Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Isaiah West Taber Family Photographs, ca.1880-1895
BANC PIC 1992.001--PIC  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (129.17 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The Taber Family Photographs collection contains 45 photographic prints taken mostly by Isaiah W. Taber circa 1880-1895. The bulk of the collection features individual and group portraits of Taber, his wife, and his two daughters, Daisy and Louise --including a "bas-relief" portrait of the photographer. Other photographs include views of Taber's Oakland residence, interior views of Taber's photographic parlors, a portrait of Sumner Bugbee and his wife posing before their Oakland residence, portraits of unidentified persons, and a Chinese vegetable peddler in San Francisco. Also included are photographic reproductions of C.A.M. Taber's 1848 sketches of Sacramento and San Francisco, and a photographic reproduction of a print of the Taber Family coat of arms. Non-photographic material includes a newsprint clipping advertising San Francisco's Taber Gallery, and three porcelain dishes illustrated with views derived from photographs of Yosemite Valley.
Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice. An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 12 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views -many of which were the unacknowledged works of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. He died February 22, 1912.
44 photographic prints, various sizes, most mounted; 1 platinum bas-relief print, framed, 22 x 22 cm.; 1 newsprint clipping, mounted, 26 x 21 cm; 3 porcelain dishes, 10 x 17 cm. or smaller. 46 digital objects
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is available for use.