University of Arizona

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Annita Delano Photographic Collection

Annita Delano enrolled in the art program at the Los Angeles Normal School before she 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. 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 1920s. 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. 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.

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 1930s. 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.