This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Sabrina Henry is an American photographer who offers us glimpses of her work on a website full of interesting snapshots of daily life and its little corners. On her website, she has a blog where she tells us the stories behind the «photos that tell a story».
In her most recent entry, she talks about the Basques, their presence in the US, and of the Martin Hotel, a Basque hotel in Winnemucca, Nevada. Her blog entry begins by making reference to a great photographer who has a special place in our hearts, William Albert Allard.
William Alber Allard has special importance to us. It was he who, in 1967, accompanied Basque-American Robert Laxalt on his trip to the Land of the Basque to write an extraordinary 37-page article that was published in the August 1968 issue of National Geographic with the title “Land of the Ancient Basques”.
In 2012, we dedicated an entry to this article, which began with a full-page map of the Basque Country. It absolutely had to have been an article that caused some strong indigestion to the Francoist Spanish ambassador to the US–and that ambassador just happened to be Alfonso Merry del Val y de Alzola, who was born in Bilbao in 1902.
The photographs in that article show the Basque Country that is now in our past, from another time, but which many of those who have moved this country so far forward in so little time lived through.
Sabrina Henry refers to one of these photos when she cites the compilation book “William Albert Allard: Five Decades” and one of her first photographs, that of some Basques listening to a bertsolari.
The Martin Hotel is on the US National Register of Historic Places, and for Sabrina Henry to find it seems like finding a fragment of the world William Albert Allard documented in his photographs.
As we like to say, the Basque Country is where the Basques are, and Sabrina Henry felt that way when she went into that hotel full of stories and history.
Sabrina Henry – 10/5/2016 – USA
In Basque Contry
At the beginning of Bill Allard’s retrospective book William Albert Allard: Five Decades, there is a picture of Basque men listening to a poet. It is one of a few from his Basque collection that are my favourite photographs he has made. You can imagine my excitement to be in the North American equivalent of Basque country even though there are few authentic traces of their settlement remaining. The Martin Hotel is one of those.