Congratulations to One of our Favorite New Mexicans!

Marcia Keegan Receives Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women

Award presentation takes place in Albuquerque on May 7th, 2010

Date May 6, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Author Editor


Categories Local News & Sports



Started in 1986 during former Governor Bruce King's second tenure, this prestigious award honors 20 women, selected from statewide nominations, for their exceptional contributions and achievements. Appointed by the Governor, judges award women for their extra efforts to improve the status of women in our state. They are rated on community leadership, effectiveness of advocacy for positive change for women and families, and leadership in their careers.

This year, is proud that one of our own family has been given this award in recognition for her many contributions to New Mexico, to the advancement of New Mexico women and families, and her tireless work in documenting, preserving and promoting the culture of Native Americans in our state.

About Marcia Keegan

Marcia Keegan has been photographing throughout all 19 New Mexico Pueblos and Navajo country for more than 30 years, documenting traditional Southwestern Indian lives, culture and landscapes with bold, compelling shapes and colors. Celebrating the natural beauty of the Southwest and the traditions of the Native Americans who are her friends, she shares their spiritual involvement with the land and effectively conveys it through her work. She is the only photographer to have taken pictures in all nineteen New Mexico Pueblos.

A native of the Southwest, Keegan was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After receiving her degree from the University of New Mexico and working for a number of years as a photographer for the Albuquerque Tribune and the Albuquerque Journal, she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a feature photographer for the Associated Press, then as a free-lance photographer, covering stories for national magazines and book publishers. In the early 70s, Keegan received a book assignment about the Navajos in New Mexico. While back in her adopted state of New Mexico, she discovered a new sense of peace and of the sacredness of life among all peoples, particularly in the Pueblo and Navajo cultures. The focus of her career became illuminating the beauty, holiness and true meaning of sacred land and the triumph of the human spirit. Keegan has traveled to the Himalayas and been involved in the Tibetan culture as well. In 1979, she introduced the Dalai Lama to the Hopi.

In 1988 Keegan and her husband, Harmon Houghton, started their own company, Clear Light Publishing, in Santa Fe. Several books featuring Keegan's photographs are available from Clear Light. These include Taos Pueblo and Its Sacred Blue Lake (commemorating in words and photos the return of Blue Lake to the Taos People) and Mother Earth, Father Sky (a beautiful volume of color photographs enhanced by Native songs, prayers and chants). Later works include Enduring Culture (pairing of modern photos by Keegan with those of frontier photographers, showing how Native American culture has endured through the years); New Mexico (Keegan's photographic love poem to the land and peoples of her adopted home); Pueblo Girls (a chronicle of how traditional and modern ways mix in the lives of two young sisters at San Ildefonso Pueblo); The Southwest Indian Cookbook (Native recipes augmented by bits of history and folklore, illustrated with Keegan's color photography); and Pueblo People: Ancient Traditions, Modern Lives (her greatest work, containing studies of all 19 New Mexico Pueblos, celebrating the beauty of the landscape and the richness of the cultures and lives coexisting in harmony with that landscape-all with the intimacy of a personal photo album).

Keegan and Clear Light have also published several books illuminating the culture and the land of Tibet and the Himalayas. Ocean of Wisdom features the words of the Dalai Lama and Keegan's photographs of Tibet. Ancient Wisdom, Living Tradition: the Spirit of Tibet in the Himalayas brings alive the cultural-spiritual traditions of the peoples and the beauty of the lands of Tibet and the Himalayas.

Keegan's photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the White House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kansas City Museum, the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, the Albuquerque Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. She has had one-woman shows at the Philbrook Art Museum, Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, Reed Whipple Cultural Center in Las Vegas and SACI Gallery, Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy.

An activist for the promotion of Native culture, Keegan has served on the board of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and was a member of the Po'pay Statuary Hall Commission. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council.