The archive is arranged into three series:
Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Photographic Material
Series 3: Photocopy Correspondence and Notes - RESTRICTED
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
In 2001, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum received, as a bequest from the Estate of Maria Chabot, hundreds of letters she received from Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz between 1941 and O'Keeffe's death in 1986. Most of the letters date from the 1940s and describe the experiences Chabot and O'Keeffe shared during the years Chabot lived with O'Keeffe at the artist's Ghost Ranch house (1941-1944) and oversaw the renovation of the ruined adobe hacienda that O'Keeffe purchased in 1945 in the village of Abiquiu (1946-1949). Most of O'Keeffe's letters to Chabot were written from New York, and because the artist corresponded frequently from New York only with Chabot, her letters are a rich and unique resource of information about the artist's thoughts and feelings about her daily life there. The Maria Chabot Archive also includes hundreds of photographs and film, primarily taken by Chabot in the 1940s. Chabot took numerous photographs of O'Keeffe, her Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu houses, her paintings, and their camping/painting trips in Northern New Mexico. Records and notes relating to the photographic material is also included. The archive includes photocopies of letters from Chabot to O'Keeffe and Stieglitz, and notes related to these letters. Some of this material duplicates orginals found in the archive, but the bulk of the photocopies are of materials housed at other institutions. This material is currently restricted.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTE
Maria Chabot (1913-2001) was a writer and an advocate for Native American and Spanish Colonial artistic traditions. In 1933, at nineteen years old, Chabot traveled to Mexico City where she met painter Dorothy Stewart and her sister Margretta Stewart Dietrich. Chabot accepted Stewart's invitation to return to Santa Fe, New Mexico with her in 1934. Through her association with Stewart and during her 1934-1937 documentary survey of Native American and Spanish Colonial art, Chabot became friends with Mary Cabot Wheelwright, founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. Wheelwright introduced Chabot to Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico in 1940. From 1941-1944, Chabot spent summers with O'Keeffe at the artist's Ghost Ranch house. Chabot had intended to write, but spent most of her time managing activities at the ranch. She also often accompanied O'Keeffe on camping trips throughout northern New Mexico on which the artist created many of her paintings. In 1946, Chabot agreed to manage the rebuilding of an adobe hacienda on a hilltop in Abiquiu, 48 miles northwest of Santa Fe. She supervised the building crew and participated in design decisions for what became O'Keeffe's primary residence. The women wrote frequently during the winter and early spring, when O'Keeffe was with Alfred Stieglitz in New York and Chabot was with her family in San Antonio. The friendship between Chabot and O'Keeffe endured until O'Keeffe's death in 1986. Maria Chabot believed that her correspondence with O'Keeffe and her photographs were important historically, and by the early 1980s had envisioned publishing them. Although she made significant progress over the years, the project was far from finished at the time of her death in 2001, when her literary estate was bequeathed to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Editors Barbara Buhler Lynes and Ann Paden were able to finish the book. The volume was published by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the University of New Mexico Press: Maria Chabot/Georgia O'Keeffe: Correspondence, 1941-1949. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum has exhibited the letters and photographs from this publication in an exhibition titled: Moments in Time, Photographs by Maria Chabot.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
- Preferred Citation
Maria Chabot Archive, 1940-2001, undated. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
- Acquisition Information
The archive was donated by the Maria Chabot Literary Trust to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in 2001.
- Processing Information
Processing of the archive began prior to 2008 by Museum staff. Processing was completed by Elizabeth Ehrnst in 2011. The finding aid was edited by Laura Ward in 2017.
CONDITIONS GOVERNING ACCESS AND USE
- Legal status note
The Maria Chabot Archive materials are the physical property of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Contact the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center Archivist for further copyright and publication information as it pertains to this collection.
- Allowed Uses
Certain materials in this collection are restricted. The photographic print materials may be accessed by researchers. The use of film materials requires the permission of the archivist. The majority of the correspondence and photographs have been digitized and are publicly available in the online collections accessible from Georgia O'Keeffe Museum website.
- Copy and reproduction restrictions
Photocopies of most materials may be made for research purposes only.
The Maria Chabot Papers MS.40 / RC.2013.3 collection is located at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Also see the publication:
Lynes, Barbara, Buhler, ed., with Ann Paden. Maria Chabot/Georgia O'Keeffe: Correspondence, 1941-1949. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.