AR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series

Series, MOIFA.AR.00015.2
Part of: AR.00015 MOIFA Curators > AR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series
Richard Bowen Stark, Curator of Collections at the Museum of International Folk Art from 1962 to 1967, compiled a significant collection of materials related to Hispanic folk music and folk drama of New Mexico for the Museum. His association with the Museum as a researcher continued into the 1970's. He compiled material from other sources, and corresponded with major researchers in this field, including Juan B Rael and JD Robb, bringing together information and resources previously dispersed. Stark performed his own fieldwork as well, recording performers in Northern New Mexico in the 1960's. His book Music of the Spanish Folk Plays in New Mexico (co-authors Ruben Cobos and TM Pearce) was published in 1969, to be followed by Juegos Infantiles Cantados en Nuevo Mexico in 1973, and Music of the Bailes in New Mexico (co-authors Reed Cooper, Aurora Lucero-White Lea, and Anita Gonzales Thomas) in 1978. In 1973, Stark won a Fulbright grant which he combined with a grant from the International Folk Art Foundation to finance a year of research in Spain into the Spanish origins of New Mexico's alabados (religious songs associated with the Penitente Brotherhood). Stark's alabado research is covered in his unpublished report, as well as in the essay Notes on a Search for Antecedents of New Mexican Alabado Music within Hispanic Arts and Ethnohistory in the Southwest: New Papers Inspired by the Work of E. Boyd, edited by Marta Weigle with Claudia Larcombe and Samuel Larcombe. This research also informs his extensive notes for the recording Dark and Light in Spanish New Mexico (New World Records 80292).
1956 – 1992 Bulk date(s)
July – August 2018 Date(s) of record-keeping activity
Sub-Series 1: 2 legal size large document boxes. Sub-Series 2: 18 legal size large document boxes. Sub-Series 3: 3 large boxes.
Administrative/Biographical History
Richard Bowen Stark was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 21, 1923. He discovered his passion for music as a child singing in an Episcopal choir. Stark attended Colorado College, where he met his future wife, Mary Lou. His education was interrupted for service in World War II. A radio operator on a C-47 cargo plane, he received the Air Medal, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and various service medals. Following the war he completed his studies at Colorado College, and he and Mary Lou were married. Stark completed a Master's degree in Music at Yale University, and went on to teach at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Here began his deep interest in folk music traditions. The Starks were also active in racial justice and integration efforts. The family, now including sons Gregor and Jeffrey, moved to Middletown, Connecticut when Richard B. Stark took up a position teaching at Wesleyan University. In the early 1960s, the Starks moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, as Richard B. Stark took up a position as a curator at the Museum of International Folk Art, specializing in World Music. The Starks' third son, Richard, was born soon after the family came to New Mexico. Richard B. Stark engaged in deep studies of traditional Hispanic folk music in Northern New Mexico, conducting original research, publishing several books, making many recordings and collecting many examples of lyrics of Northern New Mexico folk music and texts of folk drama. This research forms the basis of an important archival collection at the museum. When the museum moved away from exploration of music, Stark moved on to St John's College in Santa Fe. He had begun teaching there in 1965, and was Musician in Residence from 1976-1979. His interest into the origins of New Mexico music continued, and in 1973 he received a Fulbright grant to continue the research in Spain. Additional research into Spanish origins of New Mexico's alabados was funded by the International Folk Art Foundation. Throughout his life Stark also served as organist or choir director for many Episcopal churches, including the Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe. He studied piano, taking lessons late in his life from Virginia Mackey. Richard Bowen Stark touched the lives of many: family, students, folk musicians, researchers, and members of his community. [see for obituary published in the Santa Fe New Mexican]
Scope and Content
The Richard Stark series illuminates the work of a significant scholar as well as the rich history of New Mexico's Hispanic folk music and drama. Sub-series one, Papers, includes correspondence, material related to the production of Stark's books, book reviews and notices, music transcriptions, a research notebook from alabado studies in Spain, photographs, and copies of major publications. Sub-series two, Accessioned Materials, is the heart of this series. It includes recordings, texts, transcriptions, and other materials collected by Stark for the Museum of International Folk Art and accessioned into the Museum collection. Almost all the accessioned items were later transferred to the Museum library, where they were scattered. From 2013-2017 they were reunited and moved into the Museum archives. In the 1990's a major effort was made to remaster many of the recordings for preservation purposes and accessibility. In 2017-2018 all the recordings were digitized, except the copies of recordings made by Juan B Rael and JD Robb, as these are preserved elsewhere. Sub-series three, Remastered Recordings, is an accretion including the 1990's remasters in various formats and the 2018 digital recordings.
Contents List
Digitized Recordings and Scans: for access information, please inquire at Bartlett Library and Archives. Sub-Series 1 -- Papers Box 1, Folder 1: Correspondence, reports, and proposals related to International Folk Art Foundation support of Stark's collecting and research. This is primarily administrative material, but gives insight into scope of projects and locations visited. Projects include Los Pastores (1965-66), Los Pastores (1968-69), Alabados (1969-70), Music of the Spanish in New Mexico (1970-71), Canciones de Niños en Nuevo Mexico, and Music of the Penitent Brotherhood in New Mexico and its Sources in Spain (1973). Box 1, Folder 2: Correspondence with Reed Cooper of El Rancho, NM. Cooper made tapes and transcriptions for Stark. Box 1, Folder 3: Correspondence discussing research with with LB Spiess from 1965 through 1976. Lincoln Bunce Spiess was a professor in the Department of Music of Washington University in Missouri. Box 1, Folder 4: Correspondence with Juan Bautista Rael from 1965 through 1974. Rael (1990-1993), a native of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, was a distinguished linguist and folklorist, and a professor at Stanford University. His recordings are preserved in the Juan B Rael Collection at the Library of Congress ( The Stark-Rael correspondence covers many areas of research, donations by Rael to the Museum, and discussion of the reprinting of Rael's Cuentos Españoles de Colorado y Nuevo Mexico (Spanish Folk Tales of Colorado and New Mexico). Box 1, Folders 5 through 9: Folders 5 through 9 contain paste-up copy for the book Music of the Spanish Folk Plays in New Mexico. The folder division follows the division of folders as found in the original papers. Folder 5 is pages 12-87; 6 is pages 89-137: Tomé - Corrales; 7 is pages 139-193: Bernalillo - Galisteo; 8 is pages 195-273: Rowe to San Cristobal; and 9 is pages 275-367: Los Pastores. Box 1, Folder 10: Book reviews, correspondence, and public relations material for Music of the Spanish Folk Plays in New Mexico. Box 2, Folder 11: Reviews, correspondence, ephemera related to publication of Juegos Infantiles Cantados en Nuevo México, and a copy of the book. Box 2, Folder 12: Proofs for the publication Music of the Bailes in New Mexico and a copy of the booklet Bailes y Fandangos by Anita Gonzales Thomas. Box 2, Folder 13: Material found in a manila envelope labeled "Pastores." This includes a section edited out of the published version of Music of the Spanish Folk Plays in New Mexico, with notes; an article on Los Pastores; a reprint of the article Journey of the Shepherds from El Palacio, Winter, 1966; a poem, Mortaja de Eternidad, by Cleofes Vigil; and A Belen Presurosos Marchemos "from music in a folder of Eunice Hauskins in a box E. Boyd had." Box 2, Folder 14: Alabado study report and research material, including Alabado Study 1973-74 and Summer 1976; a letter reporting on the research, and various papers from 1992 concerning prior non-alabado work. Box 2, Folder 15: An Original workbook of music transcriptions labeled "Richard Stark - Alvarez Quintero__[may read Quinterogo] 60,4 - Sevilla, España - Musica de los Alabados." Box 2, Folder 16: Music of the Pentitent Brotherhoods in New Mexico and Its Sources in Spain, a report on the 1973-74 research. Box 2, Folder 17: Music transcriptions and worksheets. Box 2, Folder 18: Inventories of texts of Los Pastores held at the Museum of International Folk Art. Box 2, Folder 19: Photographs and transparencies by Wyall Davis, Frank Bond, E. Boyd, and Kenneth Schar. Some are from Juegos Infantiles Cantados and some appear to have been intended for an alabados publication. Box 2, Folder 19: Papers covering accession notes, questions about rights and use of material, and other notes about the Stark material and potential uses. It is unclear who compiled these papers, Stark or a Museum librarian. Box 2, CD: A copy on cd of Light and Dark in New Mexico. Sub-Series 2 -- Accessioned Material Please see the pdf finding aid for details of contents. It can be viewed from this page, or requested from the Bartlett Library and Archives. Sub-Series 3 -- Remasters Sub-Series 3 consists of three large boxes holding the 1990's era remastered recordings in a variety of formats including tape reels, cassette tapes, and digital audio tapes, as well as a series of discs created by the University of New Mexico. UNM digitized the copies of various Stark recordings provided to Dean Robb during the course of their correspondence, and kindly provided copies to MOIFA in 2016. The remastered recordings have all been digitized. Please request access to digital copies for remasters. UNM recordings may be accessed at the Center for Southwest Research at UNM.
Conditions Governing Access
Contact the Bartlett Library and Archives at the Museum of International Folk Art (505-476-1210) for further information.
Museum of International Folk Art Archives (MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark AR.00015.2).
LOC Terms
Folk songs, Spanish [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85050080], Folk drama, Hispanic American (Spanish) [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh99003179], Alabados [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85003085], Christmas plays, Spanish [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh88004359], Corridos [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85033043], Singing games [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85122839]
Geographic names
Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mexico, Spain
Related people
E. Boyd (is related to); Richard B Stark (is creator of); Bartlett Library and Archives (owns); Museum of International Folk Art (owns); International Folk Art Foundation (owns)

Collection Items