View of Arequipa and Mountian Misti, Peru


This photograph of a scene in Peru is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. In Lands of the Andes and the Desert (1924), part of Carpenter's World Travels series, Carpenter wrote: “Arequipa is built in an oasis made by the Chile River in the arid Andes of this Pacific coast desert. It is walled in by ragged dry mountains but bedded in a valley of perpetual green. A legend regarding its origins relates that a party of Quichua Indians under an Inca leader came upon this beautiful little oasis after a long march through the bare and dusty mountain slopes of the surrounding desert. Upon their asking the Inca to be allowed to stay on that fertile and peaceful spot, he replied. ‘Ari, quepai,’ which in the Quichua language means, ‘Yes, remain’.” Max T. Vargas (1874–1959), who took this photograph, was one of two photographer brothers who had a studio in Arequipa, Peru.

Last updated: September 29, 2014