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Exhibit of Barry Goldwater’s photos captures rarely seen sides of Arizona By Niki D’Andrea

(All Photos by Barry M. Goldwater except “Portrait of the Artist as a Married Man” by Peggy Goldwater/Courtesy the Barry & Peggy Goldwater

“Desert Corsage,” 1936

li Goldwater remembers flying in a plane over the Grand Canyon with William F. Buckley, Jr. and her grandfather, Barry Goldwater, when she about 5 years old. “We flew up there, and he would always have a camera,” she recalls. “He usually had a couple cameras with him, because he’d be shooting black and white and color. So at an early age, I remember just traveling around the state with him, and we usually flew in an airplane or a helicopter. I couldn’t vote but I worked for him. I got to travel with him around the state when he gave speeches and whatnot.” T hough he’s k now n internationally as the late fiveterm U.S. Senator from Arizona and Republican nominee for U.S. President in the 1964 election, Barry Goldwater was also an archivist of Arizona history. To a large extent, he is Arizona history. Little Barry Goldwater was the ring-bearer at the first wedding held after Arizona’s statehood



This photo, “Portrait of the Artist as a Married Man,” shows Barry Goldwater using a movie camera at Coal Mine Canyon, circa 1936.

in 1912 – an event he recounted in 1978 for the Arizona History Project: “I remember I was only about 4 years old, standing outside waiting for the telegraph boy to bring a message saying that President Taft had signed us into statehood. It was Joe Meltzer’s determination to be the first man married in the State of Arizona. Sure enough, I can still see that dust coming up old unpaved First Avenue with the messenger with the telegram.” In adulthood, Goldwater would have captured that dust being kicked up into the air on camera. Over the course of his life, he took more than 15,000 photographs, and the vast majority of them capture snapshots of a lost Arizona: vistas of untamed wilderness; detailed close-ups of desert flora; action shots of wild horses; candid photos of Native American children. An extensive selection of Goldwater’s photographs are on display in the exhibit Photographs by Barry Goldwater: The Arizona


“Navajo Pony,” 1938

Highways Collection at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW). Ali Goldwater has been working for years to preserve and digitize her grandfather’s photos for the Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation, which she founded in 2018. “This has been a dream of mine for many years,” says Goldwater, who gathered negatives and photos from fellow family members as well as institutions throughout the U.S. that housed part of her grandfather’s body of work. “Initially, a few years ago, I started visiting the directors of these institutions and talking to them about the collection and what I wanted to do, and they were all on board, but they also kind of looked at me and said, ‘Wow, you’re really going to do that? Because there’s 15,000 (photos).’” Photographs by Barry Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection is the first all-photo solo exhibition at SMoW. “The community of Scottsdale couldn’t be prouder than to feature as its first one-

person photography show the work of a highly distinguished native Arizonan, Paradise Valley resident and a U.S. Senator of Arizona,” says Dr. Tricia Loscher, assistant museum director of collections, exhibitions and research at Western Spirit. “Barry Goldwater was a multifaceted and complex person,” Loscher continues. “His abilities as a businessman were evident as head of a family-owned department store; an avid outdoorsman, he was one of the first people known to shoot the rapids of the Colorado River; a five-term U.S. Senator, his eminence as a political figure looms large as he helped lead the country to preserve and be caretakers of all the best in our nation’s history.” In addition to capturing lost eras in Arizona, Goldwater also had access to places in the state most people couldn’t casually visit, including Native American reservations, where Goldwater was a frequent visitor and a friend. “I remember one time going up to

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North Valley Magazine February/March 2019  

North Valley Magazine February/March 2019  

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