Orto Photograph Collection

TITLE: Orto Photograph Collection

DATE RANGE:   1950s-1980s


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:  3 linear feet (4 boxes)

PROVENANCE:  Steve and Anne Orto, 1980s.

COPYRIGHT:   Yuma County Library District owns copyright 

RESTRICTIONS: This collection is unrestricted.   

CREDIT LINE: Orto Photograph Collection Y-PC 6, Yuma County Library District

PROCESSED BY: Linda Whitaker, January 2015

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:  Steve and Anne Orto owned the Hobby Craft Shop at 46 W. 2nd Street, Yuma, Arizona from 1953 to 1977.  Both were popular, civic-minded citizens who contributed to the quality of life in Yuma.  Anne was an active member of the Christian Science Church, Pilot Club, Desert Manor, Freedoms Foundation, Yuma County Historical Society and co-founder of Senior Citizens Day on the Territorial Mall.   The Ortos were charter members of the Yuma Fine Arts Association and headed the Arts and Crafts display at the Yuma County Fair for twenty-eight years.  For her enthusiastic leadership and many contributions to the community, Yuma Mayor Phil Clark proclaimed Anne Orto Day just two days before she died on July 1, 1983.

Her husband, Steve was also a professional photographer who documented Yuma County Fair events, youth model plane and car model competitions in addition to formal portraiture, buildings and landscapes. His photographs provide the bulk of this collection.  Steve Orto died August 11, 1986 at his home in Yuma. The Ortos were survived by daughter, Lois Biggs and two grandchildren of West Lake, Ohio. 


The photographs are significant for their quality and composition. They document youth and fine arts activities over a 20-year period and fill in important cultural and recreational gaps in the historical record. Apart from yearbook and class photos, youth is underdocumented statewide. These photos provide candid and engaging images on making airplane models as well as activities relating to fine arts and crafts.  

Arranged in eight series. Series I: Arts and Crafts – documents a wide range of activities with a focus on airplane models, competitions, and Yuma Fair displays. Series II: Buildings – local, regional and national images featuring architectural and structural details.  Series III: Contact Prints –photographic prints made by placing a negative directly onto sensitized paper, glass, or film and illuminating it; includes samples of a wide range of projects; Series IV: Family and Friends – covers social gatherings and community events; Series V: Fine Arts – documents displays at Yuma County Fair, Yuma Arts Center, and artists at work; Series VI: Landscapes – local, regional, national locations; Series VII: Portraits -  formal sittings including military officials, youth, and Anne Orto; Series VIII: Oversized – 14 x 11 photographs sampled from the previous series.


Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Arts and Crafts:  General       1 of 2  1950s-1960s
  2 Arts and Crafts:  General       2 of 2 1950s-1960s
  3 Arts and Crafts:  Model Cars n.d.
  4 Arts and Crafts:  Model Planes  1950s-1960s
  5 Arts and Crafts:  Model Plane Competitions 1950s-1960s
  6 Arts and Crafts:  Model Planes with Remote Control    1960s
  6 Buildings: Various 1950s-1960s
2 1 Contact Prints:  Various n.d.
  2 Family and Friends:   1 of 2 1950s-1980s
  3 Family and Friends:   2 of 2 1950s-1980s
  4 Fine Arts:  Art Shows, Instruction 1950s-1960s
  5 Fine Arts:  Special Events n.d.
3 1 Landscapes:  Various 1950s-1960s
  2 Portraits:   Street Scenes, People of San Luis   1 of 3 1950s-1960s
  3 Portraits:  Weddings, Musicians,  Actresses  2 of 3 1950s-1960s
  4 Portraits:   The Ortos, Desert Shoots 3 of 3 1950s-1960s
4 15 Oversized 1950s-1960s


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