Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Max Yavno photograph collection,
Date (inclusive): circa 1945 - 1950
Collection number: Consult repository
Yavno, Max (1911 - 1985)
3 linear feet and 4 inches
Claremont Colleges. Library.
Ella Strong Denison Library.
Abstract: The Max Yavno photograph collection contains photographs taken by
Yavno of the Scripps College campus and of Scripps student life from 1945 to 1950. Some of
the photographs were published in 1950 in The Los Angeles Book, which Yavno co-created with
Physical location: Please consult repository.
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Denison
Max Yavno Photographs. Ella Strong Denison Library, Libraries of The Claremont
Commissioned by Scripps College, circa 1945.
Processed by Lorain Wang in 2003.
Max Yavno was born in New York City on April 26, 1911. He is known for his work in fine art
and commercial photography and for his ability to capture urban life in his photographs.
After earning his Bachelor of Social Science from the City College of New York in 1932, he
attended the School of Business Administration at Columbia University and a year later,
enrolled in Columbia's political science graduate program. In 1935, Yavno worked briefly as
a social worker at the New York City Home Relief Bureau. It was during the mid-1930s that
Yavno became involved in photography professionally, working for the Works Progress
Administration (WPA) as a photographer. He also joined the Photo League and later served as
president of the organization in 1938. During World War II, Yavno served in the United
States Army Air Force as a photography instructor. After returning from the war, Yavno moved
to Los Angeles in 1945 where he worked as a freelance photographer for magazines such as
Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In 1948, he collaborated with Herb Caen to create The San
Francisco Book, which contained photographs taken by Yavno. In 1950, another compilation of
Yavno's photographs was published in The Los Angeles Book, with text written by Lee Shipley.
During the 1950s, Yavno devoted his skills to commercial photography and was awarded the New
York Art Directors Gold Medal in 1954 and 1955. In 1954, he opened a commercial photography
studio in Los Angeles. During the 1960s, Yavno's The Story of Wine in California and Natzler
Ceramics were published. In 1975, Yavno turned away from commercial photography to focus on
creating artistic photographs, traveling to Death Valley in California and to other
countries including Israel, Egypt, Mexico, and Morocco. Solo exhibitions of his work were
held at various galleries around the country. In 1981, The Photography of Max Yavno was
published. At the age of 74, Max Yavno passed away on March 4, 1985.
"A Biography of Max Yavno." UCR/California Museum of Photography. 23 June 2003
"The Artists and Their Visions." Center for Creative Photography. 23 June 2003
"Max Yavno Chronology." Center for Creative Photography. 23 June 2003
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection is comprised of photographs taken by Max Yavno around the Scripps College
campus from 1945 to 1950. Most of the photographs capture student life both in and outside
the classroom as well as members of the Scripps faculty interacting with students. Some of
the photographs were published in 1950 in Yavno's book, The Los Angeles Book.
All of the photographs were received mounted and have been maintained in its original
format. In processing the collection, each photograph was assigned a unique identification