Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:17

Atha Love Wright Earnest -- Santa Fe Style

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Atha Love Wright Earnest, born December 30, 1910, wrote an account of her life, From The Prairie To The Mountain, where she imparts her fascinating life journey, from her childhood in Oklahoma, in the early part of the last century, to her later life as a clothing maker in Santa Fe. 

Born in the prairie of Oklahoma, Atha describes her brave and solo move from her family home on the prairie to the Estancia Valley in New Mexico.   Working to support herself, she graduated from high school in Vaughn and soon  after married Edgar Elbert Earnest in 1935 in McIntosh, NM.  Before long, they created a life in Española, he as a high school teacher, she as a mother and homemaker. 

In the late 1950s, Atha and Edgar moved to Santa Fe where they would leave their mark on the community.  Atha opened her Birdwatcher boutique in 1970.  Located on Canyon Road, the shop carried her popular creations of velvet as well as ribbon shirts for men, and also fashionable broomstick skirts.   With a love of people and a fondness for creating, Atha was at home with her great array of customers, from locals wanting the perfect fashion to wear for the Santa Fe Fiestas, to the famous, such as Robert Redford, Bill Mauldin and Amado Peña, to name a few, who frequented her shop.  

Sensitive to the representation of the heritages she saw around her, it would be fair to say that Atha was one of the original forces behind Santa Fe style. 

by Maria Montez-Skolnik

Read 1830 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:27
Maria Montez-Skolnik


Both sides of my family trace their roots in the Santa Fé area to the 1600s.  In the earlier years they were primarily farmers, builders, craftsmen, artists (wood carvers and weavers), and educators.  I graduated from SFHS & NMSU and received my BA & MA in Speech & Language Pathology. I divide my time between Santa Fé and the San Francisco Bay Area.  


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