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William Henry Brown and George C. Bennett Collection

Identifier: PAC 030

Scope and Content

This small collection consists of portraits of New Mexico notables in various formats, sizes and mounted on card stock and stereo views of New Mexico scenes. Stereos include W.H. Brown, Bennett and Brown, and George C. Bennett with duplicates attributed to both. Photographers image number in parenthesis.


  • 1866 - 1884
  • Majority of material found in Placeholder Unit Date Text


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to researchers on an appointment basis only, pending approval of application to view original material.

Copy Restrictions

Permission to publish must be obtained from Photo Archives. Online Request Permission form available at: User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Information

Due to the overlap and confusion regarding attribution for these two photographers stereo work both are processed under this one collection. Stereo cards are stamped W. Henry Brown, George C. Bennett and Bennett and Brown.

William Henry Brown came to Santa Fe from Saint Louis in 1866 with his father, the photographer Nicholas Brown. Nicholas Brown is considered one of the earliest known photographers in New Mexico of which work is extant. William Henry Brown worked in partnership with his father in a studio next door to the Santa Fe Hotel. In 1867 a trip to Chihuahua, Mexico with his father resulted in a studio there which he operated until 1869. He then drops from records until his return to Santa Fe in 1880 to form a partnership with “operator” George C. Bennett from a studio on the Westside of the Plaza. Even though his photography business advertises only the Brown name, Bennett was his operator until at least 1883. Health problems increasingly forced the hiring of other photographers to operate his business including his wife Fannie. In 1882-1883 his studio produced a large amount of work for the New Mexico Historical Society including portraits of New Mexico Territorial notables. During this time he produced 500 dozen stereographs for the Palace Hotel. His studio also produced high quality stereographs, work actually done by Bennett, much of with formed the nucleus of the present day Museum of New Mexico collection. He moved to Parral, Mexico in 1884 and El Paso in 1885 where he died of consumption

George C. Bennett was primarily active as maker of stereographs and view cards. He first appears in Santa Fe as part of Bennett and Burrall before operating briefly on his own. He establishes a partnership with William Henry Brown 1880-1882, doing most of the firm's traveling and view work. As agent of the Brown studio Bennett does extensive work for the noted archaeologist Adolph Bandelier at Acoma, Cochiti and Frijoles Canyon 1880-1883.


.25 Linear Feet

William Henry Brown and George C. Bennett Collection, 1866 - 1884
Edited Full Draft
© 2011
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 NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA