Community Activists and Masters of Pageantry, Martha and Elizabeth White
“In 1972, [Elizabeth White] left her estate to SAR. A gift that has become part of the remarkable legacy of two sisters who as good Bryn Mawrters came to Santa Fe in the 1920s with an agenda: to do good, to be strong, and to party on.” – Nancy Owen Lewis
Elizabeth and Martha White on the portal of the original house at 660 Garcia Street, ca. 1925. SAR Archives, AC20_01a.
Bequeathed to the School for Advanced Research (then the School of American Research) in 1972, SAR’s campus, with meandering paths and a peppering of adobe buildings, provides a window into lives and passions of the original owners, Martha and Elizabeth White. For Nancy Owen Lewis, unearthing the tales of the estate’s development and sharing stories from the sisters’ lives in the Southwest has been a passion-project for nearly two decades. Owen Lewis recently presented some of this history in a sold-out talk done in conjunction with New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The full presentation is now available online:
If you have ever taken a tour of SAR’s current campus, then you may be familiar with the varied architectural details across the eight-acre estate. SAR offers weekly guided tours of grounds and buildings year-round. Learn more.
El Delirio evolved as a confluence of Old World royal trappings, Andalusian architecture with heavy Moorish homage, Mesoamerican foundations, Pueblo Indian communality and architectural materials, Spanish Colonial simplicity in furnishings, and New York chic. – El Delirio, the Santa Fe World of Elizabeth White.