[PANAMA PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION.]
OVER 150 LARGE FORMAT NEGATIVES FROM THE OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER.
An unparalleled collection of period negatives which document the enormous sweep and grandeur of the 1915 San Francisco exposition. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal in July of that year and sought to display to the world the recovery of San Francisco from the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906. Over 300 acres of the Marina district were dedicated to the fair, and grand monuments by Bernard Maybeck, McKim, Mead & White and others dominated the site.
Presumably a large portion of this collection descended from the original files of the Cardinell-Vincent Company, the official photographers for the fair, as most of the panoramic negatives bear their description and imprint inscribed on the plates. There have been several printed publications drawn from the Cardinell-Vincent photographs, but to our knowledge many of these negatives, especially the panoramic views, are unknown or unrecorded. The Bancroft Library possesses a large sequence of prints by William Hood of the Cardinell-Vincent Company, but they mostly depict architectural details rather than the human pageantry of the fair itself, and do not appear to duplicate the negatives in this collection. Overall a visually stunning archive that must be seen to be appreciated. The collection comprises:
1. Approximately 75 rolled panoramic negatives, app. 8 x 45 inches, most with manuscript descriptions and Cardinell-Vincent identification numbers inscribed to the edges of plates. Subjects include numerous exhibits including the Yellowstone Park, Greek and Cuban Pavilions, a number of parades including the Memorial, North Beach, and Fraternal Day parades, and several major gatherings including Fourth of July and the Knights of Pytheus & Pythian Sisters. Some negatives with surface wear and a few with corners excised, generally very good condition.
2. Approximately 23 large (8x 10 inches) and 75 small (5 x 7, 6 x 8 inches) glass plate negatives of individual events and people at the fair and surrounding venues, including: Granada and Fedora, The Human Elephant, on tight rope; a portrait of Charlie Chaplin, Mable Norman, and Fatty Arbuckle (corner chipped); Theodore Roosevelt with Flying Art Smith in automobile; Kiddies Day crowds at the Zone, as well as related scenes at the beach, a temporary shelter after the earthquake, and other subjects. Some plates with marginal chip damage, most housed in original Manila sleeves with identification, generally very good. A complete list of subjects is available upon request. This lot will not preview in Los Angeles.