Skip to main content

Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-2000-017

Scope and Content

This collection consists of prints, negatives, slides, and proof sheets created by Lee Marmon throughout his life, as well as one box of manuscripts and three DVDs of moving images that pertain to his life and work as a photographer. Images can be found in multiple formats. The collection is separated into thirteen series.

Original Marmon Collection (2000): Contains thirty-nine black-and-white and color photographs and three posters by Marmon, including images of Pueblos, Native Americans and Southwestern landscapes.

American Indian Colleges:Contains photographs taken of American Indian colleges across the Unites States. Marmon was commissioned by the American Indian College Fund in 1997 to produce these photos.

General Photographs: Contains a wide array of images taken throughout Marmon’s career, including photographs of locales across the Southwest and surrounding areas, as well as events spanning the late 1940s through the beginning of the 2000s. There is also a large set of photographs from the 1950s of Grants High School in Grants, NM

Moving Images

Identified People: Contains all individuals and families within the collection who have been identified. This series contains prominent community members of Laguna and Acoma Pueblos; celebrities, politicians, and models in Palm Springs; Native American artists and writers, among others.

Native American Photographs: Containing portraits of Native Americans from New Mexico and across the United States, images of Native American art (jewelry, pottery, textiles, etc.), locales (buildings, landscapes, and cityscapes that pertain to Native American communities), and events (fiestas, grand openings, ceremonies, fairs). These photographs span the entire time period that the collection covers (1936-2010).

Original Negatives: Contains the negatives for some of Marmon’s most renowned photographs. This series is restricted. To gain access, please consult with Center for Southwest Research staff.

Palm Springs/Palm Desert, CA: Contains portraits of celebrities and models partaking in social events surrounding the Bob Hope Classic for which Marmon was the official photographer between 1967 and 1973. It also contains materials from other commissioned projects Marmon did in this area of California during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Uranium Mines and Mills: Images span from the late 1950s to the 1980s of the uranium mines and mills located throughout New Mexico. Many aerial views.

Weddings: Weddings in and around the Laguna Pueblo from the 1950s and 1960s.

Barbara and Tom Peckenpaugh Gift (2010): Gift of signed prints, containing famous prints of Laguna and Acoma pueblos and people, collected and donated by Barbara and Tom Peckenpaugh.

Large Prints: Contains large prints, most of which appear in other formats throughout the collection.

Manuscripts: Contains publicity and press releases, exhibit material, correspondence, receipts, contracts, invoices pertaining to Marmon’s life and career.


  • 1936-2011


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.


Lee Marmon, born September 20, 1925 in Laguna, NM (died March 31, 2021) took his first photographs on Route 66 near Laguna, at age 11, and after WWII service, began his career as professional photographer in 1947. His first subjects were the elders of Laguna Pueblo, captured during daily activities. He worked as a free-lance photographer with work appearing in newspapers and magazines (The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post). Resettling in Laguna in the early 1980s, Marmon continued photographing as well as producing books (The Pueblo Imagination, 2003, with Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo and Simon Ortiz and Our People, Our Land, Our Images, 2006, among others,) and was honored with a 1999 exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian.

Best known for the body of work he referred to as “Visions of My People,” the wide-ranging collection includes a extensive group of portraits of Native Americans, places and events from New Mexico and across the United States, along with noteworthy series on American Indian Colleges (1997), uranium mines and mills (1950s and 1960s), Palm Springs, California (1960-1980s, where he was official photographer for the Bob Hope Classic 1967-1973), and thousands of wedding photographs primarily from the 1950s and 1960s.


60,000 plus items (36 boxes) : uncounted photographs (over 60,000)

Language of Materials



This collection contains photographs taken by Lee Marmon throughout his life. These include images of elders and community members from Laguna and Acoma Pueblos, visual documentation of uranium mines and mills throughout New Mexico, photos of fashion and social life in 1960s and 1970s Palm Springs, CA, among other things.

Arrangement of the Collection:

The Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection is arranged into thirteen series:
  1. Original Lee Marmon Collection (2000)
  2. American Indian Colleges
  3. General Photographs
  4. Moving Images
  5. Identified People
  6. Native American Photographs
  7. Original Negatives
  8. Palm Springs/Palm Desert, CA
  9. Uranium Mines and Mills
  10. Weddings
  11. Barbara and Tom Peckenpaugh gift of signed prints
  12. Large Prints
  13. Manuscripts

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number.

Lee Marmon Photographs Online

A selection of photographs and home movies from the Marmon Collection are available online via New Mexico's Digital Collections. Browse the Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection, part of the Center for Southwest Research's digital Pictorial Collections for a complete list of images.

Related Archival Material

Gallery talk by Lee Marmon .

Christopher Felver Photograph Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Virginia Dooley papers from her personal life and business relationship with R.C. Gorman, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. American Indian Oral History Project, 1967-1972, MSS 314 BC, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. George Pearl Papers, 1890-2003, MSS 782 BC, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. George Pearl Oversized Drawings, Artwork and Files, 1900-2002, SWA Pearl, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Abe M. Peña Papers, 1894-2004, Ms 0434, New Mexico State University, New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Related Books and Films

The Pueblo Imagination: Landscape and Memory in the Photography of Lee Marmon: with Writings by Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo and Simon Ortiz , by Lee Marmon, 2003, LIBROS call number TR647 .M26 2003 University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Our People, our Land, our Images: International Indigenous Photographers , edited by Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie and Veronica Passalacqua, 2006, LIBROS call number TR820.5 .I58 2006, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Faces, Places, Sacred Spaces [videorecording]: the photography of Lee Marmon , by Lee Marmon, 2000, LIBROS call number LD3781.N566 C4 2000 Jan. 26, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Lee Marmon Gallery [videorecording] , Flying Raven Productions, 1998, LIBROS call number ND237 M244 L44 1998, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Native Nations: Journeys in American Photography , edited and introduced by Jane Alison, 1998, LIBROS call number E77.5 N39 1998, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Processing Information

The original accession was donated in 2000. Additional accessions were donated between 2000-2013. A final addition was integrated with the existing series in 2022.


Finding Aid of the Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection, 1936-2011
Pictorial Collections Staff, Clare Daniel, Brianne Stein
© 2000, 2013, 2022
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