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Nancy Hunter Warren Collection

Identifier: PAC 054

Scope and Content

Collection consists of about 10,000 35mm negatives, 2.25x2.25 negatives, contact sheets and black and white prints stored in boxes by basic subject and date range.


  • 1970 - 2003
  • 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

Biography / History

In 2003 Nancy Hunter Warren began to lose her eyesight. In order to preserve her photographic work she donated her entire archive to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archive.

Warren trained as an anthropologist at the University of Delaware. In the early 1970s, she accepted a position as an anthropologist at the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She became aware that over time “photography became the focus of my life.” While continuing her work, she became the Laboratory’s photographer, devoting her time to photographing both archeological and ethnographic images of Northern New Mexico and the Southwest. Later, Warren was also chief photographer for New Mexico’s Department of Cultural Affairs Office of Archaeological Studies.

Warren has always been a Leica photographer with occasional use of a Hasselblad. She is also primarily a black and white photographer, but in the 1980s did some color work. It was her habit to drive on the often narrow and unpaved roads to farms and towns and villages in Northern New Mexico to shoot. She often returned again and again to get the perfect photograph of a single site or ceremony. One of her triumphs is a series of images of a Penitente (Spanish for one who does penance) morada (Spanish for abode), in some cases even being allowed to photograph during services.

Warren’s projects developed over time, but unfortunately names of people, places and dates were recorded poorly or not at all. For this reason the collection suffers from a lack of citation information and there is no recourse given her visual handicap. The collection of work does however document New Mexico at a point in time when great changes were taking place and for this reason the collection is a worthy research tool.

Warren is mentioned in a list of the New Mexico Centennial 100 best books written about New Mexico and is also one of the artists who has written about Taos in the New Mexico Centennial - Remarkable Women of Taos project. Warren has published many articles and books illustrating the land and people as well as the ceremonies and culture of Northern New Mexico. Her work, which she describes as “anthropological photo essays,” has also been in many exhibits in the southwest.


10 Linear Feet

Related Material

Frank, Larry with color photography by Nancy Hunter Warren. New Kingdom of the Saints: Religious Art of New Mexico 1780-1907. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Red Crane Books, 1992. Sweet, Jill Drayson and Nancy Hunter Warren. Pueblo Dancing. Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing 2011. Toulouse, Betty with color photography by Nancy Hunter Warren. Pueblo Pottery of the New Mexico Indians. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1977 Warren, Nancy Hunter. Villages of Hispanic New Mexico. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of American Research Press, 1987 Warren, Nancy Hunter and Veronica E. Velarde Tiller. The Jicarilla Apache A Portrait. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 2006 Warren, Nancy Hunter and William Lumpkins. New Mexico Style: A Source Book of Traditional Architectural Details. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1986.


Nancy Hunter Warren Collection, 1970 - 2003
Edited Full Draft
© 2012
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