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Jack Parsons Collection

Identifier: PAC 045

Scope and Content

The Jack Parsons Collection encompasses the photographers entire career (over 50,000 photographs) and will continue to have ongoing contributions to the archive for years to come.


  • 1973 - 2011


Access Restrictions

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

Copy Restrictions

Any requests for reproductions or permissions must be directed to:

Biographical Information

Jack Parsons' eye has been schooled by different countries and separate media. The benefits are reflected in his more than a dozen published books and a lifetime of successful photography.

Born in New York City, he received BA and MA degrees in English Literature at the University of Colorado, then a diploma in film-making from The London International Film School. His film credits include cinematography for the Audubon special "The New Range Wars" (1991), the 1989 "Painted Earth" (produced by the Getty Museum with New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art) and film festival award-winners such as "A Weave of Time" (1986).

Parsons has produced documentaries on numerous aspects of Southwestern culture and the National Endowment for the Arts sponsored both his three-year survey of santeros (traditional sculptors of devotional figures) and the two-year Entriega Project, which recorded music by traditional Hispanic musicians. As the grandson of pioneering anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons, deep family ties to the Southwest inform Parson's work there.

In addition to shooting around the world, Parsons has photographed pueblo architecture, lowrider cars, Southwestern landscapes and lived traditions. His editorial work and stock photography clients range from the National Geographic Society to Singapore Airlines; his photos are seen in publications from Actuel and Geo to America's Forbes and the New York Times.

Jack Parsons has published more than a dozen books, details of which are here. He pioneered the "lifestyle" genre with Rizzoli's international best-seller "Santa Fe Style", which has been followed by numerous best-selling volumes on art, décor and culture. With Carmella Padilla, a fellow recipient of the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts, Parsons created both "The Chile Chronicles" and "El Rancho de las Golandrinas".


10 cu. ft. (Ongoing collection donations)

Language of Materials


Related Material

Jack Parsons has devoted a lifetime to producing beautiful, best-selling books. These include Rizzoli's groundbreaking "Santa Fe Style", the volume which gave birth to an entire genre of style publications based on different locations.

His books specialize in capturing different aspects of the American visual heritage, and they include credits such as "Santa Fe Houses" (Clarkson Potter/Random House), "Native America" (Clarkson Potter), "Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico" (Rizzoli), "True West" (Clarkson Potter), "Lone Star Living" (Bulfinch Press) and "Heaven's Window" (Graphic Arts Publishing).

Parsons' unparallel eye has also led to a range of projects for the Museum of New Mexico Press, such as "El Rancho de las Goldondrinas", "Straight from the Heart, Portraits of Traditional Hispanic Musicians", "Spanish New Mexico", "The Chile Chronicles: Tales of a New Mexico Harvest", "New Mexico Artists at Work" and the groundbreaking "Low ’n Slow, Lowriding in New Mexico".
Jack Parsons Collection, 1973 - 2011
Edited Full Draft
© 2011
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Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA