Jim Turner

Jim Turner,

Arizona Historian

Wednesday, February 17, 2021,

2:30-3:30 pm,

an ASA Zoom Webinar*

Ever since cameras were invented, Arizona has inspired spectacular photography. We know that good photos are a prime way to embellish history, but it is equally true that history is a prime way to embellish an iconic photograph. Without its history a photo is naked, perhaps a technical and aesthetic marvel, but lacking meaning. Jim Turner returns to the ASA to show us some of the vital links between history and photographs.

“John Wesley Powell with Tau-Gu,” by John Karl Hillers (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Preeminent photographers who have focused their lenses on Arizona include not only Ansel Adams, but Edward Curtis, who preserved Arizona’s vanishing Native American cultures in stunning landscapes and portraits. Josef Muench photographed Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, catching the attention of film director John Ford; their collaboration produced the classic Western, Stagecoach (1939).   Dorothea Lange photographed cotton workers in Arizona in 1940, and Barry Goldwater documented Navaho and Hopi life in photos. 

Jim Turner’s family moved to Tucson in 1951. His parents took the Turner kids to many famous Arizona sites, setting off his fascination with the Grand Canyon State and its history. In 1974 he took his first Arizona history class. He taught the subject at Canyon del Oro High School in 1976 while training for his BS in secondary education, continuing to teach and write in a variety of settings. He earned an MA in US history in 1999. While on the staff of the Arizona History Museum from 2001-2009, Jim worked with more than seventy history museums across Arizona. He has recently been working on a second edition of his book, Arizona: A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State (2011).

*For access to the Zoom webinar, please write info@arizonasenioracademy.org.

Written by Brack Brown, Academy Village Volunteer



Feb 17: “The Dream Catchers: 150 Years of Arizona Photography”