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The Annita Delano Photograph Collection, 1930-1940 MS439

Collection Number: MS439

Creator: Delano, Annita (1894-1979)
Title: The Annita Delano Photograph Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1930-1940
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Abstract:Photographs, postcards and newspaper clippings, circa 1930-1940. This collection is comprised of photographs, photographic postcards and newspaper clippings collected by California artist and UCLA professor of art Annita Delano.
Identification: Collection Number: MS439
Language: English
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733

Biographical Note

Annita Delano was born October 2, 1894 in Hueneme, California. She attended elementary school in Los Angeles and graduated from Porterville Union High School in 1914. She then enrolled in the art program at the Los Angeles Normal School, which in 1919 became University of California Southern Branch. She studied art and art history and began her career as Professor of Art at the University in 1920. She also received training in art and art history from Columbia University, University of California at Berkeley and the Otis Art Institute, as well as in the studios of well-known artists such as Dixon Morgan and Norman Bel Geddes. On a 1928 trip to Europe, she met and befriended artists Robert and Sonia Delaunay. She also spent two years conducting research with the Barnes Foundation, which provided her a scholarship for a four-month research trip to Europe during 1930-1931. During this trip she spent time with Bauhaus faculty as well as with architects Richard Neutra and Josef Albers and artist Anni Albers.

Annita Delano was a founding member of the UCLA Art Department and was on the faculty for 40 years. She taught courses in fine art, art history and applied design. Her own paintings were widely exhibited, both as part of group shows and in 30 solo exhibitions of her work. She was an important figure in the development of the art world of Southern California and was a member of many organizations including the California Watercolor Society and the Los Angeles Art Association.

This collection originates in Ms. Delano’s annual camping and painting trips to Arizona and New Mexico. She spent 28 summers on such painting trips to Arizona and New Mexico, beginning in the late 1920’s. She recalled she would spend three months painting, camping and exploring each summer. Her artistic works were especially inspired by the landscapes of the Southwest and the Native American peoples of the region. Her many years of returning to the area allowed her to develop on-going relationships and trust with local residents, allowing her unusual access to some ceremonial and cultural events. She stated she never photographed such events, but used them for inspiration for future paintings. She often attended the annual Intertribal Indian Ceremonial Gathering in Gallup, New Mexico, a large ceremonial gathering that first took place in 1922 and continues to this day.

Annita Delano retired from UCLA after 40 years as a professor in 1962. She remained an active painter up until her death in 1979 at the age of 85.

Scope and Content

Photographs, postcards and newspaper clippings, most mounted on album pages, circa 1930-1940. The photographs and postcards focus on the Southwest, consisting principally of images of Native American people of Arizona and New Mexico. Many photographs document the festivities at annual Intertribal Indian Ceremonial gatherings in Gallup, New Mexico in the 1930’s. Images of landscapes, buildings, archaeological remains and desert vegetation are also included. Also contains personal photographs of Annita Delano and friends, including well-known dance photographer Barbara Morgan. Some photographs in the collection are identified by photographer—these include Annita Delano, Milton Snow, Marge Butler, Barbara and Willard Morgan, and Elizabeth Forrest. The bulk of the material was collected during Ms. Delano’s annual camping trips to Arizona and New Mexico during which she painted and visited Native American villages, gatherings and archeological ruins.


This Collection is organized into 3 series.
Series I: Photographs
Series II: Postcards
Series III: Newspaper clippings


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

Annita Delano Papers, 1909-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution 750 9th St. NW, Victor Building, Suite 2200, Washington, DC 20001 Website:

Southwest artist and educator oral history transcript/ Annita Delano; interviewed by James Mink, [1971]. Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, c1976.

Controlled Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Delano, Annita,1894-

Geographic Name(s)
Arizona -- Antiquities.

Apache Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Apache Indians -- Social life and customs.
Desert plants -- Arizona.
Hopi Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Hopi Indians -- Social life and customs.
Indian dance -- Arizona.
Indian dance -- New Mexico..
Navajo Indians -- Dwellings.
Navajo Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Navajo Indians -- Social life and customs.
Navajo rugs.
Pueblo Indians -- Dwellings.
Pueblo Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Pueblo Indians -- Social life and customs.
Zuni Indians -- Rites and ceremonies..
Zuni Indians -- Social life and customs.

Genre Form(s)
black-and-white photographs.
photographic postcards.
picture postcards.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Annita Delano Photograph Collection (MS 439). Special Collections, University of Arizona.

Container List

Series I: Photographs, circa 1930-1940
This series is arranged alphabetically by subject
11 Apache Indians—White River, Arizona July 4, 1937
12 Archaeological sites
13 Artwork
14 Buildings
15 Desert plants
16 Hopi Indians
17 Horses/cows
18 Intertribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup, New Mexico August, 1937
19 Landscapes
110 Native Americans, unidentified
111 Navajo Indians—hogans
112 Navajo Indians—people
113 Navajo Indians—sheepherding and weaving
114 Navajo Indians—wagons
115 Personal photographs
116 Pueblo Indians
117 Rodeos
Series II: Postcards, circa 1930-1940
This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
21 Apache Indians
22 Archaeological sites: Aztec Ruins, Pueblo Bonito, Canyon del Muerto, Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde
243 Boulder Dam (Hoover Dam), Arizona
24 Death Valley, California
25 Desert plants
26 Hopi Indians—dances/ceremonies
27 Hopi Indians—people
28 Hopi Indians—villages
29 Intertribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup, New Mexico
210 Landscapes—Arizona, New Mexico, Utah
211 Navajo Indians—dances/ceremonies
212 Navajo Indians—hogans
213 Navajo Indians—people
214 Navajo Indians—people with horses/donkeys
31 Navajo Indians—sand paintings
32 Navajo Indians—sheepherding
33 Navajo Indians—weaving and rugs
34 Pueblo Indians—dances/ceremonies
35 Pueblo Indians—people
36 Pueblo Indians—villages
37 Seminole Indians
38 Zuni Indians
Series III: Newspaper Clippings
39 Newspaper clippings—Native American portraits