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Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987

view Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987 digital asset number 1
Creator:
Focus Gallery
Subject:
Abbott, Berenice
Adams, Ansel Easton
Brandt, Bill
Bullock, Wynn
Caponigro, Paul
Cunningham, Imogen
Dater, Judy
Heinecken, Robert
Hosoe, Eik?
Johnston, Helen
Leibovitz, Annie
Porter, Eliot
Siskind, Aaron
Uelsmann, Jerry
Weston, Brett
George Eastman House
Torren Gallery
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
11.8 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires and appointment.
Summary:
The records of San Francisco's Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.
Exhibition files comprise the bulk of the collection and generally contain a wide range of materials including correspondence, short biographies, forms requesting artists' background information, flyers, booklets, brochures, checklists, loan agreements, sales records, news releases, and photographs and negatives. Among the many photographers exhibited were Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Wynn Bullock, Paul Caponigro, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, Eikoh Hosoe, Annie Leibovitz, Eliot Porter, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, and Brett Weston.
A relatively small amount of general business correspondence includes orders and payments for photographic prints, books, and magazine subscriptions, some personal notes, and requests for information about how to submit for exhibitions and for exhibition schedules. Correspondents include customers, photographers, publishers, law firms, museum, and colleges and universities. Correspondence from the founding year contains Johnston's letters to various venues prominent in art photography, such as George Eastman House. There is also a letter to Ansel Adams requesting prints to sell or for a small opening exhibit.
Additional records include artists' files; sales and inventory records containing print and bookshop inventories, general pricing information and receipts for photographs; and printed materials including flyers and brochures, bookshop catalogs, and news releases. There are also scattered administrative records, including gallery history, a file on the Toren Gallery and five owner's notebooks, as well as The Imogen Cunningham Trust files documenting Focus Gallery's interactions with the trust before and after Cunningham's death regarding photographs printed and signed by her; financial and legal files; and guest books.
Documents in the collection that pre-date the founding of the gallery are found in the Toren Gallery file and a few of the exhibition files.
Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Related Materials:
Among the holding of the Archives of American Art is an untranscribed interview of Helen Johnston by Louise Katzman or Irene Borger in the collection Interviews of California Photographers 1981 June-November 20.
Helen Johnston left her private photography collection to the de Saisset Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Biography Note:
Focus Gallery was founded by Helen Head Johnson (1916-1989) in 1966 on Union Street in San Francisco.
Provenance:
The Focus Gallery records were donated by the estate of owner Helen Johnston, care of Gerald O'Conner, executor.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Art dealers
Art galleries, Commercial
Gallery owners
Photographers
Photographic art galleries
Photographs
Photography
Photography, Artistic
Visitors' books
Women photographers
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10224
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213302
AAA_collcode_focugall
Theme:
The Art Market
Photography
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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