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Betty Stewart Papers

Identifier: MSS-1059-BC

Scope and Content

The Stewart Papers contain magazine articles about her work in publications devoted to home architecture styles, gardens and furnishings. Most focus on her residence in Tesuque and her designs. There are beautiful photographs, slides and proof sheets of images that were used in the stories as well as others of a more common touch that she took on site. They all portray her unique regional construction styles and decorating techniques.


  • circa 1972-1993

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Betty Boyce Stewart was born in Dalhart, Texas on August 31, 1925 to cattle ranchers Anne Lu Young and Victor Stewart. Stewart grew up on ranches in Texas and New Mexico and attended the Brownmoor School for Girls north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to starting her construction business, Stewart had a successful enterprise selling her hand-carved birdhouses. As President and owner of the Stewart Construction Company, she catered to a clientele that sought well-appointed homes with a traditional New Mexican flavor.

Influenced by the home she lived in as teenager, Betty Stewart built houses reflective of the northern New Mexico vernacular. Stewart’s houses were known for pitched metal roofs, double adobe walls, brick floors on sand, mullioned windows, hand-toweled plaster exteriors and a type of high-gloss interior gauging plaster that she claimed was based on European fresco technique. Stewart also built flat-roofed Spanish Pueblo Revival Style adobe houses and at least one log cabin style home. Her homes often included antique doors, vigas and moldings, salvaged from old adobe buildings that had either collapsed or been torn down.

Stewart insisted on traditional methods for working with adobe and plaster, eschewing precision tools such as plumb bobs in order to maintain a handcrafted look and feel. She was known in Santa Fe for her houses, her signature cowboy boots, and her love of animals. When she died on May 7, 1994 she left a generous bequest to a local animal shelter.


1 box (.35 cu ft.)


The Betty Stewart Papers include photographs, promotional images and journal articles about the residential buildings designed by architects and drafting professionals working in consultation with Betty Stewart and her companies between approximately 1972-1993. They primarily document residences in Tesuque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Related Archival Material

Betty Stewart Drawings and Plans Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Finding Aid of the Betty Stewart Papers, circa 1972-1993
© 2020
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