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Oral history interview with Jean Milant

Interviewee:
Milant, Jean, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter  Search this
Names:
Cirrus Editions  Search this
Cirrus Gallery  Search this
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art  Search this
Los Angeles Visual Arts (Organization)  Search this
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Tamarind Institute  Search this
University of New Mexico -- Student  Search this
University of Wisconsin  Search this
Antreasian, Garo Z., 1922-2018  Search this
Auder, Michel  Search this
Baldessari, John, 1931-  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Burden, Chris, 1946-  Search this
Card, Greg S., 1945-  Search this
Carson, Karen, 1943-  Search this
Cointet, Guy de, 1934-1983  Search this
Egelston, Robert  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-1994  Search this
Gehry, Frank O., 1929-  Search this
Goodman, Marian  Search this
Harrison, Newton, 1932-  Search this
Hill, Charles Christopher  Search this
Inch, Terry  Search this
Irwin, Robert, 1928-  Search this
Kanemitsu, Matsumi  Search this
Kauffman, Craig, 1932-2010  Search this
Leiber, Steven  Search this
Marron, Donald B.  Search this
Mizuno, Riko  Search this
Moses, Ed, 1926-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
Overby, Robert, 1935-1993  Search this
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012  Search this
Rivière, Alain, 1958-  Search this
Rosen, Gerry  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Sturman, Eugene  Search this
Trowbridge, David, 1945-  Search this
Tyler, Kenneth E.  Search this
Viva, 1938-  Search this
Wayne, June, 1918-2011  Search this
Wood, Jonas, 1977-  Search this
de Beauvau-Craon, Minnie  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (3 hr., 7 min.), digital, wav)
102 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Europe -- description and travel
France -- description and travel
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2015 July 20
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jean Milant, conducted 2015 July 20, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art at Milant's home in Los Angeles, California.
Jean Milant discusses growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and his French and German heritage; his introduction to art instruction in high school and further studies at the University of Wisconsin; his trips to Europe and New York City as an undergraduate art student; his time as a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, and his work at the Tamarind Institute printmaking program and his introduction to Los Angeles; his work at Tamarind with Ed Ruscha, Sam Francis, Ed Moses, and Ken Price, among others; the beginnings of Cirrus Gallery and Cirrus Editions and his search for backers for the two endeavors; his partnership with Terry Inch as a backer for Cirrus. Mr. Milant also describes the decision to move his gallery and printmaking shop to downtown Los Angeles in 1979; the support of Robert Egelston and the collector Donald Marron and other collectors who first subscribed to his print editions; his experiences in France with Minnie de Beauvau-Craon; the gallery and museum scene in Los Angeles in the early '70s and '80s; his efforts to promote Los Angeles as a vibrant center of art, including trips to Europe in the early '70s to show his artists; the creation of Ed Ruscha's prints using food; working with Bruce Nauman and John Baldessari to create prints; the creation of the Los Angeles Visual Arts group of L.A. art dealers; his involvement with the creation of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art in 1974; his work with the artist Guy de Cointet and Mr. Cointet's early performances at Cirrus Gallery; the opening of MOCA in 1984; his desire to create a think-tank institute to help create a viable future for art. Mr. Milant also recalls Garo Antreasian, Newton Harrison, June Wayne, Frank Gehry, Robert Irwin, Eugene Sturman, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Ken Tyler, Riko Mizuno, Irving Blum, Gerry Rosen, Robert Overby, David Trowbridge as well as Chris Burden, Greg Card, Karen Carson, Craig Kauffman, Marian Goodman, Alain Rivière, Charles Christopher Hill, Steven Leiber, Viva, Michel Auder, and Jonas Wood, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Jean Robert Milant (1943- ) is an art dealer and publisher in Los Angeles, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is an art critic and writer from Beverly Hills, California.
Provenance:
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 administrators.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Publishers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Prints -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.milant15
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milant15
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Joseph A. Helman

Interviewee:
Helman, Joseph A., 1937-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Names:
Blum Helman Gallery  Search this
Sotheby's (Firm)  Search this
St. Louis Art Museum  Search this
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
Davis, Ronald, 1937-  Search this
Greenberg, Ronald K.  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Pulitzer, Emily Rauh  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1938-  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 wav files (2 hr.,19 min.), digital)
53 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Italy -- description and travel
Date:
2010 January 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Joseph A. Helman conducted 2010 January 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Helman's home in New York, New York.
Helman recalls three major events from his early life--the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Berlin Museums: 1948-1949," the film "Lust for Life," and collecting--that led to his career as an art dealer; buying his first painting, which was a Jasper Johns work; meeting the art dealer Leo Castelli; opening his first gallery in St. Louis in 1969; selling his gallery to Ronald Greenberg and moving to Italy with his family; attending the Sotheby's auction of the Robert C. Scull Collection in 1973; teaming up with Irving Blum to open the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City; organizing exhibitions of established and emerging artists. Helman speaks about his relationship with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and the St. Louis Art Museum; his Happening with Allan Kaprow; the story behind Claes Oldenburg's drawing Tongue Cloud, over St. Louis, 1975; discovering the work of Ralston Crawford; introducing American art to Spain. In addition, Helman discusses the contemporary art market; collectors and the process of collecting; and the redefinition of Pop art to include British and American artists of the 1980s. Throughout the interview Helman mentions the various artists he has represented, exhibited or collected such as Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ronald Davis, and Bryan Hunt.
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph A. Helman (1937- ) is an art dealer and collector in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.,19 min.
Provenance:
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 administrators.
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art, American -- Spain  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Happenings (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.helman10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-helman10
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Coplans

Interviewee:
Coplans, John  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Artforum  Search this
Alloway, Lawrence, 1926-1990  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Fried, Michael  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Leider, Philip, 1929-  Search this
Rose, Barbara  Search this
Extent:
133 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 April 4-1977 August 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Coplans conducted 1975 April. 4-1977 August 4, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art, in New York City.
Coplans speaks of his educational background; the founding and development of ARTFORUM magazine; ARTFORUM staff writers including Lawrence Alloway, Michael Fried, Philip Leider, and Barbara E. Rose; and the influence of Irving Blum and Walter Hopps on California artists and collectors. Coplans also discusses the art market in New York and in California, and talks about his career as a teacher, editor, gallery director, critic, and museum curator.
Biographical / Historical:
John Coplans (1920- 2003) was an art administrator, editor, photograph, and educator of New York, New York. Born in London, England; died in Manhattan, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 6 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Editors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art publishing -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.coplan75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-coplan75
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Irving Blum

Interviewee:
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Extent:
81 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1977 May 31-June 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Irving Blum conducted 1977 May 31-June 23, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Irving Blum (1930- ) is an art dealer and collector from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 53 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.blum77
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-blum77
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Betty M. Asher

Interviewee:
Asher, Betty  Search this
Interviewer:
Garver, Thomas H.  Search this
Names:
Asher & Faure  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Landau, Felix, 1924-2003  Search this
Robles, Esther  Search this
Tuchman, Maurice  Search this
Extent:
59 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1980 June 30 and 1980 July 7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Betty M. Asher conducted 1980 June 30 and 1980 July 7, by Thomas H. Garver, for the Archives of American Art.
Asher speaks of her family; education; her marriage to Dr. Leonard Asher; buying her first prints and painting from the Associated American Artists Gallery; and early purchases at the Little, Bowinkle, and Green Galleries in Los Angeles. She discusses her interest in abstract expressionism; buying art in Mexico and New York; dealers including Irving Blum, Virginia Dwan, Paul Kantor, Felix Landau, Ernest Raboff, Esther Robles, and Ileana Sonnabend; activities and members of the Modern and Contemporary Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; her work for Maurice Tuchman; Walter Hopps and the Pasadena Art Museum; and exhibitions and funding of the Asher/Faure Gallery.
Biographical / Historical:
Betty M. Asher (1914-1994) was an art collector and art dealer of Beverly Hills, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav file. Duration is 3 hr., 30 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Collectors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- California
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.asher80
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-asher80
Online Media:

David Herbert papers

Creator:
Herbert, David, 1920-1995  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
David Herbert Gallery  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Robert Fraser Gallery  Search this
Sidney Janis Gallery  Search this
Stewart Neill Gallery  Search this
Andrade, Jaime, 1931-  Search this
Berman, Aaron  Search this
Blaszko, Martin, 1920-  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Carrington, Leona  Search this
Carsman, Jon, 1944-  Search this
Cotsen, Lloyd E.  Search this
Draper, William F., 1912-  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Fraser, Robert  Search this
Hoffman, Martin  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Lukin, Sven  Search this
McKelvy, Douglas  Search this
Merck, Josephine  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Negret, Edgar, 1920-2012  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Padovano, Anthony  Search this
Ramirez, Eduardo  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Smith, Leon Polk, 1906-1996  Search this
Sorel, Paul  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
5.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Greece -- description and travel
Ecuador -- Description and Travel
Puerto Rico -- description and travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Iwo Jima (Japan)
Date:
circa 1909-1996
bulk 1945-1995
Summary:
The papers of New York gallery owner and art dealer David Herbert measure 5.8 linear feet and date from circa 1909-1996, with the bulk of the material dating from 1945-1995. Herbert's papers document his years working for Betty Parsons Gallery, Sidney Janis Gallery, Graham Gallery, and others; the operation of the David Herbert Gallery from 1959-1962; Herbert's partnerships and agreements with Richard Feigen and others; and his activities as an independent dealer. Records include biographical material, correspondence, notebooks, subject files, artist files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York gallery owner and art dealer David Herbert measure 5.8 linear feet and date from circa 1909-1996, with the bulk of the material dating from 1945-1995. Herbert's papers document his years working for Betty Parsons Gallery, Sidney Janis Gallery, Graham Gallery, and others; the operation of the David Herbert Gallery from 1959-1962; Herbert's partnerships and agreements with Richard Feigen and others; and his activities as an independent dealer. Records include biographical material, correspondence, notebooks, subject files, artist files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical material includes address books and calendars, educational records, records of Herbert's military service in the United States Naval Construction Battalion in Japan, and resume's charting his career.

Correspondence is with Herbert's parents, friends, business colleagues, and artists. It includes documentation of Herbert's partnership with Richard Feigen, and his cooperative work with Irving Blum and Walter Hopps of Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, and Robert Fraser in London. Also documented are Herbert's relationship with Jaime Andrade and Andrade's family, and a lawsuit Herbert brought against Aaron Berman relating to the ownership of an Ellsworth Kelly drawing. There are scattered letters and postcards from artists and collectors, including Martin Blaszko, Lloyd Cotsen, Martin Hoffman, Ray Johnson, Josephine Merck, Alfonso Ossorio, Paul Sorel, and Clyfford Still.

Notebooks provide brief notes on Herbert's day-to-day business dealings. Subject files, consisting primarily of printed material, document Herbert's interests in several art world figures, subjects such as ancient art, and travel to locations such as Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Greece.

Exhibition files include installation shots and catalogs for many of the exhibitions held at the David Herbert Gallery between 1959 and 1962.

Artist files document Herbert's interest in individual artists, such as William Draper, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Sven Lukin, Edgar Negret, Louise Nevelson, Anthony Padovano, Eduardo Ramirez, and Jeanne Reynal, through printed material, photographs of artwork, scattered artist letters, and sales documentation.

Business records document the financial details and overall goals of Herbert's various business ventures. There is a sales book for Betty Parsons Gallery and Sidney Janis Gallery; Herbert's appraisal, consignment, commission, sales, and loan records; Herbert's business plans and projections; financial statements from the David Herbert Gallery; sales records for Graham Gallery; and records of Herbert's partnership with Douglas McKelvy.

Printed material includes announcements and catalogs from galleries Herbert worked for or collaborated with, including Graham Gallery, Betty Parsons Gallery, Feigen/Herbert Gallery, Stewart Neill Gallery, and Robert Fraser Gallery. Also found are obituaries and other new clippings of interest to Herbert.

Photographs are of Herbert, family members, and friends and colleagues, including his companion, Jaime Andrade, Leona Carrington, William Draper, Jon Carsman, Hans Namuth, and Leon Polk Smith. Many are color snapshots collected in two photographs albums. Also found are photographs taken in Japan and Iwo Jima in 1945-1946 of street scenes, Naval Construction Battalion facilities, and Herbert's army colleagues and friends.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as nine series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-circa 1995 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1942-1996 (1 linear foot; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Notebooks, circa 1950s-circa 1995 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1950s-1992 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1959-1963 (0.25 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Artist Files, 1950s-1993 (0.75 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 7: Business Records, 1950s-1992 (0.6 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1949-circa 1995 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-7)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1909-circa 1990 (0.4 linear feet; Box 7)
Biographical / Historical:
New York gallery owner and art dealer David Herbert (1920-1995, born David Herbert Schmerer), worked for a number of important galleries in New York, had his own eponymous gallery from 1959-1962, operated as a private dealer, and was in partnership with dealer Richard Feigen from 1962-1964.

Herbert served in the United States Naval Construction Battalion from 1943-1946 and was posted to Japan in 1945-1946. After receiving a BA in art history from Syracuse University in 1951, he worked for Betty Parsons Gallery (1951-1953) and Sidney Janis Gallery (1953-1959), selling the work of contemporary American painters and sculptors, handling publicity, and installing exhibitions.

Herbert forged strong connections with artists and collectors alike, and was instrumental in launching the careers of a number of important artists. One such artist was Ellsworth Kelly, whom he recommended to Parsons, triggering Kelly's New York career. He opened the David Herbert Gallery in 1959, with investment from Douglas McKelvy, promoting the works of artists including Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Louise Nevelson, to leading collectors and museums.

Herbert often worked in cooperation with colleagues Irving Blum and Walter Hobbs in Los Angeles, and Robert Fraser in London. After closing his gallery in 1962, Herbert entered a partnership with dealer Richand Feigen, operating the Feigen/Herbert Gallery from 1962-1964. From 1964-1969 he worked as a private dealer specializing in twentieth century works of art and serving as a consultant to collectors, museums, artists, and corporate interests. From 1969-1975 he was Director and Art Salesman of contemporary and 19th Century American Art at Graham Gallery. Herbert subsequently continued as a private dealer from 1975 until his death.

Herbert traveled extensively, visiting museums, collectors, and galleries in England, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Hawaii, and Japan. Through Edgar Negret, whom Herbert represented, he met Jaime Andrade, who became his assistant at the Feigen/Herbert Gallery in 1963. In turn Andrade shared with Herbert an interest in pre-Columbian art and contemporary Spanish and Latin America art, hosting multiple visits to his native Ecuador by Herbert and others, including artist William Draper.

Andrade served as executor of Herbert's estate, following Herbert's death in 1995.
Provenance:
The David Herbert papers were given to the Archives of American Art by Jaime Andrade, Herbert's companion, in 1999.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D. C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
David Herbert papers, circa 1909-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.herbdavi
See more items in:
David Herbert papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-herbdavi
Online Media:

Irving Blum to David Herbert

Creator:
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Herbert, David, 1920-1995  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
ca. 1959 Jan.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)6070
See more items in:
David Herbert papers, circa 1909-1996, bulk 1945-1995
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_6070
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Irving Blum, 1977 May 31-June 23

Interviewee:
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13182
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212544
AAA_collcode_blum77
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212544
Online Media:

Jay DeFeo papers

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Names:
Berman, Shirley  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
Hedrick, Wally, 1928-2003  Search this
Lobdell, Frank, 1921-  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Peterson, Margaret, 1903-  Search this
Remington, Deborah  Search this
Sinton, Nell, 1910-1997  Search this
Terrill, Ruth  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940s-1970s
Summary:
The papers of artist Jay DeFeo measure 1.3 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to circa 1970s. The collection documents her career through biographical material, correspondence with friends, personal business records, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Jay DeFeo measure 1.3 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to circa 1970s. The collection documents her career through biographical material, correspondence with friends, personal business records, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.

About half of the collection is made up of correspondence and photographs. DeFeo maintained ongoing communications with many artists, friends, and business associates. Notable correspondence is with Wallace and Shirley Berman, Irving Blum/Ferus Gallery, Bruce Conner, Frank Lobdell, Fred Martin, Michael McClure, Margaret Peterson, Deborah Remington, Ruth Terrill, and Eleanor (Nell) Sinton. The photographs document her adult years, although there are some as a teenager. DeFeo, her artist husband Wally Hedrick, and friends appear in many of the images. The remainder of the collection includes printed materials, exhibition information, some writings and some limited artwork. The collection is particularly rich in documentation on her artwork, The Rose.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series

Series 1: Biographical material, 1948-1969 (1 folder; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1960-1970s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1960s (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1964-1974 (2 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1950s-1970s (2 folders; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940s-1970s (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) lived and worked in Northern California where she was a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene as a painter in the progressive art community. She identified her artistic style as expressionist and symbolist.

DeFeo was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, and was three years old when her family moved to the Bay Area. She attended the University of California Berkeley and earned an Associate's Degree in 1948, a B.A. in 1950 and a M.A. in Fine Arts in 1951. After earning the M.A. she took 18 months to travel in France, Spain, northern Africa, and Italy. She spent 6 months in Florence where she painted and produced her first important body of work. DeFeo returned to San Francisco at the end of her trip.

DeFeo married fellow artist Wally Hedrick in 1954. They settled in a large Victorian flat at 2322 Fillmore Street and actively participated in Beat counter culture. DeFeo and Hedrick counted many artists among their friends and colleagues, including musicians, painters, poets, and photographers. They threw large parties with hundreds of guests. DeFeo produced a range of works during her four-decade long career. She began working on her most celebrated and massive painting, The Rose, in the Fillmore flat.

In the mid-1960s, DeFeo began teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute. She and Wally Hedrick divorced in 1969, and she moved to Larkspur in Marin County to regroup from personal set-backs and the draining experience of working on The Rose. In 1980 she joined the art faculty at Mills College. She maintained personal and professional correspondences with many people, and her papers include letters about conservation efforts for The Rose.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art has an oral history interview with DeFeo conducted 1975 June 3-1976 January 23 by Paul Karlstrom for the Archives of America Art. An 83 page transcript is available online.

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley holds some of DeFeo's archival materials.
Provenance:
Donated between 1975-1981 by Jay DeFeo.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Topic:
Photography -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
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Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-defejay
Online Media:

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