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Herbert Lotz Photograph Collection

Identifier: PAAC-058

Scope and Content

The Herbert Lotz Collection is comprised of several thousand black and white film negatives and prints


  • 1971 - 2007


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

Photographer Herbert Lotz served with the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War, and ever since endured a life under siege. Though often haunted -- sometimes disabled -- by horrifying memories, he has earned a luminous reputation in Santa Fe because of his community service on several fronts. A photographer, defender of gay/lesbian rights, rodeo enthusiast, and volunteer working for a state veterans' museum, Lotz was named 10 Who Made a Difference in Santa Fe in 2011. An aficionado of the camera since he was a teenager, Lotz was in his third year off college when he was drafted. After training at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, he was sent to Vietnam serving as a teletype operator in the US Army.

Born and raised on a small farm town in Illinois, Lotz was drafted in his third year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied photography. Sent to Vietnam in 1968, Lotz was attached to the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi. His experience of the war during that time was to affect him the rest of his life, not unlike so many others of his generation. His photographs from his service in the Army documents life in company of soldiers. Unable to reenter his life in Chicago following his time in the military Lotz moved to Santa Fe in January 1970. Driving into Santa Fe from the north passing by the National Cemetery, Lotz felt he had found his new home but still struggled to deal with his wartime experiences. Unlike contemporary society’s view of military veterans, Vietnam vets were scorned and marginalized to the point most hid their service, suffering in silence. In 1981, Lotz finally came to terms with his experience and began to work with the photographs he taken during his tour of duty in Vietnam.

After moving to Santa Fe in 1970 Lotz pursued a successful commercial photography career taking portraits of the people and places of his new hometown. Over the course of his career he photographed many people in the Santa Fe scene. His portraits are a virtual Whos Who of Santa Fe personalities during the 1970s to 1990s as are his images of streets, buildings and events that document a time and place in the early years of the Santa Fe scene. His photography, in recent years, has been specialized toward books and art catalogs. However, when Eastman Kodak suspended his favorite film, he was left "virtually out of business in photography." In 2008 Lotz donated his negatives and prints to the Palace of the Governors Photo Legacy project where he plans to survey the photographic artifacts of a creative life with an eye to publishing a few books.


4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Finding Aid to the Herbert Lotz Collection, 1971 - 2007
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022-04-19: Reformatted display of commercial and personal negatives

Repository Details

Part of the NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA