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Mary Hunter Austin Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-031

Scope and Content

The photographs include a framed cyanotype self-portrait by Charles F. Lummis; an 8 x 10" reproduction of Mary Austin and the Pueblo Indian Delegation to the Popular Government League Forum at the New Ebbit House, 1923; and an unidentified woman in (theatrical?) "Indian" dress.


  • 1923-1940

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Mary Hunter Austin was born September 9, 1868 in Carlinville, Illinois to George and Susanna Hunter. She died on August 13, 1934 in Santa Fe, New Mexico after a lingering illness and heart attack. She has variously been identified as a feminist, naturalist, mystic, author, and even "woman of genius." She was in fact, one of the leading literary figures of her time, the author of 27 books and more than 250 articles, stories, poems and other short pieces.

In 1888, after her graduation from Blackburn College and the death of her father, the family moved to a ranch near Bakersfield, California. She married Stafford Austin, a rancher and teacher, in 1891, and settled in Lone Pine, Inyo county. Here began her lifelong fascination with the desert. It is also here that she became acquainted with Indian lore and Hispanic history and culture that would drive her research in New Mexico.

In 1900, four years after separating from her husband, Mary Austin settled in Carmel, California. With Jack London, George Sterling, and Harry Leon Wilson, she helped to found the now famous colony of artists. Following the success of her first book, The Land of Little Rain, Austin traveled abroad where she met such luminary figures as Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, Isidora Duncan, and William Butler Yeats.

In 1918, Austin traveled to New Mexico, hoping to continue on to Mexico to conduct research on folk traditions. In New Mexico she was contracted by the Carnegie Institution to participate in its Americanization Study. By 1924 she had decided to move to Santa Fe and in 1925 she had her home, Casa Querida built. Among her many acquaintances and friends in New Mexico were Mabel and Tony Luhan, Gerald and Ina Sizer Cassidy, William Penhallow Henderson and Alice Corbin Henderson, Frank and Alta Applegate, Sylvanus Morley, and Edgar Lee Hewett, people of creative and intellectual achievement. Mary Austin was enamored with the pageantry of the Indian dance-drama, the Spanish fiesta, the open rituals of the church, and picturesque survivals soon to be revivals. She was associated with the Indian Arts Fund and was a founder of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. She fought for such causes as the Court of Domestic Relations, the Community Kitchen, the recognition of Indian rights, Arizona's side in the Boulder Dam fight, as well as for the feminist cause and creative freedom in America.


5 items (1 folder) : 5 prints

Language of Materials



This collection contains photographs of Mary Hunter Austin and Native Americans.

Physical Location

B2. Small Collections box 1. Filed by Pictorial Number.

Separated Material

The Mary Hunter Austin Photograph Collection was separated from the Mary Hunter Austin Papers.
Finding Aid of the Mary Hunter Austin Photograph Collection, 1923-1940
Processed by Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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 UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131