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Maria Chabot to Irene Zelinski, 1955 October through 1956 August

 File — binder: 21
Identifier: 1.7.1

Scope and Contents Note

From the Collection:

The Maria Chabot Papers contains materials collected by Maria Chabot. Included are personal records; diaries and travel diaries; extensive correspondence dating from 1933 to 2001 with colleagues, family, and friends; interviews with Chabot; photographs, slides, and negatives; notebooks, research notes, writings, brochures, photocopies, and other miscellaneous papers; as well as a small number of materials related to Chabot family history including family albums, histories, photographs and records. The bulk of the materials relate to Maria Chabot's research, writing, and literary work. There are more than 60 drafts or completed short stories, novels, and non-fiction materials that Chabot generated over the years, along with rejection letters she received from publishers; copies of the published articles on Indian arts and crafts that she wrote in the 1930s; and documents, notes, photographs, records and reports she generated when attending conferences, taking courses, and working on various projects. Chabot undertook significant projects in the 1930s and 1940s, including a photographic survey of Southwestern native and traditional arts and crafts with artist Dorothy N. Stewart; stewardship of the Los Luceros hacienda, deeded to her by museum founder Mary Cabot Wheelwright; and an unpublished book on her time as a companion of Georgia O'Keeffe at Ghost Ranch and the renovation of O'Keeffe's home in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The collection also contains books, newspaper and magazine clippings, art work, photographs, ephemera, and audiovisual materials of interest to Maria Chabot, which she collected over her lifetime.


  • Creation: 1955 October through 1956 August


Language of Materials

From the Collection:

Materials predominantly in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public for research purposes. Select materials in this collection may be restricted for reasons of cultural sensitivity or for privacy. Materials related to the Christiane Gallet biography are restricted. Some materials in this collection were labeled "confidential" by Maria Chabot during the course of her lifetime; they do not necessarily have present-day restrictions on access. See the Archivist for more information. Some materials are fragile and may require handling by the Archivist.


From the Collection: 74.4 Linear Feet (62 Full Hollinger boxes (15.25" x 5" x 10.25"): 25.85 Linear feet. 71 Half Hollinger boxes (15.25" x 2.5" x 10.25"): 14.84 Linear feet. 8 11x14 boxes: 9.36 Linear feet. 8 9x12 boxes: 9 Linear feet. 6 16x20 boxes: 10.02 Linear feet. 1 20x24 boxes: 2 Linear feet. 8 5x12 boxes: 3.33 Linear feet. 164 total boxes.)


Sixty-six letters from Letters from Maria Chabot to Irene Zelinski, Oct. 19, 1955 – Aug. 19, 1956 are contained in this box. Five letters, Oct. 19, 1955 – Feb. 15, 1956, written by Chabot to Zelinski after Zelinski has left her to go with Georgeanna Wight to San Francisco. The first two letters are written from Texas, where Chabot is with her mother. The letter of Feb. 8 is written from Los Luceros in New Mexico, where most of the other letters originate. This letter has two versions of its pages 2 and 3. Included with the letter of Feb. 15th is a handmade valentine from Zelinski to Cabot. Four letters, Feb. 21, 1956 – [Feb. 26, 1956], are written from Los Luceros and describe Chabot's life and problems there as do most of the letters in this box. The first letter is noted as " Not sent"; the second letter, Feb. 25, reflects on Chabot's written account of Dorothy Stewart's death in Mexico [See: Maria Chabot Archives, Dorothy Stewart, Death in Mexico] and settling Stewart's estate. This Feb. 25 letter is followed by one dated only, "Sunday Night," and this is then followed by a reflection by Chabot on the crisis in her life caused by the absence of Zelinski. Nine letters, Feb. 27, [1956] – March 13, 1956, describe life and problems at Los Luceros and Chabot's growing sense of loss for Zelinski. Eight letters, March 17, 1956 – March 29, 1956, are similar in content like the ones preceding. The letter of March 17 tells of a visit with O'Keeffe and describes how O'Keeffe uses people. A part of the March 17 letter is noted "Not sent," as is a pencil-written commentary that follows it. Six letters, April 3, 1956 - April 12, 1956, describe Chabot's life at Los Luceros. Eight letters, April 15, 1956 – April 29, 1956, describe a visit to Los Luceros by Mary Wheelwright and her cousin Josiah, who handles her finances. The letter of April 15 has a note by Chabot across the top of the first page, " Who loves you and oh how very much." This letter and the one following on April 17 contain information on Wheelwright's finances. Seven letters, May 1, 1956 – May 9, 1956, continue to describe Wheelwright's visit to Los Luceros. The letter of May 2 describes a visit by Rebecca West, her husband, and Caroline Bieber. Six letters, May 10, 1956 – May 25, 1956, concern the end of Wheelwright’s visit and tell of Chabot preparing to go to San Francisco to visit Zelinski. The letter of June 27-28, 1956 addressed to Zelinski is a personal musing written in San Francisco in which Chabot agrees to receive psychotherapy in Albuquerque when she returns to New Mexico. Seven letters, July 11, 1956 – July 23, 1956, are written after Chabot's return to Los Luceros and have a notation by Chabot at the top, "to ILZ" (to Irene L. Zelinski). In the letter of July 11, Chabot writes that she has made an appointment with Dr. Ross, a psychiatrist in Albuquerque. The letters of July 18 – July 23, 1956 describe her sessions with Dr. Ross. The letter of July 23, 1956 has a carbon copy, with the notation, "to ILZ - Not sent." Six letters, July 24, 1956 – August 8, 1956, continue to describe Chabot's sessions with Dr. Ross. The letter of July 30 describes a trip to Hopi Pueblo, a visit with Alice Marriot, and the relationship between Marriot and Zelinski. These letters have various marginal notes by Chabot. Four letters from Los Luceros, Aug. 15, 1956 – Aug. 19, 1956, tell of Chabot preparations to go to San Francisco, where she will take over care of Georgeanna Wight so Zelinski can take a rest at Los Luceros.

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Repository

217 Johnson Street
Santa Fe NM 87501 US