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Kenneth Chapman’s Santa Fe

Artists and Archaeologists, 1907–1931

The Memoirs of Kenneth Chapman, Edited, annotated, and introduced by Marit K. Munson

Arriving in New Mexico in 1899, Kenneth Milton Chapman took on all manner of projects: mapping archaeological ruins, judging Pueblo pottery, teaching art, and studying ancient and modern Indian design. He became an “art archaeologist,” a self-made expert riding the line between disciplines. When he moved to Santa Fe in 1909, he found himself in the midst of the city’s identity crisis. Eventually, he played a part in virtually all of the central institutions and critical events that shaped Santa Fe, but he has remained in the shadows. His hard work behind the scenes was obscured by the dazzle of self-promoters like Edgar Lee Hewett; his studies of Indian art and design were overshadowed by the ground-breaking research of archaeologists like A. V. Kidder and Nels Nelson and the artistic accomplishments of well-known Pueblo potters. Now, archaeologist and rock art specialist Marit K. Munson presents a carefully edited and annotated edition of Chapman’s memoirs. Written in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Chapman’s side of the story is an intimate insider’s portrait of the personalities and events that shaped Santa Fe.

2008. 200 pp., 30 black-and-white illustrations, notes, references, index, 7 x 10

Contributors: Marit Munson

Download an excerpt.

“Munson highlights Santa Fe on the eve of Chapman’s arrival and its subsequent transformation .. Chapter 9, ‘Between Art and Archaeology,’ is the pearl in Munson’s book.”
—Laurie Milne, Medicine Hat College and Athabasca University, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 2011

“[Marit K. Munson] has given us an intimate portrait of life in Santa Fe during these turbulent years. For scholars these primary documents allow greater study of an important figure and the beginnings of these influential institutions. For non-scholars, the book offers a fascinating vision of life in New Mexico during this important time. For all readers, Kenneth Chapman’s Santa Fe offers a personal account of life in everyone’s favorite City Different.”
—Suzanne Newman Fricke, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Historical Review, Fall, 2010


  1. Artists and Archaeologists
  2. Chapman’s Early Years
  3. Fieldwork, 1900–1909
  4. Museum of New Mexico, 1909–1929
  5. Indian Arts
  6. Chapman and Hewett
  7. Chapman, Rockefeller, and the Laboratory of Anthropology
  8. The Lab and the University
  9. Between Art and Archaeology: Chapman’s Legacy

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.