Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection

Over the years, Arizona Highways published hundreds of photographs by Barry Goldwater. The first was this shot of Coal Mine Canyon, which ran on page 16 of our August 1939 issue. | Courtesy of the Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter from Editor Robert Stieve appears in the upcoming December 2018 issue of Arizona Highways.

I met Alison on a Saturday morning. At a parade. We were introduced by a mutual friend, one of the few hippies in Old Town Scottsdale. Like most parades, Parada del Sol is loud. It’s hardly a place to hatch a plan, but that’s where this began. This issue. This collaboration. This attempt to rescue valuable artifacts.

Despite the commotion, Alison pulled me aside and started talking — 2,600-pound Percherons, hell-bent tuba players and varsity cheerleaders are no match for Alison Goldwater Ross. She needed help.

“I’m trying to preserve my grandfather’s archive,” she said. “There are thousands of negatives and transparencies. And they’re disintegrating. Film deteriorates. Did you know that? If we don’t do something, all of that history will be lost.”

She spoke with a sense of urgency. Like Paul Revere that night in Boston. I don’t think she ever came right out and asked for help, but she didn’t have to. I’d been looking for something like this for a while. Something that might transcend the pages of the magazine. When she finally took a breath, I shared my vision. And then we started brainstorming — right there on the corner of Main Street and Brown Avenue. Two years later, the firstborn of that collaboration has arrived.

For more than 80 years, we’ve presented our December issue as an exclamation point on the calendar year. “A Celebration of the Season.” “A Postcard to the World.” Every year we try to make it something special, and 2018 is no exception. This time around, we’re featuring the photography of Barry Goldwater. Although he’s best known nationally as a public servant, a man who dedicated his life to the people of Arizona, his passion for photography was as powerful as his love of politics.

“Barry set out to visit and photograph remote parts of the state,” Matt Jaffe writes in Barry Goldwater, “bringing together an artist’s eye and an anthropologist’s commitment to record his homeland’s ancient cultures and timeless, yet fragile landscapes.”

“My photographs have been taken primarily to record what Arizona looked like during my life,” Barry said. “The first photograph I sold to Arizona Highways was in 1939. [Editor Raymond Carlson] and I were driving along one day by Coal Mine Canyon up near Tuba City. Ray said, ’You wouldn’t have a picture of that, would you?’ I said, ’Yeah, I’ve got a good one.’”

The image ran on page 16 of our August 1939 issue. It was just the beginning. Many more have followed, including a portrait from June 1940 that Barry titled The Navajo. “That’s one of my better pictures,” he said. “It was taken back in 1938 at an Indian fair near Window Rock. His name is Charlie Potato, and I guess I must have printed maybe 5,000 of those.”

The Navajo is one of our favorites, too, which is why Barb used it as the opening shot in this month’s portfolio. The runner-up for that spot was a photograph that’s sometimes referred to as The Shepherdess. It first ran on the cover of our December 1946 issue. You might remember it. Arguably, it’s the most famous photograph we’ve ever published.

“It was a cold, raw winter day deep on the Navajo Reservation when Barry Goldwater took the picture we use on our cover,” Raymond Carlson wrote in his column, 72 years ago this month. “The snow clouds were low over Navajo Mountain and the little Navajo girls, watching their sheep, were wrapped in their blankets against the wind. The whole scene is real and simple.”

Turns out, that issue — with Barry’s now-legendary image on the front cover — marked the first time in history that a nationally circulated consumer magazine was published in all color, from cover to cover. In the annals of magazine publishing, that’s significant, but to Barry, it was something more.

“The great thing about photography,” he wrote, “is that through it, I was able to enjoy my state as it was growing up, and capture some of it on film so other people could have a chance to see it as I knew it. To photograph and record Arizona and its people, particularly its early settlers, was a project to which I could willingly devote my life, so that I could leave behind an indexed library of negatives and prints.”

When you do the math, there are more than 15,000 slides and transparencies in his archive, along with 25 miles of motion picture film. As he‘d requested, many of his images are housed at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, the Hayden Library at Arizona State University and the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The rest are with the Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation, the nonprofit formed by Alison Goldwater to preserve her grandfather’s legacy.

Unfortunately, all of his images are in need of preservation — even under the best of circumstances, film deteriorates over time. What’s worse, as the film slowly disintegrates, so do important pieces of Arizona history. Priceless artifacts.

“What I’m setting out to do with the foundation is to fulfill his wishes,” Alison says. “His wishes were to document Arizona and show the beauty of the landscape and the people.”

The task of doing that — through digitization and optical restoration — will be costly and time-consuming, but the work has already begun, and you’ll see some of the results in our portfolio. All 46 photographs in there have been restored.

The Navajo, The Shepherdess, Big Country ... some of the images have been published in this magazine over the past eight decades. Others have never been seen before. That’s the exciting part. For us, getting access to the family archive was like being let loose in Copenhagen’s Conditori La Glace at Christmastime. There were so many photos to choose from. Too many. Ultimately, we had to expand the issue to 100 pages. And even then, narrowing it down was a challenge. So was writing the captions.

Although Barry created an elaborate filing system, indexed by subject, he could be stingy with details. And sometimes, he’d give multiple names to the same image. Where the information was thin or confusing or nonexistent, we relied on commentary from other photographers, including Ansel Adams, who, like our subject, was a longtime contributor to Arizona Highways.

“Senator Goldwater’s deep involvement in the affairs of the world and at the summit of political activity have undoubtedly limited the time and effort he could expend on his photography,” Mr. Adams wrote. “The important thing is that he made photographs of historical and interpretive significance, and for this we should be truly grateful. We sometimes forget that Art, in any form, is a communication. Barry Goldwater has communicated his vision of the Southwest, and he deserves high accolades for his desire to tell us what he feels and believes about his beloved land.”

We also reached out to some of our current contributors. The names are names you’ll recognize: David Muench, Jack Dykinga, Paul Markow, Paul Gill, Joel Grimes, J. Peter Mortimer. In addition to being a talented photographer, Pete was our photo editor in the early 1980s. In that role, he often visited Barry at his home in Paradise Valley.

“The first time I met Barry Goldwater,” Pete says, “was when Editor Don Dedera asked me to go to Barry’s house to get an envelope of photographs that were going to be used in the magazine. As I drove up the driveway, I noticed that the abandoned Secret Service guard shack was still there — a relic from Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign. Near the driveway, there was a man in dark shorts and a T-shirt slapping a tar-like substance onto an old, ailing saguaro. As I got closer, I realized that it was Senator Goldwater. I rolled down the car window and he said, ‘You’ve come for the pictures?’ I told him yes, and then I asked what was wrong with the cactus. He looked over at the saguaro and said, ‘Oh, I don’t think these damn things like us very much!’ Then he added, ‘Go up to the house and get some iced tea; I’ll be there in a few minutes.’ Over the years, I was lucky enough to make a number of trips to his house to get photographs. I always looked forward to hearing him talk about the specific images that he was sending back to the magazine.”

In all, we’ve published hundreds of Barry’s photographs, the best of which will be on display from January 6 through June 23 at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. The exhibition, Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection, is another one of the ideas that Alison and I talked about during the parade.

It was an idea that took off, and now, so many months later, Arizona Highways is proud to be partnering with the Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation on this important show, a show that wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of Salt River Project. SRP has a long history of supporting arts and culture in Arizona, and this exhibition is another one of the many beneficiaries. On behalf of the Goldwater family and everyone at this magazine, thank you, SRP. We look forward to what’s ahead, including more exhibitions, a coffee table book and a line of related products, all of which will benefit the foundation in its ongoing effort to preserve those 15,000 images.

Stay tuned for details on all of the above. Meantime, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just a few days off in December, happy holidays, and thank you for spending another year with Arizona Highways.

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Boyce Thompson Welcomes Eirini Pajak

Eirini Pajak

A frequent contributor to Arizona Highways will see her breathtaking nature photography exhibited at Arizona's best-known arboretum next month.

Eirini Pajak's macro photography will be on display all November at the gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park's visitors center. The arboretum, near Superior, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in November. Admission is $12.50 for adults and $5 for ages 5 to 12.

"I studied photography in school, but I gave it up almost as soon as I graduated," Pajak told the arboretum. "Instead I devoted most of my spare time to learning about the natural world around me. I moved around quite a bit growing up, so knowing the land and living creatures around where I live makes me feel more rooted.

"When I moved from California to Arizona, one of the first things I did was obtain several nature field guides specific to this state. Once I set photography aside, it wasn’t until over a decade later that I picked up a camera again. One day, a monk from St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona, suggested that I begin photographing wildflowers. He specifically emphasized that I should not overlook even the tiniest of flowers.

"Since then, I have been drawn especially to making close-up photographs of beautiful but often overlooked aspects of nature."

Pajak's photographs are also on display in an upcoming Arizona Highways book, set to be released in early 2019.

To learn more about the photographer, visit her website.

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CCP Announces UA Presidential Scholar

David Hume Kennerly

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer has been named a University of Arizona Presidential Scholar, the university's Center for Creative Photography announced this month.

David Hume Kennerly will be based at the CCP and will develop lectures and events that touch on photography, journalism, history, government, sociology and other topics, the center's director, Anne Breckenridge Barrett, announced in a letter to CCP supporters.

Kennerly won the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Feature Photography at age 25, and he later was the chief White House photographer during President Gerald Ford's administration. "His body of work includes images from 12 presidential campaigns, several wars, including Vietnam, and many other significant historical moments," Barrett said.

The UA's president, Robert C. Robbins, made the appointment. Kennerly is the first Presidential Scholar appointed during Robbins' tenure.

"This is a solid indicator of the new and expanding role that the CCP plays in the interdisciplinary academic experience of UA students from across the campus," Barrett wrote.

The CCP opened in 1975 and now houses more than 90,000 photographs by more than 2,200 photographers. For more information, visit the center's website.

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Saguaro National Park's 'Best Sunsets' Claim Starts Instagram Fight

Maribeth Brady | Saguaro National Park

A good-natured battle erupted recently on social media — and the Tucson area's Saguaro National Park was at the center of it.

As National Geographic reported, the park posted a photo of one of its gorgeous sunsets on Instagram, then asked its 70,000 or so fans if they knew the park has "the best sunsets in the world." That spurred a skeptical comment from Joshua Tree National Park, just across the state line in Southern California, and after some ribbing back and forth, the parks agreed to a "sunset-off."

Since then, they've traded several spectacular sunset photos using the hashtag #parksunsetwars. Park visitors have joined the fun, and so have other National Park Service sites, including Death Valley National Park in California and our own Grand Canyon National Park.

The "war" seems to have died down now, without a clear victor. We're biased, but we think it's hard to beat a sunset at any of Arizona's national parks.

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Now Appearing in the Arizona Highways Gift Shop: Randy Prentice

Randy Prentice and his wife, Diana May, in front of Prentice's work in the Arizona Highways gift shop. | Keith Whitney

A longtime contributor to Arizona Highways is displaying his photographic work in the magazine's gift shop during the holiday season.

Randy Prentice, a Tucson-based photographer, has been shooting professionally since 1986 and contributing to Arizona Highways since the 1990s. His work also has been used in Conde Nast Traveler, Sunset and Natural History magazines; in projects by the National Park Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the Western National Parks Association; and in Fodor's travel guides, among other credits.

The photographer's book projects include Desert Rivers: From Lush Headwaters to Sonoran Sands, a collaboration with former Arizona Highways Editor Peter Aleshire.

Prentice specializes in landscape photography and has used both digital cameras and a large-format 4x5 film camera. He's also an accomplished musician and fronts the Randy Prentice Band alongside his wife, Diana May.

You can see Prentice's work and buy prints at the Arizona Highways gift shop, located at 2039 W. Lewis Avenue (near the Arizona State Fairgrounds) in Phoenix. It's open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. A portion of the sale price benefits the magazine's mission of promoting tourism in Arizona.

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Contemporary Navajo Life, One Portrait at a Time

Photos of participants in "E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah" are pasted on the Axle Contemporary truck. | Courtesy of Axle Contemporary

In September 2016, artists Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman took their mobile art gallery, Axle Contemporary, to the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas to create the third project in an ongoing series called E Pluribus Unum

The ongoing series captures portraits of individuals across parts of the Southwest. The individual photos are then digitally blended to create one final image — one face that represents all who participated in the project.

“For us, the title of the project, E Pluribus Unum, is about this notion that with the individual and blended portraits, that the individual and individual personality, culture, thoughts and identity are all very important, and also, the blend of all those individuals make a coherent whole. We’re all very different and we’re all very similar at the same time,” Chase-Daniel said.

The artists stayed in each community for one to three days, depending on the size of the town, and offered free portraits to those interested in participating in the art project. 

“This project was all done digitally, and it was a wonderful way to engage people in a direct and immediate way,” Chase-Daniel said. “We 

have solar panels on the roof of the truck to run a printer on board, so people come in, have their portrait taken and within five minutes are handed a free copy of their picture, and another [is] pasted on the outside of the truck. Over the course of the project, the truck becomes a gallery where the outside has hundreds of photographs that draw new people in.” 

In all, the two artists captured more than 800 photos for E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah

“When we showed up in a little town like Chinle, people were fascinated. They came, they participated. We just didn’t know if we would gain any interest or traction, showing up in a little town,” Wellman said. “People showed up and wanted to participate. They understood what we were doing and our project. I thought that understanding of what we were doing indicated a level of sophistication and understanding that was really heartening to see.” 

Participants were asked to bring along an item that was important to them. People brought their children, pets and everyday items like water bottles, keys and cellphones.

“At the time, a lot of people were saying, 'Water; water is life.’ If you want to talk about something that is very beautifully meaningful to everybody and anybody, it would be water. Between the water, car keys and the cellphone, those are very important things today,” Wellman said. 

Many of the items brought helped to tell a story and place a timestamp on the portraits. That was by design.
“Some of what you see in the photos are traditional and very identifiable as Native American or Navajo, and then you have other things that are much more cross-culture and very much 'of the time,'” Wellman explained. “So even what kind of cellphone they have will identify this project in time. If you look at these pictures 50 years from now or 100 years from now, you’ll be able to tell digitally when they were made. If the portraits were made 10 years earlier or 10 years later, the objects, clothing, all things like that would be different. 

“It’s really a portrait of a people and community in a place and in a time. And that’s what we tried to do in all the projects, including the Santa Fe and Albuquerque projects. As we go through this series of E Pluribus Unum projects, we’re creating this portrait of life in New Mexico and the greater Southwest in this time, this decade.”

E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah will be exhibiting at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock from July 12 through January 31. The opening reception will be held July 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A book containing the entire collection of photographs, as well as essays by the artists and by Navajo Nation Museum zfirector Manuelito Wheeler, and a poem by Navajo Nation poet laureate Laura Tohe, has been published. 

To learn more about E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah, click here.

— Kirsten Kraklio

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Now in the Arizona Highways Gift Shop: Jeff Maltzman

Jeff Maltzman's work is now on display at the Arizona Highways gift shop. | Keith Whitney

The latest photographer to display his work at the Arizona Highways gift shop is a relative newcomer to the magazine.

Jeff Maltzman has been contributing to the magazine since August 2015 — most recently, his photo of a Sonoita-Patagonia monsoon storm appeared in our April issue. Now, you can view and buy prints of Maltzman's work at our gift shop at 2039 W. Lewis Avenue in Phoenix.

Maltzman's day job is as an ophthalmologist. As he notes on his website: "I spend my days peering into the depths of the human eye, studying the complexity of this little world within. Photography gives me the opportunity to turn my lens in the other direction, to explore the world beyond."

Look for more of Maltzman's work in upcoming issues of Arizona Highways. Or, if you'd like a print for yourself or a loved one, come on down to the gift shop. A portion of the sale price benefits the magazine's mission of promoting tourism to and through the state of Arizona.

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Kids in Focus Partners With Arizona Science Center

A Kids in Focus participant lines up a shot. | Courtesy of Kids in Focus

A Phoenix-based nonprofit that uses photography to help at-risk kids has partnered with the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix on a new exhibit.

On Friday, April 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Kids in Focus, founded by Arizona Highways contributor Karen Shell, will unveil 60 photos made by this year's class of 30 at-risk youths at the Science Center's CREATE space (600 E. Washington Street).

The photographs are the culmination of an eight-week program for the students, who were mentored by 14 professional photographers during classroom lessons and photo shoots at locations around the Phoenix area. The students attend Children First Leadership Academy and the Bob & Renee Parsons Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.

In a news release, Shell says learning photography skills helps the students, who all live at or below the poverty line, to see beyond their circumstances. "The kids are empowered to explore, to trust and to see the world in a new light," she says. "The kids learn to see the world differently, changing their perspectives about themselves and their environment."

The exhibit will include the students' biographies, their photos and the accompanying captions they wrote. They'll be on display through June 11 at the Science Center. Images by the students will also be displayed at the Children's Museum of Phoenix in June and July, at the state Capitol from March through May, at Sky Harbor International Airport from March through September, and at Burton Barr Central Library in September and October.

For more information about Kids in Focus, visit

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The Grand Canyon's Splendor at Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale

Mike Buchheit's "Yaki Point Sunrise" is among the images being exhibited this month in Scottsdale. | Courtesy of Tilt Gallery

A photography exhibit this month in the Phoenix area celebrates the grandeur and subtlety of Arizona's most famous natural wonder.

Grand Views: Intimate Spaces: The Grand Canyon, an exhibition by Mike Buchheit and Rachel Brace-Stille, opened last week and continues through Friday, March 31, at Tilt Gallery (7077 E. Main Street, Suite 14) in Scottsdale.

"With this exhibit, the artists' intent is to share their deep reverence for the magnificent landscape that has served as a tether for their longstanding friendship and artistic collaboration," the gallery said in a news release. "Their sincere hope is that the stories they share through their selection of images will underscore the need to preserve and protect the Grand Canyon, and all of the natural places that have the ability to sustain and inspire humankind."

Arizona Highways readers might recognize Buchheit's name — he's spent more than 20 years as the director of the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute, which leads educational tours at the Canyon. He teaches landscape photography for the institute and is also a travel writer and outdoors educator.

Brace-Stille is a longtime educator at Scottsdale Community College who also leads demonstrations, workshops and international educational tours.

Buchheit's metal prints and Brace-Stille's gelatin silver abrasion toned prints allow the Canyon's "signature color and detail to radiate from every piece," the gallery said.

You can meet the photographers at an artist reception Thursday, March 30, from 7 to 9 p.m., during Scottsdale's ArtWalk. Otherwise, the gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

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Student Nature Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries

Wyatt Mendez's photo of a praying mantis took second place in the 2016 Adventures in Nature Student Photo Contest.

Arizona teenagers can win cash prizes, gift certificates and more in an annual photo contest co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, Cox Communications and Arizona Highways.

The 2017 Adventures in Nature Student Photo Contest is open to Arizona student photographers ages 13 to 18. Entries are being accepted now, and you have until April 10 to submit your photos of Arizona's plants, animals and landscapes. Students entered more than 1,000 photos in last year's contest; the first-place photo, by Randy Davidson, was published in the September 2017 issue of Arizona Highways.

In addition to being published in the magazine and on our website, the first-place winner this year receives $5,000. The other nine finalists will receive cash prizes as well, and finalists also will get gift certificates for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops and Arizona camera shops, along with passes to Nature Conservancy preserves.

"We hope this contest helps connect young people, and the people they touch, to the outdoors through photography,” says Pat Graham, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Arizona.

To upload your photo or learn more about the contest, visit the contest page on our website.

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