Early Images of Chaco Canyon

Carlos Vierra 1876–1937

Carlos Vierra took aerial photographs of the ancient ruins at Chaco Canyon in 1928. The following year Charles Lindbergh’s took his own archaeological photographs of the area. Vierra also helped to restore the Palace of the Governors, which is the oldest capitol building in the United States. In 1915 Vierra created the above painting for the 1915 San Diego Exposition.

First Art Studio on the Santa Fe Plaza

Carlos Vierra opened an art studio on the Santa Fe plaza in 1904. A prolific artist and photographer, he collaborated with the School of American Research in the restoration of the Palace of the Governors in 1909. That was the beginning of his role in advocating for the Pueblo Style Revival architecture. Today, that type of structure has become synonymous with Santa Fe’s unique landscape.

Tuberculosis & Art

Vierra was the first major commercial artist to arrive in Santa Fe. Of Portuguese descent, the artist and photographer lived in California. In the early part of the 20th century he moved to New York and then Santa Fe, seeking a cure from tuberculosis. It was at Sunmount Sanatorium that he met another patient, Brazilian architect John Gaw Meem. The Portuguese language created a bond between the two, which led them to spearhead the Pueblo Revival of Santa Fe architecture.

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