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John Outterbridge papers

Creator:
Outterbridge, John, 1933-  Search this
Names:
Watts Towers Art Center  Search this
Angelou, Maya  Search this
Bradley, Tom, 1917-  Search this
Hines, Gregory  Search this
Marley, Bob  Search this
Otis, Johnny, 1921-  Search this
Simone, Nina, 1933-2003  Search this
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Extent:
4.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Date:
1953-1997
Summary:
The papers of Los Angeles African American painter, sculptor, and arts administrator John Outterbridge measure 4.8 linear feet and date from 1953 to 1997. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional and project files, Watts Towers Arts Center files, exhibition files, printed material, photographs, a scrapbook, and one motion picture film reel.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles African American painter, sculptor, and arts administrator John Outterbridge measure 4.8 linear feet and date from 1953 to 1997. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional and project files, Watts Towers Arts Center files, exhibition files, printed material, photographs, a scrapbook, and one motion picture film reel.

Biographical material includes life documents, awards, interview transcripts, a few sketches, teaching certificates, and a motion picture film reel entitled John Outterbridge: Black Artist.

The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters to John Outterbridge from family, artists, colleagues, museums, and universities. Notable correspondents include Maya Angelou, Johnny Otis, and Charles White.

Writings include teaching notes, an artist statement, nine typescript essays by Outterbridge, as well as papers written by students, and poems by various artists.

Professional and project files document Outterbridge's involvement in conferences, symposiums, membership records, and fellowships. There are grant and job applications, contracts, correspondence, project plans, and administrative records. There is documentation of the Metro Art for Rail Transit project and of his work as director of the Communicative Arts Academy. Outterbridge's directorship of the Watts Towers Arts Center (WTAC) are arranged in a separate series; files document administration, annual programs and events, and special projects.

Exhibition files are found for several exhibitions in which Outterbridge participated in the mid-1990s. Printed material includes clippings about John Outterbridge and the Watts Towers Arts Center, exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, and magazines.

There is one scrapbook that contains clippings, award certificates, and photographs of the Watts Towers Arts Center events. There are photographs of Johnny Otis, Nina Simone, and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Photographs are of John Outterbridge and his artwork, studio, family, friends, and events. Among those depicted in the photographs are Bob Marley and Gregory Hines.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1953-1997 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1, OV 6, FC 9)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1970-1997 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 7)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1980-1996 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Professional and Project Files, circa 1970-1997 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-3, OV 8)

Series 5: Watts Towers Arts Center, 1976-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1992-1996 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1968-1997 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1968-1997 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5)

Series 9: Photographs, 1953-1995 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4-5)
Biographical / Historical:
John Outterbridge is an African American painter, sculptor and arts administrator in Los Angeles, California.

John Wilfred Outterbridge was born in Greenville, North Carolina in 1933. He attended Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, North Carolina and studied engineering for one year before joining the U.S. Army in 1953. He served two years in Europe where he started painting street scenes in his spare time. His paintings were liked and his Captain found a studio space for him, where he painted murals and artwork in offices, clubs, and American schools.

Outterbridge decided that he needed a formal education in art and after his discharge from the Army in 1955, he relocated to Chicago and enrolled first in the Chicago Academy of Art, and later in the American Academy of Art. He became active in the Chicago art scene and opened a gallery with artists John Pinkney, Elliot Hunter, and Jose Williams. While attending school, he also worked for a graphic arts firm running errands and as a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver.

Outterbridge married his wife Beverly in 1960 and they moved to Los Angeles in 1963. He worked at a production studio for a while and got an offer from another studio to become its art director. After a few years, Outterbridge took two years off and began experimenting with with other medium, such as found objects and sculpture.

Outterbridge then took a job in the art installation department of the Pasadena Art Museum where he met artists such as Peter Alexander, Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol while helping with their exhibits. In addition to working on installations, Outterbridge taught sculpture classes at the museum and at several colleges such as Pasadena City College, Claremont College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and University of California at Irvine.

From 1969-1975, Outterbridge was the director of the Compton Communicative Arts Academy. From 1975-1993, Outterbridge was the director of the Watts Towers Arts Center, a focal point in Los Angesle for African American visual and theatrical arts and the sponsor of the Watts Towers Jazz Festival and Day of the Drum Festival. He retired in 1993 to dedicate more time to his art.

Outterbridge's art can be found at the California African American Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has received awards throughout his career including fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Getty Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He received an honorary doctorate from Otis College of Art and Design in 1994.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has an oral history interview with John Outterbridge conducted by Allen Bassing in 1973.

A copy of the film John Outterbridge: Black Artist is available in the Samella Lewis papers, in the Rose Library at Emory University.
Provenance:
The John Outterbridge papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by John Outterbridge in 1997.
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. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The John Outterbridge 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- California  Search this
Arts administrators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
John Outterbridge papers, 1953-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.outtjohn
See more items in:
John Outterbridge papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-outtjohn
Online Media:

John Outterbridge papers, 1953-1997

Creator:
Outterbridge, John Wilfred, 1933-  Search this
Subject:
Simone, Nina  Search this
Otis, Johnny  Search this
Marley, Bob  Search this
Hines, Gregory  Search this
White, Charles  Search this
Bradley, Tom  Search this
Angelou, Maya  Search this
Watts Towers Art Center  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Topic:
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6097
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216289
AAA_collcode_outtjohn
Theme:
African American
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216289
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Spencer

Interviewee:
Spencer, John, 1911-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Cornwell, Dean, 1892-1960  Search this
Extent:
2 Items (sound cassettes (1 hr., 23 min.), analog.)
41 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Date:
1994 September 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview with John Spencer conducted 1994 September 1, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Spencer discusses his work assisting Dean Cornwell on the Los Angeles Central Library murals between 1927-1933; his subsequent relationship with Cornwell; and his experience as a young artist in Southern California in the 1930s.
Biographical / Historical:
John Spencer was a painter from Pasadena, California.
General:
Originally recorded 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 23 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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Art, American -- California, Southern  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Muralists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.spence94
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spence94

Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records

Creator:
Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts  Search this
Names:
Simon Rodia Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Morgan, Jeanne S.  Search this
Rodia, Simon, 1879-1965  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Photographs
Transcripts
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Date:
1953-1989
Summary:
The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1953-1989. The records include clippings, a transcript of the film The Towers, interview transcripts with the towers' creator Simon Rodia, materials related to the Watts Towers' false restoration, photographic material, and unpublished articles by Jeanne Morgan. The records were compiled by Jeanne S. Morgan, founding member, executive director, and chair (1978-1980) of the Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts.
Scope and Contents:
The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1953-1989. The records include clippings, a transcript of the film The Towers, interview transcripts with the towers' creator Simon Rodia, materials related to the Watts Towers' false restoration, photographic material, and unpublished articles by Jeanne Morgan. The records were compiled by Jeanne S. Morgan, founding member, executive director, and chair (1978-1980) of the Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.

Series 1: Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts Records, 1953-1989 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Simon Rodia (1879-1965), a native of Serena, Italy, created the unique sculptural assemblage of the Watts Towers in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Reaching over 100 feet each, the seventeen interconnected sculptural towers were assembled over a thirty-three year period (1921-1954). The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts was founded in response to plans by the city of Los Angeles to have the towers destroyed. For sixteen years the committee raised money, designed an engineering test to disprove the city's contention that the towers were unsafe. The members also ran an art center that offered free classes to the community. In 1975 the committee assigned the towers and art center to the city of Los Angeles.
Provenance:
The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Jeanne S. Morgan in 1997.
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.
Topic:
Assemblage (Art)--California--Los Angeles  Search this
Sculptors--California--Watts  Search this
Sculpture -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Transcripts
Citation:
Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records, 1953-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.morgjean
See more items in:
Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-morgjean

Oral history interview with John Spencer, 1994 September 1

Interviewee:
Spencer, John, 1911-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Cornwell, Dean  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Topic:
Art, American -- California, Southern  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California, Southern  Search this
Muralists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11771
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215798
AAA_collcode_spence94
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215798
Online Media:

Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records, 1953-1989

Creator:
Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts  Search this
Subject:
Rodia, Simon  Search this
Morgan, Jeanne S.  Search this
Simon Rodia Towers  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Photographs
Transcripts
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Topic:
Assemblage (Art)--California--Los Angeles  Search this
Sculptors--California--Watts  Search this
Sculpture -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6102
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216296
AAA_collcode_morgjean
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216296

Richard Meier, The Getty Center = Richādo Maiyā, Geti Sentā

Title:
東京 : エー・アント・ユー, 1992
Richādo Maiyā, Geti Sentā
Richard Meier, The Getty Center = リチ ャート・マイヤー, ケティ・センター
Author:
Meier, Richard 1934-  Search this
Physical description:
156 pages illustrations (some color) 30 cm
Type:
Designs and plans
Architectural drawings
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Californie
États-Unis
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1992
1990- ..
Topic:
Art centers  Search this
Centres culturels--Dessins et plans  Search this
Architecture moderne  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Centros de arte--Diseño y planos  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Constructions  Search this
Edificios, estructuras, etc  Search this
Diseño y planos  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1111681

Eames house fliptour

Subject:
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Physical description:
1 volume : chiefly illustrations ; 5 x 11 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1997
©1997
20th century
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Architecture, Modern  Search this
Flip books  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA737.E26 E35 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1084767

Some Los Angeles apartments / Edward Ruscha

Author:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Subject:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Physical description:
[44] p. : all ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Specimens
Artists' books (books)
Smithsonian Libraries artists' books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1970
1970, c1965
20th century
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Apartment houses  Search this
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Artists' books  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.R947 A1s 1970
N40.1.R947 A1s 1970
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_423285

L.A. deco / Carla Breeze ; introduction by David Gebhard

Title:
Los Angeles deco
Author:
Breeze, Carla  Search this
Physical description:
96 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 x 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
2004
1991
20th century
Topic:
Art deco (Architecture)  Search this
Architecture  Search this
Decoration and ornament, Architectural  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1083995

The miracle of a muddy tideflat : a guide through the photo-mural exhibit, Port Admiral Society, the General Phineas Banning Residence Museum, Wilmington, California / [written by Merry L. Thompson]

Author:
Thompson, Merry L  Search this
Weinstein, Robert A  Search this
General Phineas Banning Residence Museum  Search this
Port Admiral Society  Search this
Subject:
Banning, Phineas 1830-1885  Search this
General Phineas Banning Residence Museum  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 35 p. : ill., map ; 14 x 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Wilmington (Los Angeles, Calif.)
San Pedro (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Date:
1980
C1980
Topic:
Historic buildings  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
F869.W55 T46 1980
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_702561

The Getty Center : design process / Harold Williams ... [et al.]

Author:
Williams, Harold Marvin 1928-  Search this
Subject:
Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Richard Meier & Partners  Search this
Physical description:
144 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm. x 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1991
Topic:
Art centers--Designs and plans  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_714509

An architectural guidebook to Los Angeles / by David Gebhard and Robert Winter ; edited and updated by Robert Winter

Author:
Gebhard, David  Search this
Winter, Robert 1924-  Search this
Gebhard, David Los Angeles, an architectural guide  Search this
Physical description:
543 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm
Type:
Guidebooks
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
2003
Topic:
Architecture  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_734675

Symphony : Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall / preface by Deborah Borda ; introduction by Frank Gehry ; with essays by Richard Koshalek ... [et al.] ; photography by Grant Mudford

Author:
Gehry, Frank O. 1929-  Search this
Koshalek, Richard  Search this
Subject:
Gehry, Frank O. 1929- Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
173 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
2003
Topic:
Music-halls  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_738584

Building the Getty / Richard Meier

Author:
Meier, Richard 1934-  Search this
Subject:
Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Richard Meier & Partners  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 204 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1997
Topic:
Art centers  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_799813

Architecture in Los Angeles : a compleat guide / David Gebhard, Robert Winter ; Julius Shulman, photographic consultant

Author:
Gebhard, David  Search this
Winter, Robert 1924-  Search this
Physical description:
526 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm
Type:
Guidebooks
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1985
Topic:
Architecture  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_607571

Ancient L.A. and other essays / by Michael Jacob Rochlin

Title:
Ancient Los Angeles and other essays
Ancient L.A
Author:
Rochlin, Michael Jacob  Search this
Physical description:
240 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1999
C1999
Topic:
Architecture  Search this
City planning--History  Search this
History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_633478

Case studies of folk art environments : Simon Rodia's Watts Towers and Reverend Howard Finster's Paradise garden / by Rena Minar

Author:
Minar, Rena  Search this
Subject:
Rodia, Simon 1879-1965  Search this
Finster, Howard 1916-2001  Search this
Physical description:
190 leaves : ill
Type:
Manuscripts
Place:
Georgia
Summerville
United States
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1994
Modern period, 1500-
20th century
Topic:
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Primitivism in art  Search this
Christian art and symbolism  Search this
Outsider art--History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.P7 M56 1994a
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_508244

Eames House : Charles and Ray Eames / James Steele

Author:
Steele, James 1943-  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Subject:
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Physical description:
60 p. : ill. (some col.), plans ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1994
C1994
20th century
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Architecture--History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA737.E26 S74 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_521824

The Los Angeles Watts Towers / Bud Goldstone and Arloa Paquin Goldstone

Title:
Watts Towers
Author:
Goldstone, Bud 1926-  Search this
Goldstone, Arloa Paquin 1942-  Search this
Subject:
Rodia, Simon 1879-1965 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
116 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1997
Topic:
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_524902

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