Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Di Prima, Diane  Search this
Sherman, Donald  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Wieners, John  Search this
Lamantia, Philip  Search this
Jordan, Patricia M.  Search this
Hirschman, Jack  Search this
Jess  Search this
Herms, George  Search this
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Meltzer, David  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Symmes, Robert  Search this
Perkoff, Stuart Z.  Search this
Fonda, Peter  Search this
Hopper, Dennis  Search this
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Heinecken, Robert  Search this
Ginsberg, Allen  Search this
Patchen, Kenneth  Search this
Miller, Henry  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Sound recordings
Works of art
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Physical Description:
5 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copy requires advance notice.
Letters, notes from an interview of Berman, art work, issues of Berman's underground publication Semina, and one of "S.M.S.", printed materials, photographs and audio tapes provide an overview of the career of California assemblage artist and beat poet Wallace Berman, as well as the "beat" movement in California in the late 1950s through the 1970s. Approximately two thirds of the collection consists of Berman's library - mostly poetry - including many first editions, by writers of the beat movement.
Wallace Berman papers, 1907-1979, bulk 1955-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
This collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 5282-5284 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Biography Note:
Wallace Berman (1926-1976) was an assemblage artist and poet in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. Born in Staten Island, N.Y., Berman moved to Los Angeles with his family in the 1930s. After being expelled from high school for gambling, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and the Chouinard Art School. By the 1950s, he had become a full-time assemblage artist and produced a mail art publication Semina, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by Berman. In 1963, he permanently settled in Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles and created verifax collages and rock assemblages.
Donated 1991 by Tosh Berman, Berman's son.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Semina  Search this
Beat generation  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Art  Search this
Collage  Search this
Poets  Search this
Assemblage artists  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Record number:
Art Movements and Schools
Lives of American Artists
Audio - Visual
Data Source:
Archives of American Art