The Ernest S. and Eloise Carter collection includes photographic prints, negatives and slides taken between 1950 and 1976 in the American Southwest, Mexico and Bolivia. The Carters were research associates for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation between 1964 and 1975 and focused much of their research on petroglyphs and pictographs. In addition to photographic material there is also correspondence and documentation about the photographs in the collection.
Scope and Contents:
The Ernest S. and Eloise Carter collection includes photographic prints, negatives and slides taken between 1950 and 1976 in the American Southwest, Mexico and Bolivia as well as documentation and notes regarding their work. The bulk of the photographs and notes were made by the Carters from 1964 to 1976 while they were research associates for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The Carters spent much of their time photographing and researching petroglyph and pictograph sites in Arizona, New Mexico, California and Nevada producing black and white and color negatives, color slides, and photographic prints that were sent back to the MAI along with maps, notes, and reports as they were completed.
Series 1: Photographs, 1950-1975, is organized into four separate subseries. Subseries 1.1 Mexico and Bolivia, Landscapes and People, 1950-1951, includes photographs taken in Bolivia, circa 1950-1951 and in Mexico in 1964. Although it is unclear where or not Ernest Carter took the Bolivia photographs himself or acquired them while he was traveling there, the photographic prints include landscape views and portraits shot in around the city of Potosí, Bolivia. The photographs shot in Mexico include black and white negatives Carters took at the Monte Alban and Mitla ruins in Oaxaca, Mexico in July, 1964. Subseries 1.2 US Southwest: Landscapes and Petroglyphs, 1964-1973, the largest group of materials in the collection, includes the bulk of the work done by the Carters for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The subseries is arranged chronologically and then by location including sites in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada and Utah. Both Eloise and Ernest shot photographs, though Eloise generally shot in black and white and Ernest in color. This subseries includes negatives, 5x7 and 35mm, slides, 120 and 35mm, and photographic prints of various sizes, some mounted. Images include wide shots of petroglyph, pictograph, and acorn grinding sites, close-ups of petroglyphs as well as landscape views.
The Carters were also prolific collectors of kachinas and other ethnographic objects from the Southwest. Subseries 1.3 Object Photography: Kachinas, Pottery, Baskets and Other Objects, 1967-1975 includes photographs of the Carter kachinas, pottery and basket collections as well as several photographs of the Carters in their home alongside their collections. Subseries 1.4: Educational Materials and Other Selected Studies, 1970-1973 includes photographs the Carters put together for use by the educational department. Mostly mounted prints and slides, these photographs generally were sent with specific descriptions and were selected to highlight the variations between the petroglyph sites. This subseries also includes "Pueblo Life and Work" a series of photographs shot by the Carters at Taos Pueblo, Ildenfonso Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo and Hopi Pueblo in 1973.
Series 2: Correspondence and Photograph Documentation, 1964-1987, includes correspondence and documentation about the photographs in the Carter collection. The majority of the correspondence is between Ernest Carter and Frederick Dockstader, director of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (MAI), regarding the donation of photographs and objects from the Carters to the museum between 1964 and 1976. The correspondence also includes detailed expense records which document where the Carters where traveling when as well as when shipments of photographs and objects were being made through the years. The documentation includes detailed reports from the Carters research on petroglyphs, maps of various petroglyph sites, photograph lists with descriptions as well as drawings and notes.
This collection is arranged into two series. Series 1: Photographs, 1950-1976, is organized in four subseries. Subseries 1.1: Mexico and Bolivia, Landscapes and People, 1950-1951, 1964; Subseries 1.2: US Southwest: Landscapes and Petroglyphs, 1964-1973; Subseries 1.3: Object Photography: Kachinas, Pottery, Baskets and Other Objects, 1967-1975; Subseries 1.4: Educational Materials and Other Selected Studies, 1970-1973. These subseries are then arranged chronologically. Series 2: Correspondence and Photograph Documentation is arranged alphabetically and then by document number.
Ernest Carter was born Ernest (Eryst of Eruie) Sigmund Schickler in Vienna, Austria in 1922. Following World War II, he left Europe for South America where he spent four years in the Andes on climbing expeditions. He changed his name from Schickler to Carter when he moved to the United States in 1951 and officially became an American citizen in 1957. Eloise Carter was born in Nebraka in 1928 and eventually became a dental assistant in the Bay Area, California, where she met and married Ernest around 1960. In 1964 Ernest and Eloise were made research associates of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation which began a long term relationship with the MAI. During this time the Carters traveled throughout California, Nevada and other location in the Southwest and Mexico to photograph petroglyphs and pictographs which were subsequently shipped to the Museum. They also collected objects which were donated to the MAI including baskets, pottery and kachinas among other items. Their relationship with the MAI tapered off after Frederick Dockstader left the museum in 1975. The Carters continued to travel and work with communities in the southwest and eventually settled in Mountain View, California.
Donated by Ernest and Eloise Carter between 1964-1975 with additional photographs donated in 1986.
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