A Finding Aid to the Kathy Vargas Papers, circa 1965-2016, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.vargkath
Creators:
Vargas, Kathy
Dates:
circa 1965-2016
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
10.8 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of San Antonio-based educator and photographer Kathy Vargas measure 10.8 linear feet and date from circa 1965-2016. Vargas's career is documented through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, project and exhibition files, professional files, and printed material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of San Antonio-based educator and photographer Kathy Vargas measure 10.8 linear feet and date from circa 1965-2016. Vargas's career is documented through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, project and exhibition files, professional files, and printed material.
The collection contains biographical materials, including a video recording of an interview, photographs of family and friends, and records for Vargas's studies at the University of Texas. Correspondence is with Lucy Lippard, Jim Goldberg, Jeff Perrone, colleagues, and others. Topics of professional correspondence includes exhibitions, publications, and residencies. Writings and notes that include five notebooks, manuscripts by Vargas and others, notes, and lecture and panel talks. Project and exhibition files document her work on major exhibitions of Chicano art, and include twelve sound recordings of interviews for the exhibition Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry. Other projects include the Guerrilla Girls Fotonovela and research on San Antonio shrines. Professional files document Vargas's activities on various boards and committees, employment, and for her work on selection panels. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition material, magazines, posters, and other publications.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as six series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1965-2014 (Boxes 1, 12; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1979-2014 (Boxes 1-5, 12; 4.0 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1985-2014 (Boxes 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Project and Exhibition Files, 1984-2004 (Boxes 6-8, 12; 2.0 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Professional Files, 1975-2016 (Boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1974-circa 2010 (Boxes 9-12, OV 13; 2.4 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Kathy Vargas (1950- ) is an educator and photographer in San Antonio, Texas.
Vargas's early influences were the stories of her elder family members, Catholicism, and her uncle Antonio Valdez, a photographer. In the early 1970s, Vargas became acquainted with rock and roll photographers who introduced her to their world of professional photography. Her interest led to taking photography classes at the Southwest Craft Center where she studied under photographer Tom Wright. She quickly became captivated with the art form and started freelancing as a rock and roll photographer. Around this time, Vargas also became familiar with Chicano art and the artist group Con Safo, co-founded by Mel Casas. Vargas and Casas maintained their friendship until his death.
In addition to attending the Southwest Craft Center, Vargas also attended San Antonio College. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1981 and a Master of Fine Art in 1984 from the University of Texas in San Antonio. Vargas has exhibited her work, as well as curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, collaborating with colleagues such as Jim Goldberg, close friend Lucy Lippard, and others. Vargas is a professor and art department chair at the University of the Incarnate Word where she developed a Bachelor of Fine Art program for photography. Previously she was the Visual Arts Director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2019.
Author
Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Kathy Vargas papers were donated in 2016 by Vargas.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Kathy Vargas papers, circa 1965-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival records with audiovisual records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.

Related Materials
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history with Kathy Vargas conducted by Jacinto Quirarte, in San Antonio, Texas on November 7-25, 1997 for the Archives of American Art.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hispanic American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers -- Texas -- San Antonio Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Texas -- San Antonio Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lippard, Lucy R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goldberg, Jim, 1953- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Perrone, Jeff Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guerrilla Girls (Group of artists) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/