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Mary Ellen and Laurence Blair Collection

Identifier: AC 456

Scope and Content

The collection contains material related to the research and publication of two books by Mary Ellen and Laurence Blair: Margaret Tafoya: A Tewa Potter's Heritage and Legacy and The Legacy of a Master Potter: Nampeyo and her Descendants. Materials include papers, photographs, audio interviews, and pottery samples.

2016 addendum includes original and secondary research material for the biography of Barbara Whitchurch Freire-Marreco Aitken (1879-1967) called A Life Well Led. Aitken was a British anthropologist who spent time at the Hopi and Santa Clara pueblos in the early 1900s. Collection includes photographs taken by Barbara Aitken and Beatrice Blackwood of pueblos of the Southwest. In addition, there is material on Native American, especially Navajos, issues.


  • 1910-1999
  • Majority of material found in 1972-1999

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical History

Laurence Blair (d. 1999) received his doctorate in Ceramics from Rutgers University and later went to Harvard Business School. He worked for The Manville Corporation for many years before retiring and teaching Ceramic Color Technology at Rutgers. Mary Ellen Blair is an author, researcher and participant in judging southwest Indian art shows. She is a student and collector of American Indian art. The couple turned to researching and writing in their retirement.


4.25 Linear Feet

Separated Material

Photographic material transferred to Photo Archives (HP2008.20). Microfilm of Hopi Notebooks, 1885-1892 by Alexander McGregor Stephens transferred to Microfilm Collection.
Inventory of the Mary Ellen and Laurence Blair Collection, 1910-1999
Edited Full Draft
B. McLeskey
©2008, updated ©2016
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • 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