Skip to main content

H. (Harold) Joe Waldrum Collection

Identifier: PAC 032

Scope and Content

Approximately 7950 SX-Polaroid Prints. The Polaroids are grouped into subjects established by Waldrum. Most are identified and numbered, a few are not. The numbering system is idiosyncratic at best. A small u after a number denotes unsigned. Many of the Polaroids have been signed on the front in pencil. Many are identified on the verso, written in pencil in Waldrum’s handwriting. Also on the verso are a series of letters and numbers and, often in the lower right hand corner, another number that has been circled. Rio Bravo Fine Art provided several lists of codes that have been used to identify, as far as possible, each image. The meaning of these encircled numbers has not been established. Each Polaroid marked CHJW is from the collection of H. (Harold) Joe Waldrum and were the images he most favored. These images have been placed with their subject s and are indicated in the contents list. Because many of the Polaroids of the churches were used as studies for Waldrum’s paintings, the churches are all identified by town or village.

Waldrum codes: SXA-01 – SXA-37 (Architecture) SXN-01 – SXN-03 (Animals) SXC-01 – SXC-86 (Churches) SXF-01 – SXF-22 (Flowers) SXP-02 – SXP-21 (Places) SXT-01 – SXT-15 (Things) SXFRUIT-01 (Fruit) SXVEG-01 – SXVEG-02 (Vegetables) Self Portraits Family Portraits Portraits (identified) Portraits (unidentified) TV CHJW = Collection H. Joe Waldrum SXH - humans (not inventoried yet) SXR - ranch on Ladron


  • 1974-2003


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

Noted New Mexico artist H. (Harold) Joe Waldrum (1964 – 2003) began taking SX-70 monoprints in the late 1970s. As his annual summer painting trip to Taos was coming to a close, Waldrum was returning to his New York studio on Second Street the next day from Albuquerque and didn’t have time to make a series of drawings of the church at Las Trampas that he wanted to have to work on a painting back in his studio in New York. In a mad dash to beat the clock, Waldrum decided to use a Polaroid camera; so he hopped in his car, drove to a nearby grocery store and bought a Polaroid One-Step and four boxes of film. He made it back at the church just as the sun was setting; Waldrum exposed all 40 sheets of film documenting the San José de Garcia Church (also known as the Church of Santo Tomas del Rio de Las Trampas). The images developed on the car seat beside him as he drove back to his house to finish packing. The San José Church, built between 1760 and 1776, is considered one of the best examples of traditional mission style adobe architecture in northern New Mexico and was declared a national landmark in 1970. This exercise turned into a lifelong passion as he turned his camera to portraits and flowers, masterfully manipulating the limited mechanics of the Polaroid to obtain images far beyond the intended capacity of the camera.


7950 SX-70 Polaroid Prints

Language of Materials



H. (Harold) Joe Waldrum Collection, 1974-2003
Edited Full Draft
© 2011
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