The iconic U.S. Senator and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, Barry M. Goldwater, is mostly known as a politician, his passion for photography was as powerful as his commitment to politics. As a photographer, Goldwater’s primary intention was to record what Arizona looked like during his lifetime, "bringing together an artist’s eye and an anthropologist’s commitment to recording his homeland’s ancient cultures and timeless, yet fragile landscapes.” He had access to places that were typically off limits to most photographers, including the Hopi and Navajo nations. He was allowed into those places because he built relationships with the people. He respected them, and they respected and trusted him. As a result, Goldwater was able to make pictures of people, places and things that in many cases had never been seen before.
Upon his death, he left more than 15,000 negatives and slides and more than 25 miles of motion picture film, including a veritable treasure trove of images and movies chronicling nascent Arizona from its early statehood until almost the end of the 20th century. Goldwater's work earned him an associate membership in the Royal Photographic Society and a lifetime membership in the Photo- graphic Society of America. Ansel Adams wrote that the senator "made photographs of historical and interpretive significance, and for this we should be truly grateful.” With a major grant from the Foundation’s pioneer sponsor, SRP, the Foundation’s efforts to preserve Arizona’s photographic legacy for future generations. The Foundation intends to make the collection available for exhibitions, educational platforms and through a future the Goldwater Virtual Library.