Past Events


Mable Dodge Luhan & Company: Creating Southwest Modernism

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

8/8/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: Creating Southwest Modernism

Mabel Dodge Luhan—patron, muse, writer, and cultural catalyst extraordinaire—played a dominant role in shaping an American Modernism with a singular northern New Mexican flavor, one that embraced the physical and cultural landscapes and honored the cultures and traditions of Pueblos and Hispanos, to whom these Moderns looked as the basis for forging a multi-ethnic nationalism and original American art forms.

Lois Rudnick is Professor Emerita of American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston.  She has published and lectured extensively about the artist and writer communities of New Mexico, the complex and contested issues of Anglo patronage, and American Modernism.  Her most recent book, Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West accompanied a travelling exhibition with the same title, in 2016-2017. She is currently writing a biography of Taos Pueblo artist Eva Mirabal and her family. Mirabal was the first Native American to publish a comic strip, G. I. Gertie,  which she did while serving as a WAC during World War II.

Alice Eastwood: Pioneer Botanist in the Four Corners

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

7/25/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Alice Eastwood was a renowned scientist, a botanist with a great love of adventure.
She is the embodiment of female equality; her colleagues included Alfred Russel Wallace, best known for conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection, and Asa Gray, the Harvard professor who wrote the seminal manual on American botany. 

Eastwood began her fervent career in Denver, Colorado, and came to the Four Corners on "botanizing" expeditions, basing out of the Wetherill's Alamo Ranch in Mancos.
Becoming the curator of botany at the California Academy of Sciences, a post she held for over 50 years, Eastwood was a scientific pioneer that gifted those around her with her knowledge and outgoing spirit.

Marietta Eaton served as District Archaeologist for the North Kaibab Ranger District for 15 years, served as a Science Advisor for the Bureau of Land Management for over a decade, and is currently the Manager of Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum in Dolores, Colorado.

Western Women We Respect: Durango's Own Olga Little

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

7/18/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The Center of Southwest Studies continues its summer lecture series based on the theme, “Women in the Southwest,” with a presentation from Dr. Andrew Gulliford, Durango’s Own Olga Little, on Wednesday, July 18th at 1:30 p.m. in the Center’s Lyceum Room #120.

Across Colorado and perhaps the entire Rocky Mountains, there was only one female jackpacker who ran a string of burros carrying food, supplies, and dynamite into remote high altitude mines. On her return trips she carried heavy sacks of gold and silver ore, and at least once she packed out a deceased miner. Olga Little earned a solid reputation as a packer in the La Plata Mountains. This is the story of her more than 40 year career told from the people who knew her, and from magazine and newspaper accounts.

Andrew Gulliford is a Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College. He teaches popular courses on wilderness, national parks, Western history, and environmental history. Dr. Gulliford writes columns about the west for the Durango Herald, Utah Adventure Journal, and High Country News. His book The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes was just released by Texas A&M University Press.

Millicent Rogers: From New York to Taos

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

7/11/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Millicent Rogers, also known as the “Standard Oil Heiress,” was a legendary woman of style whose bold, avant-garde taste played a significant role in the history of modern fashion. She was considered to be an exotic beauty who was featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and appeared annually on best-dressed lists. Millicent was a trendsetter who danced with European princes and attracted such men as Clark Gable, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward. When she was introduced to Taos, New Mexico a metamorphosis took place. Her contact with the Native American and Hispanic peoples of northern New Mexico revealed to her a way of life she had never experienced before. Drawn to the beauty of the Taos landscape, Millicent became particularly fascinated with the simplicity and warmth of its esoteric quality of life. Taos was a place where she could put her hectic wanderings behind her and it was in this environment that she assembled a stellar collection of Native American jewelry and continued to design and create her own. After her death the Millicent Rogers Museum was established in Taos to house her collection.

Join Dr. Shelby Tisdale, Director of the Center of Southwest Studies, as she traces Millicent’s journey from New York to Taos on Wednesday, July 11 at 1:30 pm.

Dr. Tisdale is the former Director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. She has published forty articles and book chapters relating to American Indian art and culture, and women in the West. She contributed to and directed the publication of the Oklahoma Book Award winning Woven Worlds: Basketry from the Clark Field Collection, for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma (2001). Her book, Fine Indian Jewelry of the Southwest: The Millicent Rogers Museum Collection (2006) received the Ralph Emerson Twitchell Book Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico and the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association. She edited Spider Woman’s Gift: Nineteenth-Century Diné Textiles (2011). Her latest book, Pablita Velarde: In Her Own Words (2012), is a full-length biography of this famous American Indian painter. The Center of Southwest Studies currently has one of Pablita Velarde’s paintings on exhibit to accompany the travelling exhibition of her daughter Helen Hardin’s etchings. 

Three Women, One Story: 1000 Years of Art, History, and Culture

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

6/27/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The Center of Southwest Studies continues its summer lecture series based on the theme, “Women in the Southwest,” with a presentation from Kate Nelson, Three Women, One Story: 1,000 Years of Art, History, and Culture in Under an Hour, on Wednesday, June 27th at 1:30 p.m. in the Center’s Lyceum Room #120.

Pablita Velarde, Helen Hardin, and Margarete Bagshaw encompass more than a three-generation story of women artists. Their lives also touch on key points of Southwestern history—from Ancestral Puebloans to the Spanish flu, Harvey Houses, hippies, and the evolving arc of Native American art.

Kate Nelson wrote the biography Helen Hardin: A Straight Line Curved and is managing editor of New Mexico Magazine, where she's paid to travel around the Land of Enchantment meeting interesting people and telling their stories. She cut her teeth as a newspaper writer and editor at the Kansas City Star and Albuquerque Tribune and did public relations and marketing for the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. She lives in the northern foothills of the Sandia Mountains, where she attempts to garden despite occasional incursions by wild horses.

Summer Solstice Window Viewing

Museum Event

6/21/2018 6:00 AM - 7:30 AM

Join us for our annual Summer Solstice Window Viewing in the museum, at the dawn of summer - Thursday, June 21st! Doors open at 6:00 am. A spiral of sunlight appears on the gallery wall as the sun moves higher in the morning sky.

O'Keeffe's Odyssey to the West

"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series

6/13/2018 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Long before her death in 1986 at the age of 98, Georgia O’Keeffe had become a cultural icon, America’s most famous woman artist. Buried in the O’Keeffe legends there are many unknown images, rarely discussed facts, and a troubling medical history. Judith Reynolds will discuss O’Keeffe’s precipitous rise to national prominence, her move to the American Southwest, and the way she navigated the seasons of her life.

Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist, art historian, and political cartoonist. After a career in academia, she switched to the for-profit world of newspaper journalism and eventually became arts, then managing editor of an upstate New York paper. In 1994, Reynolds and her late husband, David, moved to Durango where she began freelancing for the Durango Herald and teaching occasionally at Fort Lewis College. 

Doctoral Fellow Research Project Presentation

4/18/2018 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

The Center's Doctoral Fellow in Southwest History, Benjamin DuMontier, will present his research project findings while in residence for the academic year at the Center of Southwest Studies. His spring presentation is titled, From Rainbow Bridge to Durango War-Rations: Research & Archiving Local History in the Four Corners Area.

Ben will discuss the Ansel Hall collection, and the potential it has for researchers. This includes Hall's expeditions to Costa Rica, recruiting Boy Scouts, and his development of nature-park resources in the Rainbow Bridge - Monument Valley areas.

Ben will also speak on his work-in-progress, a digital humanities webpage showcasing the Center of Southwest Stduies' oral history collections. He hopes to display anecdotes of daily life and local ideas about the "Japanese enemy" from Colorado newspapers - as well as Durangoan's conception of the nation's defense during WWII. 

Location: CSWS Lyceum Room 120; 5:30 p.m.

Delaney Library: Book Sale and Genealogy Research program

4/11/2018 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Delaney Library Book Sale: 5:00-7:00 pm

The Center will offer competitively-priced books on the following topics: Genealogy and Archives Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, U.S. and Frontier History, Western states (Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska), World History and Geography, History of Technology (Mining, Railroads, Material Culture), Art and Architecture, Public History and Historic Preservation, Anthropology and Archaeology (including Marine Archaeology and Archeology in Alaska), Agriculture and Forestry, and more!

Make an early offer on items worth $50-$200 before they sell online; e.g., Don Juan de Onate, Colonizer of New Mexico 1595-1628; Mesa Verde Centennial Series boxed set; Railroads of Arizona 2 vol. set; many limited edition books on archeology and material culture.

All proceeds go towards Delaney Library acquisitions, to raise money to purchase the rare items and books on Southwest topics that make Fort Lewis College’s Special Collections unique.

Genealogy Research in Archives: 5:30-6:30 pm, Lyceum Room #120

Center of Southwest Studies’ Archives Manager, Nik Kendziorski, will discuss the various resources that the Center’s archives has to conduct genealogy research, and how best to find them on the web. Along with census records, La Plata County marriage records and newspapers on microfilm, the Center’s is home to some harder to find collections like the Parral Archives from the Municipal Archives of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico and the First National Bank of Durango records with correspondences dealing with local people and businesses.

Also, Ruth Lambert, Ph.D. will discuss a recent San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) three-year project recording burials at small rural La Plata County cemeteries and the resulting searchable data base. Ruth is the Cultural Program Director with SJMA. Information on the local genealogical society, the Southwest Colorado Genealogical Society, will be available at the event.

The 2018 Duane Smith Lecture Series in Southwest Studies

The Greatness of the Bears Ears National Monument: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Professor of Law

3/22/2018 7:00 PM

"The Greatness of the Bears Ears National Monument: Five Tribes Define a Spiritual Cultural Area in Redrock Utah and Make It Law”
Charles Wilkinson, Distinguished Professor, and Moses Lasky, Professor of Law, from the University of Colorado-Boulder present the 2018 Duane Smith Lecture in Southwest Studies. FLC Student Union Ballroom,  7:00 pm.


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm
Museum Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

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Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
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