United States of America -- California -- Los Angeles County -- San Marino
Scope and Contents:
The folders include photocopies of articles and other information.
The garden and house were first designed in 1939 on a flat ¾ acre property in San Marino, a small suburb of Los Angeles 30 miles from the coast. The area has a Mediterranean-like climate that receives approximately 14 inches of rain per year, in the winter only. Original to the front is a large lawn with Viburnum suspensum hedges on each side. Past the driveway, original concrete blocks surround the courtyard, and continue around both sides of the house and the perimeter of the rear garden. The original rear garden was mostly lawn, edged by a narrow path, hedges of Viburnum suspensum and an assortment of trees, including three large Quercus agrifolia, the coast live oak most common to this area. Still in existence from 1939 are the mature Plantanus ramosa (California sycamore) at the courtyard entrance. The second owners, in the 1960s turned part of the back lawn into lathe houses for their camellia collection, replacing some of the Viburnum suspensum with camellia specimens, which still exist.
After the original owners sold the property in 1960, it was owned by a second family for nearly a decade before being sold a third time to the present owners in 1969. Since the present owners bought the property, the gardens have undergone multiple revisions by four landscape architects, including the notable Robert Fletcher, who worked intermittently with the owners between 1985-1995. In every revision to this estate's gardens, every effort was made to preserve and incorporate the very mature trees and shrubs which provide form, color and shade. While the estate has plantings in the front lawn and flanking the east and west sides of their home, the most impressive landscape features are in the rear of the property, particularly the borders surrounding the central lawn and the plantings along the 'Bouquet Canyon' stone path to the pool. In the 1970s landscape architect Chuck Hoffman designed the rear garden, emphasizing the desire for informal and naturalistic garden spaces for outdoor living around the French colonial-style house. He designed the swimming pool, two terraces, and created curving borders around the lawn, and added four Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip trees). In the 1980s landscape designer Robert Fletcher built on Hoffman's footprint, adding more distinctive plant material, installing six bullet-shaped Syzygium paniculatum to anchor the borders, and turned one terrace into a small stone patio after an addition to the house. Nurseryman Frank Burkard added Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax), roses and other shrubs in the 1990s.
Garden features at the entrance of the courtyard include an espalier Magnolia grandiflora, a four-part sculpture, "Kyoto Protocol" by Ray Meeker, which is surrounded by Ophiopogon (mondo grass), with an overhanging Olea europaea (olive) and Plantanus racemosa and a large collection of potted succulent varieties on the terrace selected by landscape architect John Caitlin in 1970 for their heat tolerance.
Persons associated with the property include: Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Schatzman (former owners, 1939-1960); Carla Barker Hind and William O. Hind (former owners; 1960-1969); H. Roy Kelley (architect, 1939); John Caitlin (landscape architect, 1970); Charles Hoffman (landscape architect, 1972); Robert M. Fletcher (landscape architect and photographer, 1985-1995); Frank Burkard (nurseryman, 1990); Mark Bartos (landscape architect, 1999); Peter Lodato (sculptor, 1991); Ray Meeker (ceramic artist, 2005).
Kully Garden related holdings consist of 2 folders (34 35mm. slides)
The present owners have Charles Hoffman and Mark Bartos plans.
H. Roy Kelley papers, #3864, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
See others in:
Robert M. Fletcher Collection ca. 1979-1995.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com.
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
The papers of southern California Pop artist Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the southern California artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.
Found within the biographical materials series are three feet of calendars which extensively document Bengston's personal and professional activities for fourteen years, and include ephemera related to these activities. This series also includes health records, wills, and passports.
Correspondence is with galleries, museums, universities, businesses, friends, and colleagues, and primarily concerns exhibitions, sales, consignments, commissions, and Bengston's personal finances. Bengston's relationship with the James Corcoran Gallery, Janie C. Lee Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery, and Texas Gallery are well-documented here, as well as in the Museum and Gallery Files series. Also found is a limited amount of personal correspondence with collectors, researchers, and friends. A few letters from other artists, including Peter Plagens and a letter from Richard Diebenkorn are interfiled here.
Bengston's professional relationships with galleries, museums, and universities are well-documented in the gallery and museum files, including the galleries mentioned above, Ferus Gallery, and others. Lists of consignments and prices, invoices, records of sales, loan agreement forms, shipping receipts, exhibition checklists, and exhibition floor plans provide information about sales, exhibitions, and loans. A few files provide further information about Bengston teaching activities. His personal business records include art sales records, price lists, lists of purchases, records of investment, and personal finance records. Project files include correspondence, notes, and printed materials related to Bengston's commissions for artwork and personal projects, including a book he worked on with Ed Ruscha, Business Cards.
Writings by Bengston include responses to exhibitions of West Coast art and his thoughts on his career, art, the artistic community, motorcycles, as well as a recollection of John Altoon. Also found are questionnaires sent out by Bengston for an art survey, with responses from Peter Alexander, Carl Andre, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Ed Ruscha, and others. Writings by others consist primarily of exhibition catalog essays, manuscripts of interviews with Bengston, and other writings about Bengston. Also found is an essay by Walter Hopps. Photographs of Bengston include a family picture from the 1940s, Bengston at work on projects in Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York, and Bengston at social events. Other photographs consist of pictures of friends and artists, Bengston's artwork, documentary evidence of damaged artwork, and of commission sites.
Printed materials from the 1960s - 1980s include clippings, full articles, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters. They document exhibitions, art in southern California, and society and art events. The collection houses limited amounts of artwork including sketches, cut-outs, doodles and drawings.
The collection is arranged into 10 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1958-1987 (Boxes 1-4, 11; 3.7 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1989 (Boxes 4-6; 1.75 linear feet)
Series 3: Gallery and Museum Files, 1961-1989 (Boxes 6-7; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Teaching Records, 1968-1982 (Box 7; 7 folders)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1960-1987 (Boxes 7-8; 1.0 linear foot)
Series 6: Project Files, 1968-1987 (Boxes 8-9; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 7: Writings, 1967-circa 1988 (Box 9, OV 12; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 8: Artwork, 1960s-1987 (Box 9; 7 folders)
Series 9: Printed Materials, 1958-1988 (Boxes 9-10, OV 12-13; 1.25 linear feet)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1940s-1987 (Box 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Billy Al Bengston was born in Dodge City, Kansas on June 7, 1934. After moving back and forth from Kansas to California multiple times, he and his family settled in Los Angeles in 1948. While attending the Manual Arts High School, Bengston became interested in art, especially ceramics. After a brief stint at Los Angeles Junior College, Bengston worked as a beach attendant at Doheny State Beach. While working there he met fellow surfer and future ceramicist Kenneth Price, who became one of Bengston's closest friends. In 1953, he reenrolled in Los Angeles Junior College to study ceramics. For the next four years he attended both the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design). At these institutions he studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Sabro Hasegawa, Nathan Oliveira, and Peter Voulkos.
Around 1957, Bengston shifted his emphasis from ceramics to painting, and became affiliated with the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, founded that same year by Edward Kienholz and Walter Hopps. Bengston's first solo exhibition was held at the Ferus Gallery in 1958, and a second followed in 1960. At this time Bengston began to work with Pop icons combined with Color Field abstractions. His early bold paintings often featured symmetrical strong color compositions with a central image of a valentine, star, cross, chevron, or iris. The irises he called "draculas," after Kenneth Price remarked that they resembled Dracula flying through a window. He first showed his chevron paintings in 1962 at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. In the early 1960s, Bengston extended his imagery to the California subculture and created paintings of leisure time activities, focusing on motorcycles, racing, and scuba diving - his own interests as well.
Throughout his career, Bengston experimented with technique and materials. He experimented with automobile lacquer and spray painting techniques associated with car customization. He also used non-traditional surfaces, such as masonite and aluminum. In 1965, Bengston began creating paintings on sheets of aluminum into which he hammered dents and sometimes bent and buckled; these subsequently came to be known as "dentos." Along with painting, Bengston has also created watercolors, ceramics, and furniture. He was also one of the artists selected by Carol and Roy Doumani to design their home.
Bengston first visited Hawaii in 1974, and after several subsequent trips, established a second studio there in 1979. The work Bengston created in the following years was characterized by the use of tropical colors and representational images of running figures, airplanes, and the moon. In 1988, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston organized a retrospective entitled "Billy Al Bengston: Paintings of Three Decades," which traveled to the Oakland Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu. Bengston also completed several years as an art instructor and lecturer at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and The University of California at Los Angeles. Bengston continues to create and exhibit new work.
Found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Bengston conducted by Susan Larsen, September 9, 1980, and Susan Ford Morgan, August 2-October 7, 2002. Also found are portraits of Bengston in the Photographs of artists taken by Mimi Jacobs collection, and a rare copy of the book Business Cards by Bengston and Ed Ruscha in the Wallace Berman papers.
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Billy Al Bengston in 1990.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biograpical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biographical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.
Biographical material contains certificates, licenses, degrees, legal documents, and extensive interview transcripts, which describe her philosophy on art and her development as a ceramic artist.
Correspondence is particularly rich in documenting Wood's passion and dedication to her work as a writer and artist. The records reflect Wood's close professional and personal relationships with many friends and colleagues, including Henri-Pierre Roche, Marcel Duchamp, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Hapgood, and Walter and Lou Arensberg. Additional correspondence with editors and publishers is also included. Wood enjoyed illustrating her letters, as did many of her correspondents.
Personal business records include financial material, sales and consignment records, and correspondence with gallery owners, including Garth Clark Gallery, John Waller Gallery, and Zachary Waller Gallery.
Notes and writings extensively document Wood's second career as a writer. Edited drafts of her monographs and short stories are available, as well as her journal writings and notes. Drafts of I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood, Angel Who Wore Black Tights, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah, among others are included. Also found here are the illustrations that Wood created for her monographs. She often did a series of drawings for each illustration and these copies are included as well.
Twenty-eight detailed diaries contain information about studio sales, clients, and the economic uncertainties of being a self-employed artist. The diaries, arranged in one-year and five-year volumes, begin in 1916 and end just a few days before her death in 1998.
Forty-two glaze books record the formulas for the pottery glazes Wood developed throughout her career.
Printed material includes copies of Wood's published monographs as well as exhibition announcements and brochures. Also found are clippings about Wood, including numerous articles about her trips to India.
Photographic material includes photographs and slides of Wood, her friends, travels, and other events. Many of the photographs are identified by Wood.
Artwork includes original sketches, drawings, watercolors, lithographs and designs by Wood. The original illustrations from her books are included in this series.
The last two series contain records generated by her husband, Stephen Hoag and her maternal aunt, Esther Rosencrantz. Wood was married to Hoag from 1937 until his death in 1960. The bulk of the material contains Hoag's financial records, mostly receipts, from his early years as a engineer in the Pacific Northwest. Esther Rosencranz, a physician in San Francisco, collected book plates that are included in this series.
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1924-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1910-1998 (Box 1-8; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1909-1988 (Box 9-11, 26, OV 31; 3.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Notes and Writings, circa 1912-1997 (Box 11-16, 27; 5.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1915-1998 (Box 17-20; 4 linear feet)
Series 6: Glaze Books, circa 1930-1997 (Box 21-22, 27-30; 2.5 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1940-1997 (Box 23, OV 31; 1.1 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographic Material, 1913-1997 (Box 24, 30; 1 linear foot)
Series 9: Artwork, 1917-1991 (Box 24-25, 30; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 10: Stephen Hoag papers, 1906-1960 (Box 25; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 11: Esther Rosencranz papers, 1894-1959 (Box 25; 0.1 linear feet)
Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) was a ceramicist, painter, and writer who relocated to Ojai, California in 1948.
Beatrice Wood was born on March 3, 1893 in San Francisco to socially prominent and wealthy parents. In the late 1890s, the family moved to New York City where Wood was expected to begin the process of "coming out" in New York society. This process included boarding schools, a convent school in Paris, and frequent summer trips to Europe where she was exposed to museums, galleries, and the theater. Wood studied acting and dance in Paris until the outbreak of the war in 1914. She returned to New York and soon joined the company of the French National Repertory Theatre. From 1914 through 1916, Wood played over 60 parts as a stage actress.
In 1917, Wood met the writer Henri Pierre Roche, with whom she had a brief affair and a long friendship. Roche introduced her to the New York world of artists and writers and encouraged her interest in drawing and painting. During a visit to see the composer Edgard Varese in the hospital, Wood met Marcel Duchamp, with whom she had a love affair and who also had a strong influence in her development as an artist. Their long discussions about modern art encouraged Wood to show Duchamp a recent drawing entitled "Marriage of a Friend." Duchamp liked the drawing so much that he published it in Rogue, a magazine partly financed by Walter and Louise Arensberg, friends of Duchamp. The Arensbergs were pioneering collectors of modern art and soon became friends of Wood as well. She became a frequent guest at their evening gatherings, forming friendships with Walter Pach, Francis Picabia, Joseph Stella, Myrna Loy, Galka Scheyer, and others.
Through Duchamp and the Arensbergs, Wood was introduced to the world of the New York Dada. Following the formation of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Wood exhibited work in their Independents exhibition. Together with Duchamp and Roche, she published a short-lived avant-garde journal, called Blind Man, in which the Alfred Steiglitz photograph of Duchamp's famous ready-made "Fountain" appeared. She also designed the poster for the Dada event, The Blind Man's Ball.
Throughout the 1920s, Wood continued to draw and paint, especially watercolors. Late in 1927, she moved to California to join the Arensbergs, who had been there since 1921. She also developed an interest in clay and took her first ceramics classes with Glen Lukens at the University of Southern California in the late 1930s. In 1940 Wood studied with Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Austrian potters who were known for their technical mastery and ability to throw almost perfectly formed pots. The Natzlers taught her how to throw pots and calculate glaze formulas.
Museums and galleries began to take an interest in her pottery and she held several shows in New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Several department stores, including Nieman Marcus and Gumps, also began to feature her pottery. During the 1940s, Wood began making figurative art in addition to more traditional pots. In 1947, for example, she included a large blue fish with white spots in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art. As her skills developed, Wood moved to a new home and studio in Ojai, California. By 1950, Wood was experimenting with luster surfaces, pottery with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence. These lusterware plates, in addition to her decorative figures and traditional ceramics, were sold at her studio, advertised with a sign out front that read "Beatrice Wood: Fine Pottery, Reasonable and Unreasonable."
In 1961, Wood visited India as a cultural ambassador, sponsored by the State Department. She toured the country and showed her work in fourteen cities. She became enamoured with Indian decorative arts and began to weave shimmering gold and silver threads into her palatte. Wood returned a second time in 1965 at the invitation of the Indian government. It was during this trip that she decided to adopt the sari as her style of dress, a style she continued until her death in 1998. She made her third and last trip to India in 1971. Her book, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah is about her adventures in India.
Wood always enjoyed writing, recording her daily activities in a diary and creating stories about her experiences with friends and colleagues. She published her first book, Angel Who Wore Black Tights in 1982, followed by her autobiography, I Shock Myself, in 1985.
Wood considered her last 25 years as her most productive. In addition to her literary publications, Wood also had several successful exhibitions, including Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood at the Oakland Museum in 1990 and Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute at New York's American Craft Museum in 1997. The film, Beatrice Wood: The Mama of Dada, was filmed on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1993. She died in Ojai, California in 1998, nine days after her 105th birthday.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Beatrice Wood completed by Paul Karlstrom in 1976 and 1992.
Beatrice Wood donated her papers in several accretions between 1976 and 2002. Additional material was donated by Francis Naumann in 1993 and the Beatrice Wood Personal Property Trust in 1999. Material from a 1977 loan was included in Wood's later donations.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of Robert Winokur conducted 2011 July 23 and 24, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Winokur's home and studio, in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Robert speaks of his mother earning an award for her artwork; his father and other family members being Communists and having to distance himself in being identified with them; his mother making ceramic jewelry while his father was working as a welder at Cramps Shipyard in Philadelphia during World War II; feeling like he had an attention deficit disorder of some kind, which prevented him from doing well in school, so he took ceramics classes in high school to bring his grades up; starting in painting at the Tyler School of Art, finishing in sculpture, clay, and ceramics; appreciating the Abstract Expressionist work of Franz Kline; of the opinion that one learns art by doing and that the teachers are there to direct you only; feeling that he did not have the freedom to experiment with clay as he wished at Alfred University, School of Art and Design for fear of being compared to Peter Voulkos; his first job teaching at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas; teaching in Peoria, Illinois for a year; beginning Cape Street Pottery in Ashfield, Massachusetts; when he began salt firing and working more in sculptural forms; his work influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Ignazio Giacometti, Zen master calligraphers, Peter Voulkos, and others; feeling that the computer cannot, as of yet, produce the quality of art that humans can through repetition; that the process of creating is more important than the subject; starting his 30-year teaching career at Tyler School of Art in 1966; that students today are approaching ceramics conceptually and academically rather than through a relationship with the material; the beginning of NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts]; and how he enjoys making what he wants to, now that he is retired. Robert also recalls Rudolf Staffel, John Wood, Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Shoji Hamada, Marguerite Wildenhain, Ken Ferguson, Norm Schulman, Victor Babu, Myrna Minter, Don Reitz, Helen Drutt English, Richard Notkin, Dick Hay, Marge Levy, and Ken Vavrek.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Winokur (1933- ) is a ceramist in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
Originally recorded as 7 sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 35 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 administrators.