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HomeContents > People > Photographers > C.J. Marvin

Born: Cornelius J. Marvin 
Dates:  1888, 22 June - 1944, 26 April
His obituary in the San Marino Tribune (May 4, 1944) stated:
C. J. Marvin Paid Final Tribute At Wee Kirk. Funeral services were conducted Saturday morning at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, for C. J. "Neil" Marvin, who passed away after a brief illness Wednesday night, April 26, at his San Marino home, 1234 Roanoke. Mr. Marvin was assistant manager of the Dupont plant in El Monte and had been associated with the Dupont Company since his graduation from the University of Colorado in 1913. He specialized in the chemical engineering field and was an active member of the American Chemical Society for the past 20 years. A leader in civic and cultural activities, Mr. Marvin was active in musical circles. His avocation was color photography and he was recognized for his outstanding reproductions of rare flowers, with emphasis on orchids. He was a vice president of the San Marino Garden Club and was a member and director of the Oneonta Club of South Pasadena. Mr. Marvin is survived by his widow, Mrs Hazel A. Marvin.
[Grateful thanks to David Hollombe for providing this information, pers. email, 21 May 2016]

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for C.J. Marvin
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Cornelius J. Marvin lived in Los Angeles and was active as a pictorialist from the late 1910s to the early 1930s. During the first decade of the twentieth century, he was chief of the Santa Monica Fire Department and a volunteer with the department in Ocean Park. In 1916, he and the Braun Corporation obtained a U.S. patent for a gas-generating apparatus to fumigate trees. About this same time, he was in charge of the museum at what is now the Scripps Institution for Oceanography, at the University of California, La Jolla. He was particularly interested in mollusks and donated some to the museumís collection.
Marvin was invited to join the exclusive Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles around 1918, as his work was singled out among its new members in the 1919 Los Angeles salon of photography. Fellow member Arthur F. Kales wrote a review of the show for the February 1919 issue of Photo Era, in which he called Marvinís picture Idle Moments "most impressive." The institute owns a print of this image, which pictures a boy seated outdoors in glowing light. Idle Moments may have been his most successful print; the back of it lists no less than sixteen salons that accepted it. In addition, it was reproduced in both the December 1920 issue of Photo Era and American Photography in March 1922.
Marvinís pictures also appeared in The Pictorialist, the important, short-lived annual of the Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles. Issued only twice, in 1931 and 1932, these large, hardbound books featured one hundred pictures selected from the annual salon sponsored by the group and hung at the cityís Museum of Science and Art. Both of Marvinís contributions were landscapes with trees. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (previously the Museum of Science and Art) bought a soft-focus photograph by Marvin in 1923, probably from that yearís salon presentation.
Marvin exhibited in many American and European salons between 1919 and 1932. Among them were those in Buffalo, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Glasgow, London, Madrid, Montreal, New Westminster (British Columbia, Canada), Oslo, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, and Turin. In these same years he appears to have had his work accepted every single year at the Los Angeles International Salon of Pictorial Photography. 
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.

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