Stephen H. Willard

Stephen Hallet Willard (1894-1966) was raised in Corona, CA where his interest in landscape photography began at an early age. Southern California inspired him with a range of subjects, and after graduating from high school in 1912, he had gained the technical skills needed to pursue his career in photography. Traveling an estimated 300,000 miles over the next fifty years, Willard produced thousands of photographs of the mountains and deserts of the West, establishing two photography studios—first in Palm Springs, and then in Mammoth Lakes.

 Willard also established a photography gallery in downtown Palm Springs in 1921, where he sold photographs, photo-paintings, and a series of postcards he developed to market to tourists. Palm Springs became a popular winter playground in the early 20th century, and Willard’s postcards show the carefree lifestyle that attracted visitors from around the world.

Stephen H. Willard (American, 1894-1966), five-color printed postcard on linen finish, reproduced from hand-colored originals, c. 1940-1960. Gift of Dr. Beatrice Willard. © Palm Springs Art Museum

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