As the Heard Museum prepares for the upcoming photography exhibition, Through the Lens of Barry Goldwater: Prints from the Goldwater Slide Collection, an examination of the man behind the images is this month’s topic. This elder statesman was born in Phoenix three years before Arizona even became a state and left behind a significant legacy when he died in 1998. In addition to leaving his mark on the political landscape, Goldwater was a good friend and strong supporter of the Heard Museum. The Goldwater Katsina Doll Collection donated by the Senator in 1964 was a noteworthy addition to the museum object collection. The new exhibition showcases selections from the hundreds of Goldwater’s photographs donated to the museum in the 1990s. Over the decades, his frequent lectures at the museum often combined his passion for photography and affection for the Southwest.
With his first bid for the United States Senate in 1952, Goldwater upended Arizona’s longstanding lack of support for Republican candidates. He won his first of five Senate terms by unseating his Democratic rival who happened to be the Senate Majority Leader at the time. In 1964, the political winds shifted for Goldwater when he ran unsuccessfully as the Republican presidential nominee with views considered too controversial for vast sections of the electorate. His presidential candidacy did launch the career of a then-newcomer to politics, Ronald Reagan, whose televised speech on Goldwater’s behalf greatly changed the prospects of the former movie actor. Paraphrasing columnist George Will about Goldwater’s impact on Reagan winning the White House, some feel that rather than a loss in 1964, the future was won, it just took until 1980 to count the votes.
In addition to his accomplishments as a photographer, Goldwater was an avid pilot who took up flying at a young age, served in the Air Force Reserves in World War II and retired as a major general in 1969. He was instrumental in the creation of the United States Air Force Academy whose Visitor Center is named in his honor. All this from someone who left college after the death of his father in the spring of 1929 to work in the family business, Goldwater stores held by the family until 1962.
Here are four selections from the Library collection that offer insight into Barry Goldwater’s distinguished political career, his impressive katsina doll collection, his discerning photographic eye and his enduring feelings for Arizona. These works presenting a more detailed look into the character, the charisma and the complexities of the late Senator are currently on display in the public reading area of the Library. Please feel free to visit the Library to review these or any other items of interest in the Library and Archives collections. For more details or additional collection information, click on the link labeled Library Catalog Search located in the pull-down menu of the Library tab on the Heard Museum website.
Dean, John W. and Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. (compilers)
New York, N.Y. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008
Heard call number F810.G6 A3 2008
Goldwater, Barry M.
Delightful journey down the Green & Colorado rivers
Tempe, Ariz. : Arizona Historical Foundation, 1970
Heard call number OVZ: F788.G593 1970
Barry Goldwater : native Arizonan
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1997
Heard call number F810.G6 I8 1997
Wright, Barton (text); Jerry Jacka (photography); Gary Avey (design); Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Art
Kachinas : the Barry Goldwater collection at the Heard Museum
Phoenix, Ariz. : W. A. Krueger Co., c1975
Heard call number OVW: E99.H7 W733 1975