Marian Osgood Hooker Collection
Scope and Contents
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. Both albums include images of Marian's classmates, friends, and family.
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." The models and authors of these productions were probably several of Marian's classmates from the Marlborough School for Girls, including Henrietta Visscher, Alice Gertrude Paul, and Mary Cutler. In "Sub Rosa," the girls 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." "Symposium" consists of a series of vignettes, such as "The Marlboro Sirens," "A Carnival in Madrid," and "A Rhymed Tragedy." These vignettes are also composed of original rhymed text and posed photographs of the girls dressed in several costumes, including a Japanese orchestra, a Fiji chief, a nun, and several other characters which serve to illustrate the text. This album also includes hand-drawn decorations around the margins and on the cover.
The second album includes candid 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, probably from Marian's 1896 trip to Europe with her mother. There are no captions. The majority of photographs in this album are circular snapshots, suggesting that Marian had used a KODAK camera (revolutionary at the time) to take the photographs. Other photographs appear to be formal studio portraits. Some pages in this scrapbook have light foxing. The album dates from around 1894 to 1896.
- Hooker, Marian Osgood (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.
Marian Osgood Hooker was born in 1875 in San Francisco, California to Katherine Putnam Hooker and John Daggett Hooker. Her father was a wealthy businessman connected to the hardware industry and iron works. He served as vice president of Baker Iron Works, and was president of Western Union Oil Company for a time. In 1886, Hooker moved his family from San Francisco to Los Angeles in order to pursue business opportunities there. In Los Angeles, the Hooker home entertained prominent guests, such as John Muir the conservationist, George Hale the astronomer, artists, and other intellectual figures.
Marian attended the Marlborough School for Girls, an exclusive preparatory school in Los Angeles. There, she studied art history and became interested in photography, a common 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, demonstrating a skill and aptitude for photography, and foreshadowing the amateur photographer she would become.
After graduating, Marian and her mother took an eight-month excursion to Europe in 1896. While in Europe, Marian photographed European architecture, street life, villages, and other sites, showing a particular interest in Italy. Between 1899 and 1922, Marian and her mother took four other extended European trips. Katherine wrote several noteworthy works about their travels with Marian's photographs accompanying the text, including Wayfarers in Italy (1902) and Farmhouses and Small Provincial Buildings in Southern Italy (1925). The images in the latter text supposedly influenced several Southern California architects, such as Myron Hunt.
Besides Europe, Marian also enjoyed traveling around the Sierra Nevada. In 1903, John Muir asked her to hike up Mt. Whitney with him and small group of people, making her the first woman to scale the mountain. Mt. Whitney had been named after her maternal great uncle, a prominent geologist.
Marian graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1910 with a degree in medicine. The University of California appointed her as the Assistant Medical Examiner in 1912. Around this time, Marian's father passed away. After Hooker's death, Katherine moved to San Francisco where Marian moved in with her. While a physician, Marian wrote several books on medicine, but she eventually left the profession to take care of her mother. In 1924, they moved to Santa Barbara. Although they never traveled abroad again, both women took automobile trips around California, always with a camera in hand.
Marian passed away in 1968 in Santa Barbara.
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Source of Acquisition
Possibly donated by John and Jane Adams
- Marian Osgood Hooker Collection
- Amanda Lanthorne
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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