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John Outterbridge papers

Creator:
Outterbridge, John, 1933-2020  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.

Missing Title

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 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  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
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a172f43c-33be-45e4-87fb-14ed23fc3008
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
Citation:
John Outterbridge papers, 1953-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6097
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216289
AAA_collcode_outtjohn
Theme:
African American
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216289
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 (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Photographs
Transcripts
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Citation:
Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records, 1953-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Sculptors--California--Watts  Search this
Sculpture -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Theme:
Art organizations  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6102
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216296
AAA_collcode_morgjean
Theme:
Art organizations
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216296

Making architecture the Getty Center Harold M. Williams [and others]

Author:
Williams, Harold M (Harold Marvin) 1928-2017  Search this
Book designer:
Wild, Lorraine  Search this
Subject:
Richard Meier & Partners  Search this
Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Richard Meier & Partners  Search this
Physical description:
165 pages chiefly illustrations (some color) 26 cm
Type:
Designs and plans
Dessins et plans
Architectural drawings
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Californie
CALIFORNIA;ESTADOS UNIDOS
United States
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1997
Topic:
Art centers  Search this
Arts facilities  Search this
Centres culturels  Search this
Centres d'art  Search this
Buildings  Search this
EDIFÍCIOS PARA EDUCAÇÃO E CULTURA  Search this
Architectural firms  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Constructions  Search this
Getty Center  Search this
Art centers--Designs and plans--California--Los Angeles  Search this
Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Los Angeles (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Richard Meier & Partners  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1101918

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
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Spencer, 1994 September 1. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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:

Schindler House Kathryn Smith ; new photography by Grant Mudford

Author:
Smith, Kathryn 1945-  Search this
Mudford, Grant 1944-  Search this
Subject:
Schindler, R. M (Rudolph M) 1887-1953 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
88 pages illustrations (some color) 26 cm
Type:
Books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Californie
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Schindler House (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schindler House
USA
West Hollywood <Calif.>
Date:
2001
Topic:
Modern movement (Architecture)  Search this
Mouvement moderne (Architecture)  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Homes  Search this
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)  Search this
Architektur  Search this
Wohnungsbau  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Constructions  Search this
Schindler House  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1111783

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

Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts : art, migrations, development / edited by Luisa Del Giudice

Editor:
Del Giudice, Luisa  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 476 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Italy
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
2014
Topic:
Simon Rodia's Towers (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Cultural property--Protection  Search this
Cultural property  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1050001

The power of place, Los Angeles / by Dolores Hayden, Gail Dubrow, and Carolyn Flynn

Author:
Hayden, Dolores  Search this
Dubrow, Gail  Search this
Flynn, Carolyn  Search this
Power of Place (Organization)  Search this
Physical description:
1 sheet : ill., map ; folded to 26 x 10 cm
Type:
Guidebooks
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1985
1987
[198-]
Topic:
Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration  Search this
Historic sites  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
F869.L83 H414 1985
F869.L83H414 1985
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_445494

Schnabel House : Frank Gehry / James Steele

Author:
Steele, James 1943-  Search this
Gehry, Frank O. 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Gehry, Frank O. 1929-  Search this
Schnabel, Rockwell Anthony 1936- Homes and haunts  Search this
Schnabel House (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.), plans, port. ; 30 cm. x 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1993
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA737.G38 S814 1993
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_481438

Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House / Donald Hoffmann

Author:
Hoffmann, Donald  Search this
Subject:
Wright, Frank Lloyd 1867-1959 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Hollyhock House (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 118 p. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1992
Topic:
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA737.W7H62 1992X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_448891

Landmarks of Los Angeles / text and photographs by Patrick McGrew and Robert Julian

Author:
McGrew, Patrick  Search this
Julian, Robert 1950-  Search this
Physical description:
288 p. : ill. (some col.), map ; 29 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1994
Topic:
Historic buildings  Search this
Architecture--Pictorial works  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
F868.L843 M38 1994X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_472757

Edward Ruscha : Los Angeles apartments, 1965 / Richard Marshall

Author:
Marshall, Richard 1947-2014  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Subject:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Physical description:
[62] p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Exhibitions
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1990
C1990
20th century
Topic:
Apartment houses  Search this
Architecture--History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.R947 M3 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_410130

Every building on the Sunset Strip

Title:
Sunset strip
Author:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries Artists' Books DSI  Search this
Physical description:
1 volume [unpaged] (accordion fold) illustrations 19 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Ouvrages illustrés
Photography, Artistic
Accordion fold format (Binding)
Artists' books (books).)
Artists' books (books)
Artists' books
Slipcases (Binding)
Specimens
Place:
Sunset Boulevard (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
California
Los Angeles
Sunset Boulevard
Date:
1966
20th century
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Artists' books  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.R947 A1e 1966
N40.1.R947 A1e 1966
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_423597

Experimental architecture in Los Angeles / introduction by Frank Gehry ; essays by Aaron Betsky, John Chase, and Leon Whiteson ; Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design

Author:
Betsky, Aaron  Search this
Chase, John 1953-  Search this
Whiteson, Leon  Search this
Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design  Search this
Physical description:
160 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1991
20th century
Topic:
Architecture--History  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)--History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA735.L55 E97 1991X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_424421

Building the slope : hillside houses, 1920-1960 / Dominique Rouillard ; [translation by Ronald A. Masi]

Author:
Rouillard, Dominique  Search this
Physical description:
x, 169 p. : ill., plan ; 23 cm
Type:
Designs and plans
Place:
United States
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
1987
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Hillside architecture--Designs and plans  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_470992

Angels & Franciscans : innovative architecture from Los Angeles and San Francisco / Frank O. Gehry ... [et al.] ; edited by Bill Lacy, Susan deMenil

Title:
Angels and Franciscans
Author:
Gehry, Frank O. 1929-  Search this
Lacy, Bill  Search this
De Menil, Susan  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Gagosian Gallery  Search this
Santa Monica Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
126 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
California
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Los Angeles (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
Date:
1992
Topic:
Architecture, Postmodern  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
NA735.L55 A54 1992X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_446402

Some Los Angeles apartments Edward Ruscha

Author:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Author:
Smithsonian Libraries Artists' Books DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[44] pages all illustrations 18 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Artists' books (books).)
Artists' books
Catalogue d'art (Descripteur de forme)
History
Photobooks
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
United States
Date:
1970
20th century
Topic:
Apartment houses  Search this
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Artists' books  Search this
Immeuble d'appartements  Search this
Photographie artistique  Search this
Thème artistique  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.R947 A1s 1970
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_423285

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