Village Church of Paricutin

ID: SIA2009-0864 and F97B

Creator: Foshag, William F

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: June 31, 1943

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7281, Box 7, Folder: Photographs of Parícutin #F15-#F33c; 1943

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A village church near the Paricutin volcano shows destruction caused by the eruption. The photographter is standing inside the church looking back at the entrance doors. The roof of the church has been distroyed and the sky and trees are visible beyond the church. Lava has filled the building.


National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • The Paricutin volcano erupted from 1943 to 1952 with several eruptive phases. In early 1943, residents near Paricutin, Mexico, about 200 miles west of Mexico City, experienced hundreds of earthquakes. On February 20, 1943, a large fissure opened in the cornfield of Dionisio and Paula Pulido, Tarascan Indians. A crater soon formed, and over the next ten years, hundreds of scientists from around the world witnessed the birth and growth of a volcano. Foshag, from the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, and Dr. Jenaro Gonzalez Reyna from the Mexican government, spent several years at the site, observing and documenting it through field notebooks, photographs and films. This was the first time that volcanologists were able to fully document the entire life cycle of a volcano, and the numerous studies published increased understanding of volcanism in general and especially scoria cone formation.
  • See also image number SIA2009-0863 for another image of the church.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7281, Box 7, Folder: Photographs of Parícutin #F15-#F33c; 1943

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


June 31, 1943

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Scientific expeditions
  • Earth Sciences
  • Landscapes
  • Geology
  • Natural History
  • Explorations and Expeditions
  • Volcanoes
  • Volcanism
  • Parícutin Volcano
  • Church buildings
  • Earth sciences
  • Volcanoes--Mexico
  • Natural history




  • Photographic print
  • Landscape
  • Exterior

ID Number

SIA2009-0864 and F97B

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white ; Size: 5w x 4h; Type of Image: Exterior; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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