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Nancy C. Wood Photograph Collection

 Collection
Identifier: PICT-000-464

Scope and Content

The original accession contains the photographs for the Taos Pueblo Photographic and Oral History Project. Included are working prints, selected archival prints, and a unique bound album compiled by the photographer containing selected photographs from this project. There are also working prints of rural Colorado and New Mexico, and the people of the Ute tribe. Some of these images are unpublished, while others have been published by the author in her works: Eye of the West, When Buffalo Free the Mountains: A Ute Indian Journey, Taos Pueblo, and The Grass Roots People: An American Requiem.

Addition I contains series 1-9.

Series 1: Taos Pueblo (1985-1988)

Series 1 consists of negatives, contact sheets, slides, and loose color and black-and-white photographs of Taos Pueblo people, as well as social and cultural events and activities. People pictured include nationally-recognized sculptor, John Suazo; drum maker, Red Shirt Reyna; fashion designer, Patricia Michaels; and elders, Maria Mondragon, Uncle John Concha, and Frank Martinez. This series also contains photographs of pow wows, weddings, graduations, and house work. Also included are landscape and pueblo views. Finally, this series contains notes for the book Taos Pueblo by Nancy Wood.

Series 2: Ute Indians (1976-1979)

Series 2 consists of negatives, contact sheets, slides, and loose color and black-and-white photographs of the Ute Indian Tribe in Utah and Colorado. Ute ceremonies, such as the Bear Dance, are pictured. As well, this series includes images of elders, children (the Whyte foster children, for example), youth graduating from high school, work activities (such as cattle ranching, making fry bread, and painting pottery), and other social and cultural activities.

Series 3: Grassroots People (1976 - circa 1980s)

Series 3 consists of negatives and proofs for Nancy Wood’s book, Grassroots People. The images in the series are mainly of people and places in New Mexico (i.e. Pie Town, cowboys, pie-makers, and homesteaders) and southern Colorado (i.e. Kremmling, La Jara, Creede, Rico, cowboys, miners, and ranchers). Subjects include elderly rancher, Olive Truelson, “coyote killer” Parl Jackson, Robert and Ocie Young and their children, Nancy Wood’s children and then-husband, rancher John Brittingham, and others.

Series 4: Eye of the West (1970s - circa 1986)

Series 4 consists of image proofs for Nancy Wood’s book, Eye of the West. The photographs in this series are organized by page number of the book. Subjects in this series include rancher, Minford Beard, and his family engaged in various ranch activities, as well as portraits, small towns in Colorado such as Trinidad, Antonito, Victor, and some of the people in the justice system there: Victor police chief, Eddie Roy, and judges, Margaret Tekavee and August Menzel. Some of the subjects and locations in the Eye of the West series overlap with those of the Grassroots series.

Series 5: Europe (1978, 1994)

Series 5 consists of slides from a European trip Wood took in 1978. Slides include images of Germany, Holland, France, and Italy. Also included are images of Wood’s trip to Ireland in 1994. Here, abstract images of Irish buildings, docks, boats, ropes, windows, and doorways are pictured. Also included are images of Nancy Wood in Ireland and personal papers (brochures, tickets, receipts, itineraries, etc.) related to Wood’s trip.

Series 6: Japan (1999)

Series 6 consists of an album of photographs of Nancy Wood’s trip to Japan in 1999. Pictured are Wood’s talks, book signings, and exhibits in Japan as well as images of Wood’s personal travels in the country.

Series 7: Personal Photographs (1937-1996, 2003)

Series 7 consists of Nancy Wood’s personal family photographs. Wood is pictured with grandchildren and older family members and friends. There are old photographs from 1937 and on, of Nancy Wood and her siblings, parents, and various people in her life. There is an index of these images in the back, with descriptions.

Series 8: Miscellaneous Pictorial Works (undated, 1967-1980s)

Series 8 consists of miscellaneous color and black-and-white negatives and color slides of friends and family members, including a woman named Lisa Cross, a woman named Cynthia, landscapes from the Yukon, Yankee Boy Basin, San Luis Valley, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the sand dunes in Scituate, Massachusetts. Also included are proofs of headshots of Governor Bill Richardson. Most of these negatives are unlabeled and without dates. Most of the slides are labeled and dated around 1980. The slides and negatives do not fit in with the rest of the series, or are unlabeled and difficult to assign to a particular series.

Series 9: Myron Wood Photographs (1958, 1969)

Series 9 consists of photographs taken by Myron Wood, who was Nancy Wood’s second husband. Included are images from 1958 of Fort Carson, Colorado before the Army base was built, a series of photographs from 1969 entitled Colorado: Big Mountain Country, and a 1969 photograph of Myron and Nancy sitting next to a table of photographs.

Dates

  • 1937-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1958, 1969, 1976-1979, 1985-1988, 1996-1999, 2003

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.

Biography

Nancy Wood was born in 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey. She moved to Fort Carson, Colorado in 1958 and it was here that the landscape and environment first captured her soul. In 1962, she met Roy Stryker who became her artistic teacher. Roy Stryker managed the photography movement of the Farm Security Administration, and he enlisted Nancy to help him compile a book of FSA photos that depicted the happier, hopeful side of the Great Depression. In 1973, their joint editorial collaboration, In This Proud Land, was published. Although it would be over 10 years after meeting Stryker that Nancy would pick up the camera in a professional capacity, Stryker taught her the art of seeing.

In 1961, Nancy married photographer Myron Wood and they collaborated on projects together, with her writing the narrative and he providing original photographs. It was in 1962 that Nancy began to write magazine articles and children’s books. Her first children’s book, a collaboration with Myron Wood entitled Little Wrangler, was published in 1966. Writing children’s books soon expanded into writing books of poetry, short novels, and narratives for her own photographic work. Her second book, Hollering Sun, was a book of poetry written after spending time at Taos Pueblo. Nancy’s time at Taos Pueblo would have a tremendous impact on her life.

Roy Stryker may have been Nancy’s artistic teacher, but her spiritual teacher was Taos Pueblo elder Red Willow Dancing. While still living in Colorado, Nancy began to write about Taos Pueblo and its spirituality. Her own religious views shifted from devout Roman Catholicism to the religiosity of the Taos people, which involved a profound sensitivity to nature. In 1984, she left Colorado and moved to Taos, New Mexico where she photographed Taos Pueblo and its people for five years. She was to write nine books on the Taos over the years, which she has described as a “kind and loving tribute” to the Taos people.

Her writing and photography over the last 45 years has yielded 32 books, all influenced by the real situations, people, and environment of the West. Her work focuses on the grassroots of many Western regions and peoples such as Colorado, the Utes, Taos, Pueblo, Pie Town, and rural New Mexico. Nancy had four children: Karen Alison, Christopher Keith, Eleanor Kathryn, and India Hart. Nancy is now a grandmother and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her awards include: the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Photography Book from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (2008) for Eye of the West, the finalist for the Western Writers of America Spur Award (2005) for Old Coyote, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award (2005, 1998), the Zia Award (2005), the Frank Waters Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children's Poetry Award (1994) for Spirit Walker, the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Literature (1987) for The Soledad Crucifixion, the Pulitzer Prize Nominee for musical adaptation of poetry (1976) for War Cry on a Prayer Feather, and she was the finalist for the Southwest Book Award (2009) for We Became As Mountains.

Extent

uncounted items (54 boxes) : uncounted color and black-and-white photographic prints, slides, contact sheets, negatives

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Nancy C. Wood Photograph Collection consists of negatives, contact sheets, slides, loose black-and-white and color photographs of Taos Pueblo, the Ute tribe, small towns in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Images of Nancy Wood’s travels to European countries and to Japan are also included. The collection also consists of a small number of personal photographs as well as a small number of photographs taken by Nancy Wood’s husband, Myron Wood.

Arrangement

The original accession contains the photographs for the "Taos Pueblo Photographic and Oral History Project." Included are working prints, selected archival prints, and a unique bound album compiled by the photographer containing selected photographs from this project. There are also working prints of rural Colorado and New Mexico, and the people of the Ute tribe. Some of these images are unpublished, while others have been published by the author in her works: Eye of the West, When Buffalo Free the Mountains: A Ute Indian Journey, Taos Pueblo, and The Grass Roots People: An American Requiem

The materials in the first addition have been arranged into nine series by subject:

Series 1: Taos Pueblo

Series 2: Ute Indians

Series 3: Grassroots People

Series 4: Eye of the West

Series 5: Europe

Series 6: Japan

Series 7: Personal Photographs

Series 8: Miscellaneous Photographs

Series 9: Myron Wood Photographs

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Large folders filed in large drawers by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number.

Alternative Format Available

555 images from the Nancy C. Wood Photograph Collection have been digitized and are available online at New Mexico Digital Collections.

Separated Materials

The Nancy C. Wood Photograph Collection was separated from the Nancy C. Wood Papers.

Processing Information

The original accession was received between 1979 and 2003 and was separated from the Nancy C. Wood Papers and processed later. The first addition (series 1 – 9) was accessioned in 2014 and processed in 2015.
Title
Finding Aid of the Nancy C. Wood Photograph Collection, 1937-2003
Status
Completed
Author
Eileen Price, George Luna-Peña, Aziza Murray
Date
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
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

Contact:
University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131
505-277-6451