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I’m for Stew: The Life and Times of Stewart Lee Udall (exhibit)

Dates: January 10, 2011 - August 5, 2011

Location:   Special Collections

Contact: Chrystal Carpenter


UPDATE: Exhibit extended through August 5!

New Exhibit Commemorates the Life and Legacy of Stewart Lee Udall

Special Collections at the University Libraries announces its newest exhibition, “I’m for Stew: The Life and Times of Stewart Lee Udall,” on display from Jan. 10 – June 15, 2011 in the gallery at Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd. A lecture series will be held throughout the spring in conjunction with the exhibit.

Titled after Udall’s congressional campaign slogan, “I’m for Stew” offers a glimpse into the many causes championed by Stewart Lee Udall. A congressional representative of Arizona, Stewart Udall was also Secretary of the Interior from 1961-1969 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, a champion of civil rights, an avid conservationist, a lawyer, a B24 gunner during WWII and a University of Arizona alumnus. Among notable Arizona politicians, Stewart Lee Udall enjoys a unique and enduring legacy. 

Born in St. Johns, Arizona in 1920, Udall is often referred to as Arizona’s native son. Following the Udall family tradition of public service, Stewart was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1954 from Arizona’s 2nd district. Shortly after being re-elected to a fourth term in 1960, President-elect Kennedy appointed Stewart Udall as Secretary of the Interior – the first Arizonan to hold a cabinet level position.

A strong advocate for conservation, during his tenure Udall oversaw numerous environmental initiatives including the founding of 4 national parks, 56 wildlife refuges, 8 national sea and lake shores, and the enactment of environmental legislation including the 1964 Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, and the National Trail System Act of 1968. Udall continued to fight for conservation following his retirement from politics in 1969, and he is considered a leading voice in American environmentalism.

“I’m for Stew” features a wide variety of materials ranging from the 1920s-2010, all selected from the Stewart L. Udall, Morris K. Udall and Levi Udall collections held in Special Collections at the University Libraries. Among the items on display are WWII memorabilia and correspondence; campaign scrapbooks; letters, legislation, and reflections from Udall’s political career; correspondence with Rachel Carson, Ansel Adams, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and others; materials relating to the integration of the Washington Redskins NFL team; two of Udall’s books, The Quiet Crisis and To the Inland Empire: Coronado and our Spanish Legacy; and Udall’s University of Arizona diploma.

Photographs from the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program – a program which takes young people into national and state parks to inspire appreciation for the beauty of national parks through photography – are also displayed in the exhibit. For his commitment to conservation and national parks, the Parks in Focus Program was renamed for Stewart Udall in 2009. The photographs are on loan from the Udall Foundation.

Curated by congressional archivist Chrystal Carpenter, “I’m for Stew: The Life and Times of Stewart Lee Udall” celebrates that life and legacy of this influential Arizona native whose contributions to American society continue to resonate today.

Stewart Lee Udall died on March 20, 2010 at the age of 90.

The exhibit and corresponding lecture series are sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

Related Lecture Series

Lecture I
Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Stewart Lee Udall with Senator Tom Udall
March 24, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Special Collections

Note: The lecture program will run from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Born to Stewart and Lee Udall in Tucson, Arizona, Tom Udall became New Mexico's 17th United States Senator in 2009 after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and New Mexico's State Attorney General. You are invited to join Senator Udall as he shares his reflections on the life, work, and legacy of his father, Stewart Lee Udall.

Lecture II
Reflections on the Environmental Legacy of Stewart Lee Udall with Robert G. Stanton
April 20, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Special Collections

Robert G. Stanton, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and Director of the National Park Service from 1997-2001, will reflect on the impact of Stewart Lee Udall's environmental work and will explore how Udall came to be considered a leading voice in American environmentalism.

Lecture III
Reflections on Stewart Lee Udall: A Panel Discussion about Udall as a Lawyer, Author and Supporter of the Arts
May 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Special Collections

Among notable Arizona politicians, Stewart Lee Udall enjoys a unique and enduring legacy. You are invited to join a special panel presentation that explores Udall through three lenses: as a lawyer, author, and a supporter of the arts.

Cheryl Knott Malone, Associate Professor, UA School of Information Resources & Library Science, will explore Udall's contributions as an author

L. Boyd Finch, author, Legacies of Camelot: Stewart and Lee Udall, American Culture, and the Arts, will address Udall's impact on the arts

Charles Ares, J. Byron McCormick Professor Emeritus and Special Advisor to the UA Rogers College of Law, will share his memories of practicing law with Stewart Lee Udall and Morris Udall


Related coverage:

UANews (video) | Sen. Tom Udall Visits UA Exhibit Honoring His Father
AZ Public Media (video) | I'm for Stew
UANews (video) | Exhibit Remembers Life of Stewart Udall
UANews | New Exhibit Commemorates Stewart Lee Udall Legacy