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John S. Candelario Collection

Identifier: AC 291

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents, papers, letters, and memorabilia relating to John S. Candelario and his business and property dealings. There are personal letters to him from family members and from his adopted father, Jesusito Candelario. John S. Candelario's essays, fiction, and film scripts about New Mexico are also included in this collection. Of note is an unpublished essay on Georgia O'Keeffe. Also included are detailed logs of his work which provide technical information about what he was shooting. Includes some Spanish language documents. Original format audio recordings have been added in 2016 and digitized in 2021.


  • 1895-1999


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions


Copy Restrictions

Duplication allowed for research purposes. User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Personal History

John S. Candelario was known for his cinematography work and still photographs of New Mexico and the Southwest. He operated the original Old Curio Store (Candelario Curio Store), the oldest Indian trading post in the United States, located at 201 West San Francisco Street. Born on September 7, 1916, in Santa Fe, the son of Arthur and Alice (Candelario) Weeks, he was later adopted by his grandfather, Jesusito Candelario. He died October 5, 1993.

In 1938, Candelario took over the Old Curio Store owned by his grandfather, J. S. (Jesusito) Candelario. While running it, he became interested in motion pictures. He won television's Emmy and Peabody awards and won the American Film festival's Golden Reel Award for the art film, "Indian Artists of the Southwest." He was director of Southwest Fine Recordings and president of Cinemark Productions and Cine 837 Educational Film Producing Company.

As a still photographer Candelario did portraits for Mabel Dodge Luhan's book, Taos Artists. He photographs appeared in national magazines, such as Life and Holiday. Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz befriended him and displayed his photographs. Candelario worked with Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, introducing them to the pueblos.

Candelario also wrote many short stories, some appeared in journals and others were made into movie scripts.


8.5 Linear Feet


Contact Information

  1. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
  2. The Palace of the Governors
  3. P.O. Box 2087
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2087, U.S.A.
  5. Phone: (+)505.476.5090
  6. Fax: (+)505.476.5093
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Guide to the John S. Candelario Collection, 1895-1999
Processed by Library Staff
©20002, ©2016
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//Museum of New Mexico::Fray Angelico Chavez History Library//TEXT (US::NmSM::AC 291::John S. Candelario Collection)//EN" "nmsm1ac291.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library Repository

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Ave
Sante Fe NM 87501 USA
(505) 476-5090