Scottsdale Museum of the West to showcase Barry Goldwater photos

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is at 3830 N. Marshall Way. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Known as five-term U.S. Senator passionate about his native state of Arizona, Barry M. Goldwater (1909-1998) was also a gifted photographer, serving for decades as one of the first and foremost photographers for “Arizona Highways” magazine, which published many of Mr. Goldwater’s iconic photographs.

Through a collaboration between the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Foundation and “Arizona Highways,” Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West announced Monday, Jan. 7 the public opening of the latest in its rotating exhibitions — Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection.

This is the first time SMoW will feature an all-photography exhibition, highlighting the range of Western storytelling by this museum, which is dedicated to illuminating the past to enlighten the future — bridging the old west and the new west, according to a press release.

Ali Goldwater Ross, Mr. Goldwater’s granddaughter, curated the new exhibition, available for viewing through June 23. She also recently established the Foundation.

This premier showing at SMoW features a large collection of Mr. Goldwater’s work including never-before-shown photography, intimate family photos and personal items belonging to the senator.

During his lifetime, Mr. Goldwater took more than 15,000 photographs, hundreds of which have appeared in nationwide exhibitions, the senator’s photo books and among the pages of “Arizona Highways.”

Mr. Goldwater described his photo books as his “last will and testament to my love for my native state.”

“My grandfather had a long history with ‘Arizona Highways,’ as well as a passionate wish to share his photographs with the world,” Ms. Ross said in a prepared statement.

“Establishing the Foundation and being able to make this premier exhibition a reality has been an incredible labor of love. I’m so grateful to my family, ‘Arizona Highways,’ SRP, SMoW and the Sands’ family for their support and recognition of the importance of our mission. I know ‘Paka’ (as known by his grandchildren) is watching over and guiding me through this process every step of the way.”

Located in the Derek Earle Emergence Gallery and the Ellie and Mike Ziegler Heritage Hall Gallery, the exhibition will showcase more than 30 photographs, as well as personal items — such as Goldwater’s camera, cowboy hat and boots — along with photos of family and friends, including celebrities like Clark Gable.

“On behalf of the community of Scottsdale and all of Arizona, our city-owned museum is most proud to debut this landmark exhibition featuring the photography by Barry Goldwater and to honor the legacy of one of our state’s greatest statesmen and accomplished photographers,” Mike Fox, CEO and director of SMoW, said in a prepared statement.

“Barry Goldwater gained the friendship, trust and respect of Native Americans and others throughout the region, which helped him to capture iconic imagery of Arizona’s people and environments.

“We thank all our sponsors and collaborative partners, including Ali, Arizona Highways and the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Foundation, for bringing this touching exhibition to the home state of honorable Sen. Goldwater in order for our museum’s visitors to be awed by his artistic attributes.”

The exhibition will showcase imagery across Arizona featuring landscape, people and culture through Mr. Goldwater’s lens and photography skills.

Exclusive programming supporting this unique exhibition includes “Growing Up Goldwater: Family Photographs & Stories,” from 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium/Theater at SMoW.

This presentation will deliver never-before-revealed to the public rich and rewarding stories behind some of Mr. Goldwater photographs as told by a panel of Goldwater family members.

The SMoW Museum Store, which features a range of western-themed items, will offer a unique collection of branded merchandise including Mr. Goldwater’s Foods of Arizona gourmet salsas, the senator’s Chili Mix and jalapeño jelly — a favorite of the senator and his family.

Also available will be a special edition exhibition poster featuring one of Mr. Goldwater’s images — a 1976 photograph of Totem Pole, an area on the Navajo Nation referred to as Yei-be-chai, where, in the distance, two Navajo sisters ride double bareback to their home across this stark landscape.

Also available is the Dec. 2018 edition of Arizona Highways magazine, a double issue dedicated to Mr. Goldwater and his “Arizona Highways” collection of photography.

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