History and how we understand the world comes both from those with fame and power as well as everyday citizens whose experiences are woven into the fabric of our collective identity.
Son, husband, veteran, photographer, Washingtonian.
In 2005, the Historical Society acquired the Edward A. Hubbard collection; with it came his story.
Edward A. Hubbard (1919-1996) grew up in Washington, D.C. and spent the latter half of his 20s working for the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of the New Deal’s most successful programs to put the unemployed to work. He joined the Army in 1942 and served in the Western Pacific with the 4026 Signal Photo Brigade of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After his service, Hubbard found success as an independent commercial photographer, often under the name of “Art” Hubbard. He then spent 20 years as a photographer for National Institutes of Health before retiring in 1976.
Like his contemporary Robert Scurlock, Edward A. Hubbard was a commercial photographer whose work provides an important window into African Americans life in the late 1940s and 1950s. Hubbard captured everything from fashion shows to football games. His photographs document weddings, high-end social events, and people at work. Most are unidentified, awaiting processing and review by historians.
In addition to commercial photographs, the collection contains of hundreds of prints, negatives, and slides documenting Hubbard’s war-time service in the Pacific, his family, Washington scenes, and the places he and his wife visited on their vacations. This important collection of local history is only partially processed, and therefore not yet available to the public.
It takes thousands of dollars’ worth of archival supplies, plus hundreds of hours to meticulously organize and prepare a collection for public use.
Prints, negatives, and slides can be digitized to further increase public access, but with an additional price tag of up to $5,000. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.’s collections are rich with fascinating stories like these just waiting to be told.
Help us tell these stories. Your gift to the Historical Society will support this and other projects, and will create the resources necessary to tell and preserve these stories. Your contribution allows us to continue our mission to collect, interpret and preserve the history of Washington, D.C. for future generations.
John T. Suau, Executive Director