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Guide to the Laura Aguilar Papers and Photographs, 1981-1995.
Special Collections M829  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note:
  • Scope and Contents Note:

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Laura Aguilar Papers and Photographs,
    Date (inclusive): 1981-1995.
    Collection Number: Special Collections M829
    Creator: Aguilar, Laura
    Extent: 2.75 linear feet.
    Contributing Institution: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Acquired from Laura Aguilar, 1996.

    Acquisition Information:

    Purchased from Laura Aguilar, 1996.

    Access Restrictions:

    Consult Special Collections staff.

    Publication rights:

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item], Laura Aguilar Papers and photographs, M829, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Processed by:

    Patricia Mazón, 1996 April

    Biographical Note:

    Laura Aguilar is a photographer whose works are mostly portraits. Professor Chon Noriega of UCLA's Department of Film and Television writes that Aguilar's work documents "social groups and identities that remain invisible in mainstream culture: Latina lesbians, black couples, obese people, et al." She cooperates with her subjects so that "her work is not about power differentials between photographer and subject as is often, if implicitly, the case with...the social documentary tradition." An autobiographical element is also apparent in Aguilar's work. Art critic Diana Emery Hulick noted that "the circumstances of [Aguilar's] life are reflected overtly in her art." Aguilar, Hulick wrote, "is large, lesbian, and Chicana, acutely aware of her separateness, yet comfortable enough with herself to present us with a personal vision that is both intimate and authoritative."
    Laura Aguilar was born in west San Gabriel Valley, California in 1959. She has studied in the East Los Angeles Community College photography program and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop, among other programs. In 1994/95 she was the recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship and in 1991/92 of an Artist's Project Grant from Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). Her work has appeared in exhibits in California, Texas, New York, and Mexico. Collections of her work can be found at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department in Santa Monica, California. Aguilar lives in Rosemead, California.
    Diana Emery Hulick "Laura Aguilar," Latin American Art 5:3 (1993), 52-54.

    Scope and Contents Note:

    The Aguilar Papers and Photographs include the personal and professional materials of Laura Aguilar and occupy 2.75 linear feet. The collection traces through correspondence with mentors and friends both Aguilar's artistic development and her struggle with dyslexia. Her professional achievements are detailed in the series on exhibitions and published works. The print series includes original prints of three of Aguilar's photographic series: Latina Lesbians, Plush Pony, and Clothed/Unclothed.


    The papers total 7 boxes and are arranged in the following series:
    • Correspondence
    • Exhibitions and Published Works
    • Prints

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cuadros, Gilbert.
    House, Suda.
    Martel, Pat.
    Tenneson, Joyce.
    Hispanic American lesbians.
    Mexican American art.