Buckley photographs historical treasures   Leave a comment

An Apache woven water vessel

An Apache woven water vessel

The Arizona Historical Society has literally hundreds of thousands of artifacts in its collection, and a big anniversary to mark. The organization turns 150 years old in 2014.


To celebrate the occasion, AHS decided to showcase a carefully selected group of 150 artifacts, turning to its staff and volunteers to suggest items that speak to various aspects of Arizona’s history. And it turned to Daniel Buckley to photograph each item for a publication to be issued later this year.


Wallace-Ladmo_DSC6666-swBuckley has worked with AHS on a number of projects in the past, ranging from documenting the visit of a broadsheet original copy of the Declaration of Independence, to a piece on the history of Geronimo, a film on centennial quilt makers, and a documentary on the history of Yuma, Arizona. In addition AHS has been a collaborative partner in Buckley’s Cine Plaza at the Fox documentary series.


While he photographed all of the 100 quilts for AHS’ centennial celebration, this was the first strictly photographic project that Buckley has done for AHS, and there were significant challenges. The items ranged in size from a WW II training aircraft, a locomotive and a logging truck to the wedding bend that belonged to Wyatt Earp and the tiny beads of a necklace made of paper by those detained in Arizona’s Japanese internment camps. There were relics from the Spanish colonial period, and even the era when France ruled Mexico, along with “modern” items. And the items were spread from AHS branches in Tucson, Flagstaff and Tempe to the Sanguinetti House in Yuma and a printing press on loan in Tubac.


boots_DSC4092-sw-dbaThere were cameras used to photograph the building of the state’s great dams, a hatch from the U.S.S. Arizona destroyed at Pearl Harbor, Geronimo’s rifle, costumes from the popular Phoenix children’s show Wallace and Ladmo, a sheepherder’s wagon, an iron lug, a tortilla maker, and the HAMM radio senator Barry Goldwater used to connect troops in Vietnam with their families back home. The collection included items of agriculture and mining, warfare and conquest, fashion, art, medicine, whimsy, culture, crime, transportation, celebration, tragedy, protest, commerce and daily life.  Together these items, created and handled by Arizonans of every type and era, tell a compelling story of our state’s history.


Daniel Buckley Productions is proud to have been chosen to document these artifacts for history. Examples from this special collection will be on display at all of the Arizona Historical Society branches in the fall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *