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Cary Herz Photograph Collection

Identifier: PAC 047

Scope and Content

This extensive collection comprises the working career of Cary Herz over the course of more than 25 years in New Mexico. It includes original prints and negatives, color slides, book manuscripts, Compact Discs, video tapes, and some documents and correspondence. The majority of the documents and correspondence are housed in the Fray Angelico Chavez History Libray in the New Mexico History Museum. Her women's movement and female athelete material, completed before she moved to New Mexico, is housed in the Smith College Library, The Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA. Collection #MS574.


  • 1984 - 2008


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

Award winning photographer Cary Herz was born in New York in 1947, the daughter of a mother and father who came to the United States from Austria and Germany respectively, to escape Nazi persecution. Three of her great aunts died at Auschwitz. She began her photography career in New York City, capturing images of female athletes and the women's movement for Ms. Magazine, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Time Magazine and People Magazine. She was a staff photographer for the Newark, New Jersey Star Ledger before moving to New Mexico in 1984 where she quickly immersed herself in local culture.

Based in Albuquerque, Herz specialized in corporate and editorial photography, working with clients such as Bank of America, GE Aircraft, Fannie Mae and United Way to document the poeople and institutions of New Mexico. She also served as a photo correspondent for The New York Times. Her images appeared in the book Pilgrimage to Chimayo, the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit Game Face: What Does a Woman Athlete Look Like?, and her Los Angeles gang member photographs were published in Street Gangs in America. She volunteered for many local charities, raising awareness of AIDS by photographing victims in Thailand, and documenting children's cleft palate surgery in Guatemala.

Herz's major legacy however, was her work on the book New Mexico's Crypto-Jews: Image and Memory. While working on a photo assignment in a Las Vegas, New Mexico cemetery she first heard about "the other people", Jews who lived in New Mexico. This led her on an almost 20 year and 10,000 mile journey through New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Spain and Portugal documenting the descendants of Converso and Crypto-Jews. Images from this book were published in newspaper and magazine articles in the US, Israel, and other countries. Herz died in Albuquerque on September 1, 2008.


52 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Related Material

Sophia Smith Collection, Women's History Archives at Smith College Library, Northampton, MA (MS 574). Contact sheets and photographic prints by Herz, documenting events of political, social and economic significance in the United States during the 1970s with an emphasis on women athletes and women's movement issues.

Separated Material

Correspondence, manuscripts and documents transferred to Fray Angelico Chavez History Library.


Cary Herz Collection, 1984 - 2008
Edited Full Draft
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
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