The papers of San Francisco Beat era photographer, journalist, and poet Mark Green consist of correspondence, biographical information, photographs, Nanny Goat Hill Gallery exhibition announcements, printed materials, and exhibition files for "Rolling Renaissance" (1968) and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965" (1975) exhibitions that Green helped to organize. Photographs by Mark Green are of notable figures and places in the Beat movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Clyfford Still, as well as photographs by others of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mark Green, and Jack Kerouac among others.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of San Francisco Beat photographer, journalist, and poet Mark Green consist of biographical information, correspondence, exhibition files, printed materials, scattered writings, and photographs. Photographs by Mark Green are of notable figures and places in the Beat movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Clyfford Still, as well as photographs by others of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mark Green, and Jack Kerouac among others.
One folder of correspondence includes letters from Jay DeFeo, Wallace and Shirley Berman, and Robert Emory Johnson. Exhibition files are found for two Beat exhibitions that Mark Green assisted in organizing: "Rolling Renaissance", 1968 and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965", 1975. Exhibition files contain correspondence, photographs of work exhibited and installation views, clippings, announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Thomas Albright, Francis Ford Coppola, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Hull, Robert Emory Johnson, Bob Kauffman, J. Oliver Mitchell, Francis Rigney, Jerome Stauber, and Edward Silverstone Taylor. Correspondents include include Thomas Albright, Wallace Berman, Bill Eisenlord, Alfred Frankensten, Allen Ginsberg, Helen Johnson of the Focus Gallery, Robert Emory Johnson, Chester Kessler, and Philip Whalen.
Mark Green's writings include a history of the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, a statement about his photography, and various notes.
Printed materials consist of clippings, exhibition announcements for the San Francisco area and Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, and comic books.
The series of photographs is particularly rich due to Green's thoughtful and informative reflections written on the back of many of the photographs. The majority of the photographs identify the photographer, sitter, date, and place. Many times, Green included his own recollections of the particular sitter or photographer as well. In addition to photographs of Mark Green, there are photographs taken by Green and others of important Beat Movement figures. There are also photographs of beatnick "hot-spots" including the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, The Cellar, and The Place.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1967-1970s (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1976 (Box 1, 3; 1 folder)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1954-1975 (Box 1, 3; 13 folders)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1974-1978 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1959-1978 (Box 1-3; 8 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, 1950s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)
Mark Green (1932-) moved to San Francisco and became active in the "Beat Movement" as a photographer, writer, and arts advocate. He helped organize two major group exhibitions of beat-era arts and also founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery in San Francisco.
Green was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1932, and attended the University of Miami, Florida from 1950-1952. After taking classes in journalism and philosophy, Green began a career in media and worked as a copy-boy, reporter, and correspondent at various newspapers throughout the United States until 1956.
In 1957, Green moved to San Francisco and worked as a bartender at the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, a local spot for Beat gatherings. It was during this time that Green became involved with the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance. Green became friends with "Beatnick" figures including Edward Silverstone Taylor and Patricia Marx who encouraged him to take up photography. Green's poems were published in Beatitude and The Real Bohemia.
A more prolific photographer than poet, Mark Green exhibited his photographs at Seven Arts Gallery, the Critic's Choice San Francisco Art Festival (1964), the Focus Gallery, and the "San Francisco Renaissance" at the Gotham Book Mart and Gallery (1975). He was active in organizing group exhibitions including the "Rolling Renaissance" (1968) and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965" (1975). Additionally, Green founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery (1972-1974) to give little-known artists an outlet to exhibit their works.
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history interview with Robert Emory Johnson by Paul Karlstrom on March 14, 1975 that details the history of the Rolling Renaissance exhibition organized in part by Mark Green.
Mark Green donated his papers in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 1991.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Mark Green papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
An interview of Bruce Conner conducted 1974 March 29, by Paul Karlstrom and Serge Guilbaut, for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, California.
Interview of Bruce Conner, conducted by Paul Karlstrom and Serge Guilbaut for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, on March 29, 1974. Conner speaks of his education and move to San Francisco; the art scene in California in the 1960s; the development and theory behind much of his work; his early paintings and collages; his assemblages; the sculpture A Child  and its showing at the de Young Museum in 1959-60; his interaction with Beat writers; about the coining of the words "beatnik" and "hippie" and subsequent commercial exploitation of the Beat generation; and his attitude towards political protest. He also recalls Michael McClure, Wallace Berman, Ed Kienholz, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Allen Ginsberg and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was a painter and filmmaker from San Francisco, California.
Poor sound quality due to loud background noise.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 26 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.