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Focus Gallery records

Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Names:
George Eastman House  Search this
Torren Gallery  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Brandt, Bill  Search this
Bullock, Wynn  Search this
Caponigro, Paul, 1932-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Dater, Judy  Search this
Heinecken, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Hosoe, Eikō, 1933  Search this
Johnston, Helen, 1916-1989  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Weston, Brett  Search this
Extent:
11.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1963-1987
Summary:
The records of San Francisco Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.
Scope and Contents:
The records of San Francisco's Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.

Exhibition files comprise the bulk of the collection and generally contain a wide range of materials including correspondence, short biographies, forms requesting artists' background information, flyers, booklets, brochures, checklists, loan agreements, sales records, news releases, and photographs and negatives. Among the many photographers exhibited were Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Wynn Bullock, Paul Caponigro, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, Eikoh Hosoe, Annie Leibovitz, Eliot Porter, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, and Brett Weston.

A relatively small amount of general business correspondence includes orders and payments for photographic prints, books, and magazine subscriptions, some personal notes, and requests for information about how to submit for exhibitions and for exhibition schedules. Correspondents include customers, photographers, publishers, law firms, museum, and colleges and universities. Correspondence from the founding year contains Johnston's letters to various venues prominent in art photography, such as George Eastman House. There is also a letter to Ansel Adams requesting prints to sell or for a small opening exhibit.

Additional records include artists' files; sales and inventory records containing print and bookshop inventories, general pricing information and receipts for photographs; and printed materials including flyers and brochures, bookshop catalogs and news releases. There are also scattered administrative records, including gallery history, a file on the Toren Gallery and five owner's notebooks, as well as The Imogen Cunningham Trust files documenting Focus Gallery's interactions with the trust before and after Cunningham's death regarding photographs printed and signed by her; financial and legal files; and guest books.

Documents in the collection that pre-date the founding of the gallery are found in the Toren Gallery file and a few of the exhibition files.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1963-1985 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1966-1985 (Boxes 2-10; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists Files, 1966-1978 (Boxes 10-11; 0 .5 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial and Legal Files, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0 .2 linear feet)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987 (Boxes 11-12; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1970, 1978-1985 (Boxes 12-13; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Focus Gallery was founded by Helen Head Johnson (1916-1989) in 1966 on Union Street in San Francisco. The gallery exhibited and sold primarily art photographs and other contemporary art.

Helen Head Johnston believed that photography deserved its own exhibition space. As stated in the gallery's first press release, "in seeking to encourage print collecting it (the gallery) offers not only a show place but also a market place for photographers." While retaining an emphasis on Bay Area photographers, the gallery's exhibitions soon became international in scope, featuring little known and well-established photographers through both solo and group exhibitions. With few exceptions, the gallery's policy was to feature an artist only once. To help keep the gallery going in its early days, Johnston started a bookshop mail-order business. At the time of its closing in August 1985, Focus Gallery was the longest continuously operating photography gallery in the country. The bookshop continued in another location for an additional two years.

The collection is arranged as 8 series

Series 1: Administrative records, 1963-1985, (Box 1 8 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987, undated (Box 1-2 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition files, 1966-1985 (Box 2-10 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists files, 1966-1978, undated (Box 10-11, 9 folders)

Series 5: Financial and Legal files, 1966-1987 (Box 11 6 folders)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 11 folders)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 and Hol 12 7 folders)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1985 (Hol 12-13 6 folders)
Related Materials:
Among the holding of the Archives of American Art is an untranscribed interview of Helen Johnston by Louise Katzman or Irene Borger in the collection Interviews of California Photographers 1981 Jun.-Nov.20.

Helen Johnston left her private photography collection to the de Saisset Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Provenance:
The Focus Gallery records were donated by the estate of owner Helen Johnston, care of Gerald O'Conner, executor.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Topic:
Visitors' books  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography -- Exhibitions  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographic art galleries -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Photographers -- United States  Search this
Gallery owners -- local  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art dealers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.focugall
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-focugall
Online Media:

Todd Walker (1970)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 6, Folder 27
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1970
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref267

William Current (1983)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref100

Margo Davis (1973)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972-1973
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref101

Nicholas Dean (1968)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref102

Michele Dearborn "Ballet Photographs" (1982)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1982-1983
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref103

Mike De Castro (1977)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974-1977
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref104

David Donoho (1967)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1967
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref105

Nell Dorr (1973)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1973
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref106

Allen Dutton (1971)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1970-1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref107

John Dunlop "Wall Street" (1974)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref108

Sam Ehrlich (1975)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref109

Eliot Elisofon "The Nile" (1966)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref110

Margaret Fabrizio (1976)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976-1977
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref111

Andree Ferris (1968 and 1979)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 20-22
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1981
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref112

Ralph Fertig (1971)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref113

Peter Fink

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref114

Shirley Fisher (1980)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 25
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980-1981
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref115

Robert Fitch "Mine Eyes Have Seen...Martin Luther King" (1969)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 26
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref116

Christa Fleishmann "A Mark in Time" (1971)

Collection Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 27
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Focus Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Focus Gallery records / Series 3: Exhibition files / 3.1: Solo Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-focugall-ref117

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