Plateau: Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton Artist and Advocate in Early Arizona
Mary Russell-Ferrell Colton: Artist and Advocate in Early Arizona
Authors: Alan Petersen, W. James Burns, and Betsy Fahlman
2012, Volume 7, #2
“Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton and her husband, Harold Sellers Colton, were the principle founders of the Museum of Northern Arizona. The Museum opened its door in September 1928, at the Woman’s Club in downtown Flagstaff. Between 1934 and 1936 the Museum constructed and moved to its permanent and current home on Fort Valley Road. Although the Museum did not end up on ‘a mesa top overlooking the city,’ in every other respect it embodied the vision for the museum Mary-Russell articulated in her 1927 letter to the Coconino Sun. Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton was a visionary – and much more. She was an accomplished artist, an educator, a curator, and an advocate. She advocated for art education for all people, Native American rights, and for the support of Native American art. Her vision, her passion for the land and people of northern Arizona, and her bedrock belief that the arts are fundamental to and essential for the education of all people are still core tenets of the museum she helped establish.” - Dr. Rober Breunig, President Emeritus
Plateau magazine is dedicated to inspiring and educating readers by showcasing the scientific, artistic and cultural wonders of the Colorado Plateau region.
A publication of the Museum of Northern Arizona