Laura Adams Armer

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Laura Adams Armer
Born Laura May Adams
January 12, 1874
Sacramento, California
Died March 16, 1963
Occupation American writer, novelist and photographer
Language English
Nationality American
Education California School of Design in San Francisco
Notable awards
  • Waterless Mountain won the Newbery Medal
  • Newbery Medal for the Navajo: Waterless Mountain
Spouse Sidney Armer

Laura Adams Armer (January 12, 1874 – March 16, 1963)[1] was an American artist and writer. In 1932, her novel Waterless Mountain won the Newbery Medal. She was also an early photographer in San Francisco, California.


Armer was born Laura May Adams in Sacramento, California. While studying at the California School of Design in San Francisco, she met her future husband, Sidney Armer.[2] From around 1900, she had her own business in the city as a portrait photographer and displayed her works at exhibitions. Her photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown (c. 1900) are in the collection of the California Historical Society.[3]

Her special interest in the Navajo and the Southwestern United States led to a silent film The Mountain Chant (1928) and to photographs of the day-to-day activities of the Navajo including sandpainting. Armer was a successful writer, winning the Newbery Medal for her children's book about the Navajo: Waterless Mountain in 1931.[4]


Armer's photographs are in the collections of the California Historical Society, San Francisco, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley, and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, New Mexico.[4]

Published works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art
  2. ^ Bostrom, Kathleen Long (2003). Winning Authors: Profiles of the Newbery Medalists. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-56308-877-3. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Lee, Anthony W. (2001). Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco. University of California Press. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-0-520-22592-3. 
  4. ^ a b Peter Palmquist, "Laura May (Adams) Armer (active 1899-1930's)", in 100 Years of California Photography by Women: 1850-1950. Retrieved 22 March 2013.

External links[edit]