Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1905.04663-05242
575 silver gelatin photographs
304 digital objects
The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
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.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted
to research and educational purposes.
[Identification of item],
Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection, BANC PIC 1905.04663-.05242--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Digital Representations Available
Alice Iola Hare papers,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 439
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.
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
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.