Most people knew Barry Goldwater as an Arizona icon, a politician and the father of American Conservatism who ran for president in 1964.
But long before he entered politics he had established himself as an accomplished photographer.
Now a new exhibit of 34 of Goldwater’s photographs puts those talents on display. The exhibit, curated by Goldwater’s granddaughter, Alison Goldwater Ross, runs through June 23 at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
Here’s five things you probably didn’t know about Barry Goldwater the photographer:
He was good
Goldwater’s work was so good that more than 230 of his photographs appeared in the pages of Arizona Highways magazine. One of his pictures, a photo of Navajo girls in the snow, was the cover photo of the December, 1947 issue, which was the first magazine of any kind ever printed in all color.
He was more than good
Though he was only an amateur, Goldwater’s work not only earned him a place in the Royal London Photographic Society at age 32, but it also won him the lifelong friendship and admiration of Ansel Adams, one of the best-known and best-loved landscape photographers ever.
He was prolific
Goldwater shot more than 15,000 negatives, which are archived at the Arizona Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Heard Museum and at Arizona State University. Ross has formed a foundation to raise money to preserve and digitize her grandfather’s work, which also ncludes a documentary film about his six-week journey down the Colorado River.
Arizona was his muse
Goldwater loved not just the landscape of his native state, but also its native peoples, and photography was his way of sharing that love with the world. The Scottsdale exhibit features a variety of stunning landscapes as well as a soulful photographs of Native Americans. Goldwater often said that his photos and books were his “last will and testament to his native state.”
MORE OF GOLDWATER’S PHOTOS:
Barry Goldwater was a prolific and talented photographer who left behind 15,000 images. Now his granddaughter hopes to digitize and make them accessible.
Nick Oza, The Republic | azcentral.com
He had fun
Goldwater’s children and grandchildren describe him as always having a camera around his neck, and they fondly remember him photographing celebrities who visited his home, including Elizabeth Taylor and Sammy Davis Jr. Goldwater once took a candid shot of President John F. Kennedy during a visit to the White House and sent it to him. Kennedy signed it and wrote that Goldwater should stick with the profession he was best at – photography.
In addition to the ongoing photo exhibit, the museum will feature a special program from 1 to 2 p.m. Jan. 30 called “Growing Up Goldwater: Family Photographs & Stories,” which will feature Goldwater family members sharing stories about their father and grandfather.
‘Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection’
When: Through Sunday, June 2.
Where: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way.
Admission: $15, $13 for seniors and active military. Admission for full-time students is $8 with a valid ID.
Details: 480-686-9539, scottsdalemuseumwest.org.
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