The Santa Fe Railway and its concessionaire, the Fred Harvey Company, created a vision of the Southwest. Jointly, their publications promoting the merits of the “Indian Southwest” number in the tens of thousands. These varied publications, and even matchbook covers, evoke vivid images of an adventurous journey through a previously remote world. Encounters with American Indian people and cultures were primary attractions. Images of the land and its people served both to whet travelers’ appetites and to provide souvenir reminders of Southwestern adventures.
Drawing on a rich collection of ephemera that features the Fred Harvey and Santa Fe Railway companies’ activities at the Grand Canyon and other key focal points in the Great Southwest, this exhibit presents examples of pamphlets, advertisements, postcards and other promotional materials produced by the two companies. Pottery, textiles, jewelry and other artforms from the Heard Museum’s permanent collection will represent the Native peoples who inspired visitors through their artworks and cultures, further illustrating the story of the business partnership that was foremost in shaping the Southwest.
The catalog that accompanies this exhibition, Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon and in the Great Southwest stands on its own. In in vivid detail it lays out how, in the late 19th-century, the Santa Fe Railway opened up a strange, spectacular new territory to travelers, and how Harvey followed, establishing restaurants, hotels, and shops ... and the iconic Harvey Girls.