Guy and Doris Monthan

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Guy and Doris Monthan, a photographer-writer team, have done many articles on American Indian artists.

Doris Born Monthan who was the author of a novel and five books on American Indian Art and numerous articles passed away quietly at her home in Corrales on January 30th 2012. Doris was born in Manitowoc Wisconsin May 26, 1924, and from the time she wrote her first poem at the age of seven she seemed destined to choose writing as her career. Doris began her career writing for the Tucson Daily Citizen at the same time she did publicity for the University of Arizona Press Bureau. Her writing was also a wonderful vehicle for travel; In 1945, Doris moved to New York, where she became an editor at Women's Wear Daily and did fashion publicity and promotion. Later she moved to Mexico City where she covered the UNESCO Conference, she also covered the Pan American Tennis Tournament for the English-speaking paper there. She was asked to be the hostess of the Benjamin Franklin Library, sponsored by the American Library Association, and later was recommended as a tutor for two little girls of an American family living in Mexico, and lived with the family at Rancho de Carmen, an old Carmelite mission. She became lonely for her native country and returned to the states for her second trip to New York, where she became an associate editor at Simplicity Fashion Magazine. This was a great experience for an up and coming young woman to work with the Hollywood stars. Claudette Colbert, Eve Arden, and Celeste Holms were some of the stars Doris would meet with in developing fashion apparel that these stars would model in the Simplicity catalog. While in New York she attended writing classes at NYU and John R. Humphries writing seminars at Columbia.

She married Guy Monthan in Los Angeles California in 1952, whom she had known since they both attended Tucson high school. Guy is a native Tucsonan who was the nephew of Oscar Monthan for whom Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson was named. They were married for 54 years until his passing in 2006. Doris completed her novel "The Thief" a romantic fiction novel, after encouragement from the author Ray Bradbury who reviewed some of the material from her Los Angeles writer's workshop. "The Thief" was published by Putnam in 1961. Doris and Guy moved to Flagstaff Arizona in 1970 where he taught commercial art and design at Northern Arizona University and she worked as the editor and chief at Northland Press and Editor of the Northern Arizona Museum Notes. While in Flagstaff, Guy and Doris were a photographer/writer team on many projects. They collaborated to write, design, and publish three books and numerous articles for the American Indian Art magazine throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Their first book together, "Art and Indian Individualists" was a ground breaking book of 3 editions published in 1975. This book highlighted seventeen Native American artists who all broke from tradition and later became world renown. "Art and Indian Individualists" won the Best Western Book and Coffin Club awards in 1975. Their book "Nacimientos" written in three languages was recognized by the international group "Friends of the Crèche" in Santa Fe in 2005 for the first book that featured Native American nativity scenes. Nacimientos had 6 editions published in 1979 and 1990. Their last collaborative book, "Pueblo Storytellers" with 9 editions published between 1986 and 1997 was voted among the ten best southwest books by the Boarder Regional Library Association and the Arizona Daily Star in 1986. Doris also wrote two notable books on R.C. Gorman, "The Lithographs" with 5 editions published in 1978 and the "A Retrospective" with 2 editions published in 1990. After living in Flagstaff for 25 years Doris and Guy moved to Corrales where she has lived for the past 20 years. Their frequent research projects caused them to travel to New Mexico where they fell in love with the state, choosing it for their retirement. Doris received the Red Shoe Award in 2010 for her dedication to writing.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun – Doris Monthan Obituary, February 2, 2012.