Marion Oettinger Collection of Fieldnotes

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxSaT SC.008

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Marion Oettinger Collection of Fieldnotes


  • 1945-2016, undated (Creation)


2 boxes (1 linear foot)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr., is the Curator Emeritus of Latin American Art and the former Kelso Director of the San Antonio Museum of Art. Oettinger received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of the Americas, Mexico, and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also studied at the Monterrey Institute of Foreign Studies, Monterrey, California, and the University of Pittsburgh. Oettinger has lived and worked in various parts of Latin America and Spain for more than 25 years and has conducted research among groups in Mexico, Central and South America, Spain and countries of the Caribbean. A cultural anthropologist and art historian specializing in Latin American art and culture, he has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. He has taught at Cornell University, Occidental College, and the University of North Carolina and is the recipient of Fulbright Hays, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Geographic Society, and American Philosophical Society grants and the 2010 Van Deren Coke Lifetime Achievement Award in Spanish Colonial Art and Folk Art. Oettinger joined the San Antonio Museum of Art in 1985 as Curator of Folk Art and Latin American Art, later serving as Senior Curator of Latin American Art (1994-2004, 2011-2018) and Betty and Bob Kelso Director of the San Antonio Museum of Art (2005-2011). In 2018 Oettinger became the Curator Emeritus of Latin American Art at SAMA. He resides in San Antonio, Texas.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Collection of fieldnotes compiled by Dr. Marion Oettinger while conducting anthropological fieldwork in Mexico, primarily in the 1970s. Oettinger's research focused on lienzos. A lienzo, from the Spanish word for "canvas," is a sheet of cloth painted with indigenous Mesoamerican pictorial writing. This collection includes fieldnotes on nine lienzos: the Lienzos of Chalchihuapan, Malinaltepec, Petlacala, San Gabriel Etla, San Juan Cuautla, Santiago Atitlan, Santo Domingo Barrio Alto, Xochiaca, and Xoxocatlan. The fieldnotes include photographs, slides, negatives, and transparencies; photocopies from printed works and government documents; typed and handwritten notes; manuscript drafts; maps; and correspondence.

System of arrangement

This collection maintains the organizational system of the creator. Dr. Oettinger organized his notes by the subject lienzo.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Donated to Coates Library by Marion Oettinger, Jr., 2018.

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Marion Oettinger Collection of Fieldnotes, 1945-2016. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, San Antonio, Texas.

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

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Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by Colleen Hoelscher, November 7, 2018.

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