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Finding Aid to the Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection, circa 1895-1912
BANC PIC 1905.04663-05242  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection
    Date (inclusive): circa 1895-1912
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1905.04663-05242
    Creator: Hare, Alice
    Extent: 575 silver gelatin photographs 304 digital objects
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Includes photographs of the Santa Clara valley, Monterey, and San Francisco's Chinatown. Major subjects depicted are agricultural activities, immigrant laborers of various ethnic groups, the Chinese fishing village in Monterey, domestic and historic architecture (including missions and adobes of Spanish California), gardens and botanical subjects, and children's camps and activities.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection, BANC PIC 1905.04663-05242, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Digital Representations Available

    Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.

    Related Collection

    Title: Alice Iola Hare papers,
    Date: 1857-1926.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 439

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Ironmonger, Charles
    Maude, F. H. (Frederic Hamer)
    Adobe houses--California--Photographs
    Agricultural laborers--California--Santa Clara County--Photographs
    Agricultural machinery--California--Photographs
    Agriculture--California--Santa Clara County--Photographs
    Alien labor--California--Photographs
    Botany--California--Santa Clara County--Photographs
    Chinese--California--Monterey Bay Region--Photographs
    Historic buildings--California--Photographs
    Spanish mission buildings--California--Photographs
    Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)--Pictorial works
    Santa Clara County (Calif.)--Pictorial works

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information



    Mrs. Hare was born Alice Iola Schnatterly, on December 12, 1859, in New Geneva, Pennsylvania. Born to a large family, she was one of eight children. In 1877 she married James W. Hare. In 1880 the first of the Hares' four sons, John, was born. John would eventually become a photographer and work for several San Francisco newspapers as well as the Chicago Daily Journal. In 1881 the Hare family moved to Carlinville, Illinois, where two more of their sons, James and Ray, were born. In 1895, the Hares moved to Santa Clara, California. Their fourth son, Harry, was born that same year. Shortly thereafter, perhaps encouraged by her son John, Mrs. Hare began to practice photography.
    Little of Mrs. Hare's work is to be found before 1900, when one of her photographs won an honorable mention in the San Francisco Chronicle's Amateur Photography contest and was published. The following year she began to advertise her photography in the business section of the Santa Clara News, her logo stating "Unmounted Views a Specialty". In 1902, Sunset Magazine featured Mrs. Hare's work in two of their issues. In January, her photos illustrated two articles on onion harvesting in the Santa Clara Valley. In December, her photograph "Beauty of Galzenwood Rosebush at San Jose, California, on Christmas Day, 1901" appeared accompanying a poem. The next year she published San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, a collection of twenty one photographs, including such subjects as prune farming, San Jose's St. James Park, Glazenwood Roses, and the Santa Clara Mission.
    In 1904 Mrs. Hare displayed several of her photographs, primarily of California agriculture, in the California Building at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. Responding to the popularity of the display, and perhaps recognizing the potential of photography to lure more people to the West, she proclaimed, "It is safe to say that California will have many visitors and settlers in the near future." 1904 also saw the publication of her privately printed viewbook Vistas de San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley.
    That same year, Mrs. Hare and ten other women founded the Santa Clara Women's Improvement Club, an organization dedicated to civic improvement activities such as cleaning and maintaining local neighborhoods, restoring and renovating historic areas, gardening, planting trees, and eliminating unsightly elements such as billboards from public view. Her involvement with the Women's Improvement Club led to a more active interest in local history and eventual membership in other local and statewide clubs and organizations, such as the Outdoor Art League, The Sempervirans Club, the Santa Clara Historical Society, and the California Writer's Club. Mrs. Hare eventually created a booklet on the history of the California Missions, and, in 1909, was the Northern California chair responsible for marking the mission bells signposts for El Camino Real.
    In 1905 Sunset Magazine used Mrs. Hare's work to illustrate the article "Where Roses Grow on Trees", published in the January issue. In 1906 her garden scenes were included in Road of a Thousand Waters, a photographic essay of El Camino Real. The following year she attended a convention of the Photographer's Association of California, where she displayed several of her photographs and received an award of merit. In 1908, the magazine Camera Craft published Mrs. Hare's photograph "A Country Lane", which took third prize in their January competition.
    In 1911, the Hare family moved to the community of Winton, in Merced County, California. They were only the second family to move there. In February of the following year, Mrs. Hare photographed the Winton bell ringing, marking the founding of Winton's first church. Later that year she exhibited her photographs, oil paintings, and pastels in a fair celebrating Winton's founding. After photographing historic moments of Winton's beginnings, there is a significant decline in her photographic activity after 1912. This may have been the result of her demanding involvement in establishing many of Winton's first institutions and participating in many community activities. In addition to helping found the Winton Improvement Club, she also helped establish the community's first grammar school and school district, planted trees, wrote articles such as "Winton Wants Rural Outdoor Adornment", and became the area's first librarian. It is not known to what extent she practiced painting, or if any of her work in paint media survives.
    After her husband's death in 1920, Mrs. Hare resided briefly in Concord and Oakland, California. In 1924, she moved to Berkeley, California. She remained a librarian, and gave evening readings at patrons' homes. She also attended classes at Berkeley High School and wrote romance and adventure stories, some of which she hoped would become Hollywood screenplays. She also began to compose her autobiography. Mrs. Hare died on July 20, 1942.
    Unfortunately, Mrs. Hare does not seem to have financially benefitted from either her photography or her writing. She died intestate, not being able to afford a tombstone to mark her grave at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. Nor does she seem to have maintained any renown as a photographer. As early as 1913, the Santa Clara News, upon a return visit she made to the area, referred to her as "Mrs. Alice Hare, prominent club woman and writer". Even her obituary in the Berkeley Daily Gazette makes no mention of her photographic work, listing her as "A. Hare, Writer..."
    (Source: Henry, Michael. "Alice Hare: Views of California Beauty" in A Directory of Women in California Photography Before 1901. Volume 2. Arcata, CA : P.E. Palmquist, 1991. Pages 159-162)

    Scope and Content

    The Hare collection contains 575 silver gelatin prints, taken by Mrs. Hare circa 1900-1910. Most of the photographs were taken in and around the Santa Clara Valley region of Northern California, especially in the vicinities of Santa Clara and San Jose. Other areas featured in the collection are Saratoga, Los Gatos, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Basin Park, San Francisco, Monterey, Palo Alto, Sonoma County, Lake County, and Pebble Beach. The subject matter of Mrs. Hare's work is diverse, including gardens, gardening and botany; architecture; streets and roadways; parks, landscapes, and other scenes of nature; agriculture and industry; travel and recreation; and the local Chinese, Spanish and native Californian cultures of the time.
    Mrs. Hare's work displays unquestionable documentary value. It is also unquestionably the result of a deep personal interest in her subject matter and of a life spent actively involved in those interests. Much of Hare's work is self-consciously Californian. She often includes the name of the state, if not the specific area, in her captions, thus highlighting the locale and establishing a particular geographical identity for the subject matter. Her work also places a knowledgeable emphasis on the history of the state and the various peoples that have contributed to its cultural make-up. Hare seems to have had a sharp sense for that which was distinctly Californian and that which was of historical significance to the development of the state. Her work forms an especially impressive record of the history, geography, and various contemporary facets of the Santa Clara Valley area.
    Although some of her photographs were used commercially--to illustrate articles in Sunset Magazine, for example--it is difficult to determine to what degree commercial interests motivated Mrs. Hare's work. A majority of the photographs are marked with her home studio stamp on the back. Several are also numbered and inscribed with her name. Many are labeled as "views" or "scenes" of the areas or activities they represent. Some of the prints are copyrighted, some are stamped "Credit Must Be Given", while some even display a price. As a few of the prints indicate that they were commissioned, it is possible that a portion of her work was done for the particular demands of her clients.
    To some extent, the scope of the collection might be considered with regard to Mrs. Hare's practice as a painter. Though little is known about her painting, there is the possibility that she used some of her photographs as models for this work. Her garden photographs designated as "studies", for example, might have been taken for these purposes. There are also several still life, landscapes, and roadway scenes which allude to painterly conventions. The few hand-colored prints in the collection, which are apparently experimental, may have also had some relation to her painting.
    Despite Mrs. Hare's interest in history and her closeness to her family, there is little evidence in the collection that she cared to preserve a photographic record of her family or friends. In contrast to the places or activities appearing in her work, very few of the people are identified. Several may likely be friends and/or relatives, as many of them appear throughout the collection in various locales and situations, but this cannot be determined for certain. A few of the photographs are of Mrs. Hare herself.
    Regardless of their various original purposes, Mrs. Hare's photographs amount to a richly diverse contribution to the heritage of California, especially those regions of the state which were the subjects of her work. Originally from the eastern United States herself, Mrs. Hare understood the distinct appeal of California to those who had never been to the state or were not originally from the state.
    In addition to Mrs. Hare's photographs, the collection includes a booklet, "Pictorial Description of the Destruction of Our Church", on the destruction of Santa Clara's Centennary Methodist Episcopal Church from the 1906 earthquake, with photographic illustrations by J.O. Tucker and an introduction by the church's Pastor Fred A. Keast . The collection also contains the cover of a pamphlet, "Pescadero Beach Stones". There are seven prints unaccounted for in the collection. It is unclear if this is an error in the numbering of the prints or if they are missing. There are several prints which are discolored from being glued to their album sheets. It is likely that a few of the photographs were not produced by Mrs. Hare, one of them being a hand-colored print from the studio of F.H. Maude & Co., Los Angeles.