and appliances (including radios, television sets, and washing machines); aerial views of Pasadena; aerial views of Los Angeles International Airport; and views of construction.
    The collection's residential images include single family homes, apartment buildings, and views of real estate developments. Of particular interest are the many views of the Baldwin M. Baldwin residence; architectural renderings by Marston and Maybury, Foss Designing and Building Company, and Garrett Van Pelt; and gardens by Myron Hunt.
    The collection's images of the area's social life include views of theaters and actors in performance (including the Pasadena Community Players, the Shakespeare Club, and the Pasadena Playhouse); images of the Rose Bowl (including aerial views, graduation ceremonies, and midget car races featuring Sam Hanks); numerous churches; the Maryland, Raymond, Green, Huntington, and Vista del Arroyo Hotels; football and baseball players (including members of the Army and Navy football teams and the Chicago White Sox); recreation (including horseback riding in the Arroyo Seco and lawn bowling in Central Park); nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, and ice cream parlors; community groups (including the Pasadena Women's Club, VFW Poppy Girls, and the Pasadena Boys Club); the Huntington Library; country clubs and golf courses (including miniature golf); radio broadcasts; and images taken on VJ Day, 1945.
    Images of public buildings and social services include numerous views of Pasadena City Hall; the Pasadena Central Library; the area's hospitals (with an emphasis on Huntington Memorial Hospital and its services); and schools and schoolchildren.
    The collection also contains many portraits, both formal and informal. Notable are the portraits of Albert Einstein; Governor James Rolph; and Richard and Pat Nixon. The latter were taken at Nixon's 1962 gubernatorial campaign headquarters in Pasadena.


    The collection is arranged chronologically by subject.

    Related Materials

    Index Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Baldwin, Baldwin M.--Homes and haunts--Photographs.
    Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955--Photographs.
    Hanks, Sam, 1919-1994--Photographs.
    Hunt, Myron, 1868-1952.
    Nixon, Pat, 1912-1993--Photographs.
    Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994--Photographs.
    Rolph, James, 1869-1934--Photographs.
    Parker, Harold A., 1878-1930.


    Chicago White Sox (Baseball team)--Photographs.
    City Hall (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Foss Designing and Building Co.
    Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery--Photographs.
    Hotel Green (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs
    Huntington Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Huntington Memorial Hospital (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Los Angeles International Airport--Photographs.
    Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury (Firm).
    Maryland Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Mission San Juan Capistrano--Photographs.
    Pasadena Playhouse--Photographs.
    Raymond Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Santa Barbara Mission--Photographs.
    Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
    Vista del Arroyo Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Women's City Club of Pasadena--Photographs.


    Alhambra (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Altadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Compton (Calif.)--Photographs.
    El Monte (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Glendale (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Highland Park (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Kern County (Calif.)--Photographs.
    La Crescenta (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--Aerial photographs.
    Monrovia (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Mount Baldy (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Ontario (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.)--Aerial photographs.
    Rosemead (Calif.)--Photographs.
    San Gabriel (Calif.)--Photographs.
    San Jacinto Peak (Calif.)--Photographs.
    San Marino (Calif.)--Photographs.
    South Pasadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Van Nuys (Los Angeles, Calif.)--Photographs.


    Apartment houses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Architectural rendering--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Automobile dealers--California--Alhambra--Photographs.
    Automobile dealers--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Automobile dealers--California--San Gabriel--Photographs.
    Automobile industry and trade--California--Alhambra--Photographs.
    Automobile industry and trade--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Automobile industry and trade--California--Glendale--Photographs.
    Automobile industry and trade--California--Highland Park--Photographs.
    Automobile industry and trade--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Automobile repair shops--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Automobiles, Racing--Photographs.
    Bank buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Building construction--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Business districts--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Alhambra--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Arcadia--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--City of Industry--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Compton--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--El Monte--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Glendale--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Los Angeles--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Monrovia--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--San Gabriel--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--San Marino--Photographs.
    Children's clothing--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Clothing trade--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Coffee shops--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Coffee shops--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Commencement ceremonies--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Commercial buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Country clubs--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Dairy plants--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Dairy processing--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Department stores--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Deserts--California--Kern County--Photographs.
    Dinners and dining--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Display of merchandise--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Dwellings--California--San Marino--Photographs.
    Dwellings--California--South Pasadena--Photographs.
    Fire stations--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Football players--Photographs.
    Funeral homes--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Funeral homes--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Funeral rites and ceremonies--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Golf courses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Compton--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Los Angeles--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Monrovia--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Ontario--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Rosemead--Photographs.
    High school students--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Historic bridges--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Holiday decorations--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Ice cream parlors--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Interior decoration--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Interior decoration--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Interior decoration--California--San Marino--Photographs.
    Interiors--California--San Marino--Photographs.
    Junior high school students--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Library buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Medical instruments and apparatus--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Midget car racing--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Military cadets--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Miniature golf--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Motion picture theaters--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Newspaper buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Oil well drilling rigs--California--Los Angeles--Photographs.
    Organ (Musical instrument)--Photographs.
    Police stations--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Radio--Receivers and reception--Photographs.
    Radio broadcasting--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Real estate development--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Rites and ceremonies--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    School children--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Street-railroads--Accidents--California--Los Angeles--Photographs.
    Television--Receivers and reception--Photographs.
    Trailer camps--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Universities and colleges--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    V-J Day, 1945--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Washing machines--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Women's clothing--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Young Men's Christian assocations--Buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Young Women's Christian assocations--Buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.

    Document Types: