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1893 SFAI, Mark Hopkins Institute of Art

In 1893 the Mark Hopkins mansion on the top of Nob Hill became the home of the School and the San Francisco Art Association when Edward Searles donated the property to the University of California to be used by the SFAA for an art school.  Hopkins was one of the “Big Four” who along with Collis P. Huntington, William Crocker, and Leland Stanford built the western half of the transcontinental railroad. This mansion---the highest structure on the highest hill in the City was completed after Hopkins had died. The widow Hopkins then married her interior designer, Edward Searles. Mrs. Searles died and Edward moved to Massachusetts with the Hopkins chauffeur.

The property was sold in 1925 for the Mark Hopkins Hotel when the School moved to 800 Chestnut Street, into the building designed as an Italian hillside town by Arthur Brown.


With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.



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SF Artists Alumni Inc., San Francisco, CA 94131