Amidst paths

The Photographic Collection of Anita Jones

By Museo Textil de Oaxaca

Alicia Matías from San Juan Mazatlán in the Plaza de la Danza in Oaxaca City (1962-12) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

One of the remarkable features of the photographic collection of Anita Jones is the rich amplitude of themes depicted: landscapes, botany, traditional markets, textiles, vernacular architecture, local festivities, trades and crafts, and many other themes found in the daily life of the indigenous peoples both in their communities and in the urban context. Anita was self-taught in photography and anthropological investigation and along with her husband Roy Jones, they founded in the 1940s the Hotel Oaxaca Courts (now known as Hotel Misión de los Ángeles). Over the course of many years, her interests were guided and nourished by the hundreds of researchers and professionals that would reside in their establishment. She came to know the likes of naturalists such as Tomas MacDougall, the Cordys (experts in Mesoamerican textiles), archaeologists like John Paddock, anthropologists such as Gertrude Blom, among many others who shared their knowledge and passions with her. With many of them, Anita would form lifelong friendships.

House and church in San Mateo del Mar (1966-06) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Apoala church, Anita Jones, 1968-12, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Festivities for the patron saint in San Juan Copala, Anita Jones, 1964-03, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Passion Sunday (1967-04) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

The majority of Anita’s photos were taken between the 1950s and the mid 1970s and focus on the state of Oaxaca, although there are also photos from Guerrero, Puebla, Chiapas, and Guatemala. Anita would travel to very remote towns by foot, by horse, in her jeep, or in light aircraft, accompanied by friends and even hotel guests to see and document the customs of towns frequently overlooked by academia in those years. Notable trips include the Chontal, Triqui, and Afro-Mexican regions. In this last one, Anita took the only photographs of Afro-Mexican weavers that we are aware of, together with Francis Bristol, one of her closest friends and frequent travel companion. Given the closeness of the two, Francis’ collection of textiles and photographs (now housed in the Logan Museum of Beloit College) forms a complimentary collection to that of Anita.

Maria Juliana Petra Antonio, 85 years old from San Bartolo Yautepec, Anita Jones, 1962, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Natividad Olivera's sister spinning cotton, Anita Jones, 1965-03, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Tehuanas in San Mateo del Mar on market day (1966-06) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Santa María Yalina (1954-05) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Sr. Ubando's lumber camp, Anita Jones, 1968-01, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Market in Yalálag, Anita Jones, 1964-05, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Holy Week in Teotitlán del Valle (1960) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Weaving class on the backstrap loom (1968-12) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Sr. Nicolas pressing the forms for his "panecitos benditos" (1960) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Washing maguey fiber (1968-03) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Blind chirimia player in el Tule, Anita Jones, 1966, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Man tuning his guitar during Carnival in San Juan Chamula, Anita Jones, 1965, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Musicians from Tamazulápam (1968-08) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Born in Tampico in 1916 of Dutch ancestry, Anita passed away in 2005 in her house located in San Felipe del Agua, Oaxaca. Her daughter-in-law, Elsa Moreno de Jones, graciously decided to donate the photographs to the Textile Museum of Oaxaca (MTO) in 2017. After stabilizing, inventorying, and scanning the collection that consists of more than 4,000 slides and other photographic materials, the MTO was able to ensure their preservation and open consultation. It should be noted that a large number of the slides were taken with Ektachrome film and were on the verge of being lost due to a process of chemical decomposition, turning these images almost completely red.

Lunes del Cerro (1961-07) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Campeche water carts, Anita Jones, 1972-03, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Couple from San Juan Numí on market day in Tlaxiaco, Anita Jones, 1960-03, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Women from San Miguel Peras crossing the Atoyac river on their way to the market (1960) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Lagoon in Lacandon, Anita Jones, 1963, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Selecting feathers for the hair decorations of married women in Lacandon, Anita Jones, 1963, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Carmen from Usila (1965) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Century plants and wheat fields, Anita Jones, 1960-01-01, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more
Cochineal mothers in baskets, Anita Jones, 1960-02, From the collection of: Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Show lessRead more

Donkey in Quiriguá with fancy halter to keep away flies (1971) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Woman in Tamazulápam (1968-08) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Nopal (1957-02) by Anita JonesMuseo Textil de Oaxaca

Despite a lack of a specific theme in Anita’s work, she would always manage to find the most interesting and unexpected aspects of the place that she would find herself in; taking her time to find the best way to frame her shot. The result is a corpus of photographs that are distinguished for their great documentary value in the ample sense of the everyday life of the peoples of Oaxaca; taken with the patience and passion of a person that valued the multiplicity of the human experience.

Credits: Story

Credits of the exhibit shown at the San Pablo Cultural Center in Oaxaca (January – June, 2019):

Texts: Nicholas Johnson
Revision of texts: Hector Meneses
Curation: Nicholas Johnson, Alejandro de Ávila, and Hector Meneses
Museography: Nicholas Johnson and Hector Meneses
Installation: Laura Santiago and Eva Romero
Digitalization: Jesús Aguilar
Graphic design and production: Abraham Hernández
_________________

Presidency: María Isabel Grañén Porrúa
Direction: Hector Meneses
General curator: Alejandro de Ávila
Administration and accounting: Yazmín García and Verónica Luna
Textile research: Noé Pinzón
Educational services: Adriana Sabino and Gema Peralta
Conservation: Laura Santiago
Community outreach: Gema Peralta
Communication: Salvador Maldonado
Collections: Eva Romero and Jesús Aguilar
Store: Monserrat Ruíz
Maintenance: Manuel Matías, Víctor Robles, Conrado López, Alma Salinas, and Ruth Leyva

Special thanks: Elsa Moreno de Jones

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps