A Photographic Maiden: the Marian Osgood Hooker Collection



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Home >> Special Collections & University Archives >> New Notable >> A Photographic Maiden: the Marian Osgood Hooker Collection

Special Collections and University Archives holds numerous photograph and scrapbook collections.  Among these is the delightful Marian Osgood Hooker CollectionMarian was the daughter of a wealthy businessman in Los Angeles.  She attended the Marlborough School for Girls, an exclusive preparatory school.  There, she studied art history and became interested in photography, which was a popular hobby for a young woman of wealth and leisure at the time.  She began visually documenting her family, classmates, home life, friends, and school play productions.  She even printed her own glass plate negatives. Marion soon demonstrated a skill and aptitude for photography, and this early skill foreshadowed the talented amateur photographer she would become.

The Marian Osgood Hooker Collection consists of two albums dating from 1894 to 1896, which document Marian's growing interest in photography while a student at the Marlborough School for Girls.  The first album, titled "Marlborough Maidens," is a photographically illustrated manuscript which contains posed photographs that complement two original publications with rhymed prose, "Sub Rosa" and "Symposium."  In "Sub Rosa," Marian’s friends are posed as Greek goddesses, with accompanying poetic text that makes reference to Marian acting as the "photographic maid" who "tempted maidens three from school, to shoot them with her deadly tool."  The second album includes both candid and formal photographs of Marian's classmates and faculty at the Marlborough School, scenes of home life at the Hooker residence, Marian and her friends play acting, outdoor scenes, and several photographs of Italy.  Also see Katherine Hooker's (Marian's mother) published work Wayfarers in Italy, in which several of Marian's photograghs appear.

While exciting to look at for amusement’s sake, these photographic gems also provide detailed insight into the life of a wealthy teenage girl in 1890s Los Angeles, and offer a glance at the budding potential of an amateur photographer.

Other photograph and scrapbook collections include the San Diego Photograph Collection, San Diego Scrapbook Collection, the Annie L. Jobs Photograph Album, Myrtle Elizabeth Johnson Papers, the John and Jane Adams Photograph Collection, the H.A. Betaque Papers, the Louise Patterson Scrapbook, the Susanna Bruff Scrapbook, the G. Hamilton Hammon Scrapbook, and many more.

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