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Bertha Dutton is an internationally recognized scholar whose interests range from research on history of Indians of the Southwest to interpretation and preservation of their present culture and crafts. Her work as anthropologist, museum administrator, writer, and lecturer has greatly enlarged our understanding of new Mexico's Indian people.
She came to New Mexico from Nebraska in 1932 and received a B.A. in 1935 and an M.A. in 1937 from the University of New Mexico. Her Ph.D. is from Columbia University in 1952. From 1937 to 1965 she was a staff member of the Museum of New Mexico. She was responsible for designing exhibits communicating the state's Indian cultures to visitors.
In 1965 she left the Museum of New Mexico to become director of the Museum of Navaho Ceremonial Art in Santa Fe, retiring in March, 1975. During her tenure the Ceremonial Art Museum was transformed from a poorly lighted private collection to an effective display of Navaho culture.
She has done field work in Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Guatemala, but most of her research has focused on the Southwest. Her first excavations were at Chaco Canyon and in the Jemez area.
Each summer from 1947 to 1957 she led world-wide groups in the Senior Girl Scout Archeological Camps program. The girls toured Southwestern archeological sites inacessible to the general public and had a taste of actual digging at the Galisteo basin under her professional supervision.
A recognized authority, she has presented scientific papers at international conferences, but she is equally skilled at giving popular lectures which interpret Indian culture to the general public. Her numerous publications range from scholarly reports to works intended for the lay reader.
Retirement has meant no cessation of activity for this energetic woman. She continues to write and serves as consultant to the Fred Harvey Foundation and the Museum of Navaho Ceremonial Art. She is the only woman member of the advisory committee for the National Park Service.
"Bertha Dutton, Doctor Different," The Santa Fe Scene, June 25, 1960, p. 4-7.
Sue Major Holmes, "Dutton: A View of 'Indians as People,'" Albuquerque Journal, April 20, 1975, P. D-7.
Cather MacCallum, "Dr. Dutton's Life Molded by Accident, Kindness," New Mexican, Feb. 8, 1970.
Mark Panitch, "Dr. Dutton Transforms Museum in Two Short Years," New Mexican, Feb. 4, 1968, p. D-2.
Oral history of Dr Dutton, Oct. 8, 1957 by Barbara Reeback, Albuquerque Branch, AAUW.
History | Women's History
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American Association of University Women-New Mexico. "Bertha Dutton." (1976). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nm_women_aauw/5