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Laura McPhee Photographs of the American West

Call Number: WA Photos Folio 152

Content Description

Photographs created by Laura McPhee that document sites in the American West, 2008-2013, including landscapes and communities in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The collection consists of 23 chromogenic color prints, 44 x 56 cm, including two pairs of prints presented as diptychs, as well as a single print measuring 51 x 61 cm. The collection also includes a portrait of her daughter, Isobel McPhee, created in Nevada.

Photographs of Arizona in 2012 include views of the former open pit copper and turquoise mine operated by the Phelps Dodge Corporation at Lavender Pit in Bisbee and a view of the Ray Mine Project, a copper mine in Pinal County.

Photographs of Idaho, 2007-2013, include discrete views of the Silver City and the Meadow Creek Wind Farm in Ririe as well as sites along the Big Wood River and Salmon River. Two prints document the aftermath of a forest fire at the White Cloud Peaks.

A diptych of photographs of Nevada in 2012 documents the Smoke Creek Desert with the railway of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.

Photographs of Utah, 2010-2011, include discrete views of Burr Creek in Long Canyon and Lime Creek in Valley of the Gods as well as views of electric lines along the Book Cliffs, the interior of a store in the ghost town of Mutual, and tanker railcars on a railroad siding at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) project site in Crescent Junction.

Photographs of Wyoming in 2013 include views of natural gas wells in the Wind River Basin, an abandoned automobile service station in Green River, and the Kemmerer Mine coal strip mining complex in Lincoln County as well as images of Scotty Lake in Sweetwater County and the Worthen Meadow Reservoir in Shoshone National Forest.

Manuscript inscriptions of titles and dates by the photographer on versos of most prints.


  • 2008 - 2013


Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Laura McPhee on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2014 and 2017, and gift of Laura McPhee, 2014 and 2018.


Organized into five series: I. Photographs of Arizona, 2012. II. Photographs of Idaho, 2007-2013. III. Photographs of Nevada, 2012. IV. Photographs of Utah, 2010-2011. V. Photographs of Wyoming, 2013.

Related Materials

Laura McPhee River of No Return Collection (WA Photos 591). Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


4.1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Photographs created by Laura McPhee that document sites in the American West, 2008-2013, including landscapes and communities in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

Laura McPhee (born 1958)

Laura McPhee is a photographer. Born in New York City and raised in central New Jersey, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Princeton University in 1980, and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986. Her work, which ranges from portrait to landscape to still life, is widely exhibited nationally and internationally. She has been a member of the faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design since 1986 and lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.


Guide to the Laura McPhee Photographs of the American West
In Progress
by Matthew Daniel Mason
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.