Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Gifford, Wanda, Photographs, 1948-1958

Biographical Note:

After Ralph Gifford's death in 1947, his wife, Wanda Muir Gifford (1894-1989) took over the family's photography business. Wanda, born in Florin, California, was a 1916 Oregon Agricultural College home economics graduate. She taught home economics in the Portland schools for several years. Ralph and Wanda Gifford had two sons, Ralph Arthur Gifford, who attended Oregon State College before his death in 1939, and Ben L., who carried on the family's photographic tradition for a third generation.

Wanda took and sold photographs from 1947 through the mid-1950s. Largely self-taught in photography, she worked primarily on weekends -- in addition to her job with the County Clerk's office in the Marion County Courthouse. "As Mr. Gifford preferred to photograph landscapes, I am very much interested in child photography," she wrote to a magazine editor about a year after Ralph's death. "With all those fine cameras and a complete laboratory left me I must carry on." Wanda also took many photographs of agriculture subjects, and as Ralph had done, marketed the family's photographs to trade publications, such as American Fruit Grower and U.S. Camera magazines, newspapers, advertising firms, and corporations.

Wanda retired from the Marion County Clerk's office in 1958 and lived in Salem for most of the remainder of her life. She died in Sublimity, Oregon, in 1989.

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