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Sarah M. Lowe collection

Identifier: AG 269

Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection surround research conducted by art historian and author Sarah M. Lowe regarding Italian-born photographer Tina Modotti.

The collection includes the following series:

Series 1, Correspondence, bulk 1985-1994, includes correspondence both to and from Sarah M. Lowe as she searched for information pertaining to Tina Modotti's life and works for her dissertation, s well as subsequent publications and exhibitions.

Series 2, Teaching Files, 1997-1998, contains articles and syllabi for courses Lowe taught.

Series 3, Research Materials, bulk 1988-2004, is the bulk of the collection and contains all of the research conducted for the catalogue raisonné on Tina Modotti. Materials include articles [mostly photocopies], correspondence, images, bibliographies, chronologies, photo identification reports, and other research materials. Additionally, materials include contact prints of Modotti's work from the negatives held at Museo del la Fotografia in Pachuca, Mexico. With the prints include photograph reports that document the images size, condition, provenance, and other notations. There are additional notes, photocopies, articles, and correspondence supporting the documentation. These materials were stored together in binders assembled by Lowe.

Series 4, Publications, 1984-2004, includes magazines, articles, and newspapers relating to Tina Modotti. Please note that some publications have been separated from the collection, and a complete list is available and indexed in this finding aid.

Series 5, Photographic Materials, includes reproductions of Tina Modotti's photographs and negatives, as well as some from Edward Weston and other photographers that were included in Lowe's research.

Series 6, Audiovisual Materials, 1983-1995, feature recordings of and on Modotti and exhibitions. Of note is a silent film featuring Tina Modotti, "The Tiger's Coat," from 1920.


  • Majority of material found within 1922 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement.

Biographical Note

Sarah M. Lowe is an author, curator, and art historian based in New York. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from CUNY Graduate Center and a BA in Art History from Vassar College. Lowe has authored and contributed to several books, including Tina Modotti: Photographs, Tina Modotti and Edward Weston: The Mexico Years, Frida Kahlo and Consuelo Kanaga: An American Photographer. She has been a curator at numerous institutions, including Hartwick College and Brooklyn Museum, and a curator for the Center for Photography at Woodstock and Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has also served as a lecturer at Adelphi University, in 1986 and 1990, Kean College of New Jersey, 1987, and Montclair State College and State University of New York College at Purchase, both 1988.

Tina Modotti: Photographs is the catalogue of the first comprehensive exhibition of Modotti’s work, organized around Modotti’s centennial birthday, by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and later traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Born in Italy, Tina Modotti (1896-1942) emigrated to the United States in 1913. She met photographer Edward Weston, who encouraged her photography, around 1920, and together they moved to Mexico City in 1923. She joined the Communist party in 1927, and was active in political art movements, counting Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Manuel and Lola Alvarez Bravo, and numerous other artists as friends. Her photographs focused on social and political issues in Mexico until she was deported in 1929. She stopped photographing after 1931. For the next seven years she lived in Moscow, Berlin, and Spain working with Workers International Relief organizations. At the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, she returned to Mexico under a pseudonym. She died in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1942 at the age of 45.


13.55 Linear Feet (29 boxes)

10.71 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials




Spanish; Castilian


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Series 1: Correspondence

Series 2: Teaching Files

Series 3: Research Materials

  1. Subseries 1: Catalog raisonné
  2. Subseries 2: Associates of Tina Modotti [subject/agent files]
  3. Subseries 3: General research materials

Series 4: Publications

Series 5: Photographic Materials

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Custodial History

This collection was donated by Sarah M. Lowe in 8/30/2018 and 12/11/2018.

Related Materials

AG 38, the Edward Weston archive held at the Center for Creative Photography, holds correspondence from and photographs of photographer Tina Modotti. The Edward Weston Daybooks also document the relationship between Modotti and Weston in Mexico.

Separated Materials

26 books from Sarah M. Lowe's research collection have been separated from the collection. A complete list is available below.

Journals, articles, magazines, mostly about Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and Maria Yampolsky.

List of Reference Books

  1. Constantine, Mildred. Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life. Chronicle Books, 1996.
  2. Toffoletti, Riccardo. Tina Modotti: Perché Non Muore Il Fuoco. Ed. Arti Grafiche Friulane, 1992.
  3. Hooks, Modotti, & Modotti, Tina. (1993). Tina Modotti : photographer and revolutionary. Pandora.
  4. Modotti, Miller, R., Throckmorton, S., & Throckmorton Fine Art, Inc., contributor. (1997). Tina Modotti photographs. [2 copies]
  5. Tina Modotti. Aperture Masters of Photography. Published by KÃ nemann. 1999.
  6. Modotti, T. (1995). Lettres à Edward Weston: 1922–1931 (ROC.RECITS). ANATOLIA LE ROC.
  7. Tina Modotti Garibaldina e Artista. 1973. Circolo culturale Elio Mauro.
  8. Toffoletti, R., & Nimis, G. P. 1968. Le valli del Natisone. G. Soriano.
  9. Palmquist, P. E. (1990). A Bibliography of Writings by and about Women in Photography, 1850–1950. P.E. Palmquist.
  10. Lo Studio Pignat, Bergamini, Giuseppe. Ribis, 1992.
  11. Pietro Modotti. Ellero, Gianfranco. Ribis, 1992.
  12. Silvio Maria Bujatti. Ellero, Gianfranco. Ribis, 1992.
  13. Attilio Brisighelli. Ellero, Gianfranco. Ribis, 1992.
  14. Umberto Antonelli. Cadoresi, Domenico. Ribis, 1992.
  15. Italo Zannier. Ellero, Gianfranco; Maniacco, Tito. Ribis, 1992.
  16. Guiliano Borghesan. Maniacco, Tito. Ribis, 1992.
  17. Modotti, T. (1983). Tina Modotti I Grandi Fotografi (Serie Argento). Gruppo Editoriale Fabri.
  18. 100 Books with Original Photographs, 1846-1919 Paperback – January 1, 2003 ; Publisher. Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. and Margolis & Moss
  19. IL Mito Del Paesaggio Nel La Fotografia Del Novecento in Fruili.
  20. Barckhausen-Canale, C. (1989). Verdad y leyenda de Tina Modotti. Casa de las Américas.
  21. Barckhausen. Tina Modotti. Publisher: Neues Leben, 1989
  22. El gran lente: Fotofrafías del estudio fotográfico, 1930 a 1973, Fresnillo, Zacatecas y México, D.F (Colección Retrato hablado). 1992.
  23. Barckhausen, C. (1989). Tina Modotti: Wahrheit und Legende einer umstrittenen Frau : Biografie. Verlag Neues Leben. [2 copies]
  24. Barckhausen, C. (1988). Auf den Spuren von Tina Modotti (German Edition). Pahl-Rugenstein.

Various journals, articles, magazines

  1. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, Pre-Columbian/Spanish Colonial Issue. Vol. 1. 1968.
  2. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, History of Photography Issue. Vol. 2. 1977.
  3. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, The Nineteenth Century. Vol. 3. 1978.
  4. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, The Graphic Arts. Vol. 4. 1979.
  5. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, French Oil Sketches. Vol. 5. 1980.
  6. New Mexican Studies in Fine Arts, Photography/Post-Modern. Vol. 8. 1983.
  7. Mexican Folkways, Vol 3. 1927.
  8. Art And Social Change, U.S.A. Vol. XL, No 2, 1983.
  9. Jump Cut: a review of contemporary cinema, #33. Jump Cut Associates, Berkeley, 1988.
  10. Photography Center Quarterly #53, 1992. Elizabeth Ferrer, Geno Rodriguez, et al. Jan 1, 1992.
  11. La Jornada, Semenal. No. 145, 22 of March. 1992.
  12. Nueva Luz, a photographic journal. Vol. 4, No. 4. 1995.
  13. Lapis, Percorsi della riflessione femminile. No. 27, Sept 1995.
  14. Afterimage, The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. Vol. 24, No. 3.
  15. Telegraph magazine. 3 April 2004
  16. Sabado. 30 septiembre, 1989
  17. Sabado. 21 de Noviembre, 1987
  18. Sabado. Septiembre 21, 1991
  19. Sabado. Noviembre 2, 1991
  20. Sabado. Diciembre 7, 1991
  21. Elena Poniatowska: el eterna porque
  22. Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Geoff Dyer.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Alisha Budy in 2021-2022.

Sarah M. Lowe collection
In Progress
Alisha Budy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States