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Photo of the Week #63

Cavalliere Ketchum

Cavalliere Ketchum, Manzano, New Mexico, ca. 1968

Cavalliere Ketchum, Manzano, New Mexico, ca. 1968


The 1951 Cadillac was the epitome of the American Dream...grand in scale, luxurious in comfort, fast on the road, recognizable anywhere.  How ironic that in the small village of Manzano, a short drive into the mountains east of Albuquerque, this icon sits stuck in the brush, now a hangout for teenage boys unlikely to ever own one.  In the background sits the Torreon, or tower, an enduring adobe structure in this 300 year old village of descendants of the original Spanish settlers.   
Cavalliere Ketchum embraced the centuries old communities that were scattered along the winding mountain roads from Albuquerque to Taos, and made timeless pictures that brought dignity to its residents.  Click the link below to learn more about Ketchum, his close friend and collaborator the singer/songwriter James Talley, and the lingering spirits of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Cavalliere was my first photography professor, at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. The entire trajectory of my career in photography begins with him.  Unselfish to a fault, he provided his students with passion, history, folk lore, and adventure. Easter vacations meant trips to New Mexico: a back road into Taos at dusk; a traditional ceremony at an isolated Pueblo not open to the public; an ancient church filled with crutches and braces from the many young men who served America proudly during the Vietnam War and were lucky to make it home. To his many friends who lived along the Road to Torreon, he is The Picture Man. 
A wonderful selection of his vintage photographs from New Mexico taken in the late 1960's are available at the Gallery.  Inquiries welcome.