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Kim Stringfellow Photographs and Papers

Call Number: WA Photos 592
Content Description

The Kim Stringfellow Photographs and Papers chiefly document her projects that record the environmental and cultural history of the Southern California desert region, 1998-2017. It includes 100 inkjet print photographs related to three of her projects: Greetings from the Salton Sea, Jackrabbit Homestead, and The Mojave Project. Other material in the collection includes files, products, and electronic files that document her projects and collaborations with others including promotional material for exhibitions and publications. Electronic files include digital photographs from her projects and of her exhibitions, as well as PDF files of publications, public relations, and press coverage, MP3 audio files for projects, video recordings made by Stringfellow and showing her at work, and copies of web sites. The collection also includes compact discs of audio tours related to her project, Jackrabbit Homestead and a group collaboration, Invisible-5.

Twenty-five photographs from the project, Greetings from the Salton Sea, document the natural and built environment of the Salton Sea in California, 1998-2004. Images from the project appeared in her book, Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905-2005 (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Center for American Places, 2005). Images include views of settlements along the Salton Sea at Bombay Beach, Desert Shores, North Shore, Salton City, and Salton Sea Beach, as well as the nearby community of Niland and the mouth of the New River. Many photographs document abandoned buildings and vehicles as well as residents and visitors. A discrete group of three photographs include two portraits of Leonard Knight and a view of his visionary environment, Salvation Mountain, at Niland. Photographs of deceased wildlife in the area include a dead snow goose at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and a still life of a decaying tilapia carcass.

Twenty-five photographs from the project, Jackrabbit Homestead, explore the cultural legacy in the Morongo Basin region of Southern California in 2006 to 2009 of congressional legislation, An Act to Provide for the Purchase of Public Lands for Home and Other Sites (52 Stat. 609), also known as the Small Tract Act of 1938. The act allowed individuals to acquire small tract land property patents from the United States government for homesteads until the repeal of the act in 1976. Images from the project appeared in her book, Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938-2008 (Chicago, Illinois: Center for American Places at Columbia College, 2009). Images include exterior and interior views of structures at abandoned homesteads identified by the United States land patent numbers and surnames of patentees. A group of discrete portraits show residents and artists from the region including Robert Bryan Arnett, Jeanette Susan Arnett, Christine Carraher, Eames Demetrios, Perry Hoffman, Thom Merrick, Sage Quinn-Blair, Ted Quinn, James Sibley, Laura Sibley, Doug Smith, Stephanie Smith, and Andrea Zittel.

Fifty photographs from the project, The Mojave Project, survey the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert chiefly in California as well as portraits of residents and visitors to the area, 2014-2017. Views of sites in California include images at Antelope Valley, Death Valley National Park, Lucerne Valley, and Tecopa Hot Springs, as well as the communities of Adelanto, Amboy, Baker, Boron, Darwin, Joshua Tree, Lancaster, Landers, Mountain Pass, Needles, Randsburg, Shoshone, and Zzyzx. Single images document the ruins of the Llano Colony at Llano and an informal memorial to the slain McStay family at Victorville.

Activities documented in The Mojave Project include a group of photographs related to the gathering of pink halite and other minerals at Searles Lake by participants in the annual Gem-O-Rama field trip sponsored by the Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society in October 2014, as well as a group of portraits of participants at the motor vehicle time trials of the Southern California Timing Association at El Mirage, California, in 2015, including Keturah Corbin, Jack Costella, Ralph Hudson, and Jennifer Kubo. Another discrete group of two images document the Rocketry Organization of California related to rocket launches at Lucerne Valley.

Portraits in The Mojave Project that document Mojave Desert residents include Barbara Durham and Pauline Esteves, members of the Death Valley Timbi-sha Shoshone Tribe; Drusilla Burns with her granddaughter Ashley Hemmers, members of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe of Arizona, California & Nevada; and residents of Darwin, including Monty Brannigan, Nancy Brannigan, Hal Newell, John Hamilton. Other portraits include the singer Donovan (full name Donovan Leitch) and his wife Linda Leitch, former residents of Joshua Tree, as well as Rock Novak of Ballarat, John Woodard of Adelanto, and Ed Solski, an instructor at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave. There is also a portrait of artist Marta Becket as well as an interior view of her Amargosa Opera House at Death Valley Junction.

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 7 (compact discs and USB flash drives): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Inkjet print photographs purchased from Dawson's Book Shop on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2017.

Project files and electronic files are gifts of Kim Stringfellow, 2018.


Organized into two series: I. Inkjet Print Photographs, 1998-2017. II. Projects Files and Products, 2002-2017.

10.67 Linear Feet (7 boxes)
Related Names
Dawson's Book Shop
Stringfellow, Kim, 1963-
Stringfellow, Kim, 1963-
Language of Materials