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Abigail Adler Diné (Navajo) Photographs

Adler, Abigail  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah  Search this
11 Photographic prints
0.03 Linear feet (3 folders)
4295 Negatives (photographic) (Black and white, 35mm; 120mm)
8 Contact sheets (Black and white)
Diné (Navajo)  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Negatives (photographic)
Contact sheets
Window Rock (Ariz.)
Arizona -- Canyon de Chelly -- Archeology
Arizona -- Fort Defiance
Bisti Badlands, New Mexico
This collection contains silver gelatin prints and black and white photographic negatives shot by photographer Abigail Adler throughout the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah between 1975 and 1980.
Scope and Contents:
The A. Adler photographic collection includes gelatin silver prints, 35mm and 120mm film negatives, and contact sheets. Series 1: Diné (Navajo) Portraits, Families, and Community Events, 1976-1979, includes 11 gelatin silver prints that were shot by photographer Abigail Adler throughout the Navajo Nation, including modern-day Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The photographs depict Diné (Navajo) individuals and family portraits; ceremonial scenes, such as a Kinaaldá (girl's puberty ceremony), portrait of woman and mother on wedding day, and a Medicine Man with sand painting; and daily activities such as planting corn, outdoor cooking, and traveling by horse-drawn wagon. Series 2: Diné (Navajo) Community and Events Photographs, 1975-1980 includes 4295 35mm film and 460 120mm film black and white photographic negatives and 8 associated contact sheets. . The photographs depict scenes with Diné (Navajo) community members, both at their homes and hogans as well as at community events such as at protests, art shows, contests, in court, and ceremonies like weddings. Adler's photographic negatives exhibit the range of her documentary and personal work throughout the Navajo Nation and the breadth of her connectedness to the greater Diné (Navajo) community. There may be content within this collection that is considered culturally sensitive.
This collection is arranged in two series. Series 1: Diné (Navajo) Portraits, Families, and Community Events [Photographic Prints], 1976-1979, and Series 2: Diné (Navajo) Community and Events Photographs [photographic negatives], 1975-1980. Series 2 is divided into 15 subseries based on Abigail Adler's original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Abigail Adler was an American professional photographer with a degree in Anthropology from Barnard College in New York City. Adler lived on the Navajo Reservation for five years and began her career as a reporter and photographer, using Leica M3's and a Rolleiflex cameras, while working for the Navajo Times. She received funding through the Navajo Nation and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for her project titled Navajo Matriarchs, which illustrated the complex, modern lives of Navajo Women of all ages and traditions.
Series 1 was a Gift of Gail Adler Hughes (Abigail Adler), 1979. Series 2 was a gift of the Estate of Abigail Adler, 2023.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Some images restricted: Cultural Sensitivity
Photographs  Search this
New Mexico  Search this
Utah  Search this
Activism  Search this
Activists  Search this
Wedding  Search this
Ruins  Search this
Navajo weavers  Search this
Native American Church of North America  Search this
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Abigail Adler Diné (Navajo) photographs, NMAI.AC.373 catalog #; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abigail Adler Diné (Navajo) Photographs
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
Online Media:

An Archeological Survey of Approximately 4,000 Acres Located Near the Bisti Badlands South of Farmington, New Mexico

Acklen, John C.  Search this
Harlan, Mark E.  Search this
Lent, Stephen C.  Search this
Moore, James L.  Search this
Public Service Company of New Mexico  Search this
1 Item (viii + 222 + appendices 187 pages)
Archival materials
Printed material
New Mexico -- Antiquities
New Mexico -- Archeology
Bisti Badlands, New Mexico
Item in off site storage. Contact archives for information on availability.
Collection Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Printed material
Cite as for book
See more items in:
Archaeology reports and related material collection
Archaeology reports and related material collection / Reports and related material
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

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