The Studio for Southern California History





1905 Postcard Front and Back


Mailed March 21, 1905 at 11:30 am from the Arcade Station. Written text front underneath painted photograph of two Chinese American children wearing traditional clothing from China: “Little heathens born and raised in Los Angeles our Sunday School has a mission among them. 3-19-05 [illegible].”

Written text back: “Miss Florence C Meyers 1708 Edward St, Louisville, Kentucky.”

I chose this object to highlight for both its subject matter and the text written on it as a postcard. There are many details in this small object – from its postmark, to where it was sent, and in when. -Sharon Sekhon


1903 Scrapbook photograph of Santa Monica beach

Black and white photograph of a group of six women on the beach in Santa Monica. Pier and boardwalk are visible.

I chose this photograph as well as Object 3 ["The Morning Bath"] for its rarity and the window into leisure and wealth in early Santa Monica. Also, the details in the photograph are useful, and the poses of the women do not jibe with traditional Victorian portraits. -Sharon Sekhon


The Morning Bath

1903 Scrapbook photograph of Santa Monica beach

Black and white photograph of the beach in Santa Monica with different groups enjoying the beach. There are approximately 13 people in this shot and includes a group of men pulling a large bunch of seaweed.”

I chose this object as well as Object 2 for its rarity into leisure and wealth in early Santa Monica. There are many images in this group and I chose to include this one in part to show how we dated the photograph. -Sharon Sekhon


Mother Vickie

Undated black and white photograph of three people including a woman holding a cat, a man with a hat on, and a young girl. The words “Mother Vickie” are written above the woman holding the cat. This photograph was taken in the 1910s in Chavez Ravine and features the maternal great grandmother and grandmother of Max Benavidez who donated for use in the LA History Archive.

I chose this object because it is beautiful, it features poorer Mexican Americans in a contested community – Chavez Ravine. I also chose this because of the cat. This photograph as well as other family ephemera became the basis of Max Benavidez’s poem “Durango” which the Studio developed into an art installation. -Sharon Sekhon


Concetta Distaso Capacchione on her wedding day, the day after her 21st birthday, March 22, 1935


2010 photograph of the Capacchione family home in Little Italy at 808 New Depot Street

1935 black and white photograph showing Concetta Distaso Capacchione in a photography studio for her wedding portrait in Los Angeles’ Little Italy.

I chose this object because it is beautiful and Concetta donated this photograph as part of our oral history with her. Concetta aka Connie was the first person I interviewed when I started the Studio for Southern California History and she taught me a lot. We became very close friends, we visited often, and she died in 2012. I miss her so much. I include Object 6 – a 2010 photograph of the family home in Little Italy at 808 New Depot Street. This home still exists, and Connie’s daughter Lucia Capacchione remembers watching them build the 110 fwy in 1947 from the porch when she was a little girl. -Sharon Sekhon

The Studio for Southern California History