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Artist and gallery ephemera LIB.001.002
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents Note
  • Accessing the Collection
  • Conditions Governing Use Note
  • Arrangement Note
  • Internal Arrangement Note
  • Separated Materials Note
  • Separated Materials Note
  • Processing Information Note
  • Internal Processing Information Note
  • Preferred Citation Note

  • Title: Artist and gallery ephemera
    Identifier/Call Number: LIB.001.002
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 447.0 linear feet
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1965-1990
    Date (inclusive): 1879-2013
    Creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    The artist and gallery ephemera files were and are compiled and maintained by the staff of the Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and have been since the opening of the museum on Wilshire Boulevard in 1965. Some materials date before the 1960s and were acquired by the library when it was a part of the Los Angeles Museum of Science History and Art (now the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History) at Exposition Park before the Art Museum became an independent entity. The library received most materials either directly by mail or through curators who passed the materials along for inclusion in the files. Museum donors, board and committee members, or artists and their families also contributed private collections.

    Scope and Contents Note

    The artist and gallery ephemera files consist of a total of 447 linear feet of materials that include, but are not limited to: post cards; exhibition announcements; clippings and photocopies; press releases, brochures; pamphlets; catalogs; price lists; invitations; posters; research notes; reviews and other ephemera promoting the work of artists or exhibitions of artworks organized by galleries as early as 1879, but predominantly dating from the late 1960s to the present. The collection is especially strong in American and international ephemera related to contemporary art and artists and materials from galleries and institutions in the Los Angeles area. 655 boxes or 383 linear feet are made up of artist files, consisting of ephemera primarily relating to individual artists and their exhibitions. 96 boxes or 56 linear feet consist of ephemera from group shows, grouped by gallery or by institutions such as universities, or colleges or the galleries affiliated with these institutions. 6 boxes or 8 linear feet consist of posters grouped geographically. The collection also has examples of contemporary materials from and about related arts, art professionals, art spaces; collectors and collections, vendors and events that were part of former curator's vertical files. All materials pertaining to artists was collected for the artist files regardless of the nationality, period, or school of the artist or venue represented. Beginning in 2011, collecting for the gallery and institution files has been limited to group shows held only in California-based venues. Unlisted artists may be represented in files representing a range of the alphabet [i.e. "Aa-Az"], in files grouping a single common name [i.e. "Adams"], or as part of group shows filed under a different artist's name. Posters and larger format ephemera are represented in each of part of the collection. Catalogs and exhibitions listed are intended as searchable examples rather than a comprehensive index. Please contact the Research Library for more information about additional artists.

    Accessing the Collection

    This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library. Please contact the library in advance to inquire if materials exist in the artist and gallery ephemera collection pertaining to your research interests by calling 323-857-6118 or emailing library@lacma.org.

    Conditions Governing Use Note

    Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-856-6118 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

    Arrangement Note

    The files are arranged into three series: artist files, gallery/institution files, and poster files.
    Because the files are a concatenation of several source collections and periods of oversight, the internal arrangement may vary. Most materials related to group shows are filed in the gallery/institution files under the name of venue. Due to previous filing irregularities, some group show materials may be found in the artist files under the name of the first artist listed, or under an artist's name that has been checked or underlined. Index card surrogates directing the user to other files were also previously used (i.e. "see also" or "filed under").

    Internal Arrangement Note

    The three series (artist files, gallery/institution files, and poster files) also have been subdivided by format in some cases.
    There is a flat file which contains oversize items from all three sources.
    There is a poster series that is culled from the artist files in anticipation of the creation of more flat files - it is alphabetical by artist. [the posters culled were those at greatest risk due to size, fragility, or method of folding].
    There is also an oversize poster series that is another portion of the artist files group that is alphabetical by artist.
    There is an oversize section for non-poster ephemera of the artist files group that is alphabetical by artist.
    There are also oversize portions of the gallery/institution files. Since the files are housed in letter-size boxes there are some items that are wider as well as taller than would fit in the body of the series.
    There is an oversize file (width) that is alphabetical by gallery and institution name.
    There is an oversize file (height) that has two sections: posters; and non-poster emphemera. Both are alphabetical by gallery and institution name.
    There is a separate finding aid spreadsheet for these files and other items not included in this finding aid listed under "Artist Files" in the Research Library's drive.

    Separated Materials Note

    As of 2012, most bound items larger than eight pages are no longer added to the files. Most pamphlets or booklets over eight pages long that had been added to the files before 2012 are gradually being removed for individual cataloging. Ephemera in unique or unusual formats have also been removed from the general files and cataloged separately. These items include invitations and announcements that, rather than using a traditional pamphlet or postcard form, may instead communicate information in the form of an artist's book, a three dimensional object, or an object that references a theme in the artists artwork. These are also available to researchers as a part of the artist and gallery special formats ephemera collection (collection number LIB.001.001).
    Additional catalogs and posters that have been separated from the collection are accessible to researchers through the online library catalog and librarian-assisted searches.

    Separated Materials Note

    The files of the following artist files for those artists with a strong presence in California were separated from the bulk of the Artist files and cataloged separately due to more frequent usage. They are also open for research by contacting the Balch Art Research Library.

    Selected Artists

    1. Alexander, Peter
    2. Altoon, John
    3. Antin, Eleanor
    4. Barnes, Ernie
    5. Baldessari, John
    6. Bell, Larry
    7. Bengston, Billy Al
    8. Berman, Wallace
    9. Blair, Streeter
    10. Burden, Chris
    11. Byars, James Lee
    12. Conner, Bruce
    13. Cornell, Joseph
    14. DeFeo, Jay
    15. Diebenkorn, Richard
    16. Foulkles, Llyn
    17. Gamboa Jr., Harry
    18. Gechtoff, Sonia
    19. Gronk
    20. Hammons, David
    21. Heizer, Michael
    22. Hockney, David
    23. Hopper, Dennis
    24. Irwin, Robert
    25. Johns, Jasper
    26. Kauffman, Craig
    27. Kelley, Mike
    28. Kelly, James
    29. Kerr, Leslie
    30. Kienholz, Edward
    31. Ligon, Glenn
    32. Lobdell, Frank
    33. Lujan, Gilbert
    34. Lynch, Alan
    35. Mason, John
    36. McCarthy, Paul
    37. McCracken, John
    38. Oldenburg, Claes
    39. Outterbridge, John
    40. Moses, Ed
    41. Nauman, Bruce
    42. Nordmann, Maria
    43. Pettibon, Richard
    44. Price, Kenneth
    45. Ray, Charles
    46. Romero, Frank
    47. Ruben, Richards
    48. Ruscha, Ed
    49. Saar, Betye
    50. Sarkisian, Paul
    51. Smith, Hassel
    52. Still, Clyfford
    53. Turrell, James
    54. Valadez, John
    55. Valdez, Pattsi
    56. Viola, Bill
    57. Voulkos, Peter
    58. Wagner, Gordon
    59. Warhol, Andy
    60. Wasserstein, Julius
    61. Wayne, June
    62. Wheeler, Doug
    63. White, Charles
    64. Wudl, Tom

    Processing Information Note

    As part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 and a Getty Foundation grant to improve the visibility, accessibility, growth and conservation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's ephemera files, the museum's materials were reorganized and rehoused, and a finding aid was created. The ephemera collection is a live file; as such, improvements are being made as additional material is received. Rubber bands and paperclips are being removed and acidic materials are being isolated. Damaged folders are replaced and new folders added as artist's materials increase in size or frequency of research requests. The formerly separate "gallery files" and "institution files" were fully integrated into a single series, and sorted alphabetically by the first letter of the venue title rather than by personal surnames within the venue title (i.e. "G. Ray Hawkins Gallery" vs. "Hawkins"), and by the institution name rather than the location (i.e. "California Institute of the Arts" vs. "Valencia, California"). Materials were rehoused from file cabinets and banker boxes into archival boxes stored on dedicated shelving.

    Internal Processing Information Note

    Some inconsistencies due to changing filing strategies included reintegrating "Mc and Mac" as "mc" and "mac" and reversing the occasional practice of filing a 'u' or 'o' with a diaeresis which had been noted to be filed as 'ue' or 'oe' and is now filed as a 'u' or 'o'. 'La' and 'le' had been both separated as articles as well as filed with the spaces skipped, and 'de' have been left as filed within miscellaneous (i.e. "La-Li") folders. The distinctions between LA, L.A., [Los Angeles] "La" as an artiel (as in La Canada or La Tour) had mostly been ignored within the files by running them together. Researchers should be prepared to look in all combinations. Dutch, Spanish and Asian multi-part names were often filed under the first or last part of the name. As the files are updated the Library of Congress authority heading is being used or the ULAN if there is no LOC entry; if neither has an entry the name is listed as it appears on an artist's or institution's website or the museum's own TMS listing. Many of the names on the catalogs do not correspond with authorized headings - most often because they have been Anglicized. Some of the institution and place names may differ as well but have generally been transcribed rather than individually researched for American usage. As location designations, New York, and California have been abbreviated since almost all of the materials are mailings and use US Post Office naming conventions.

    Preferred Citation Note

    [Description of item], [Name of series], Artist and gallery ephemera, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, LIB.001.002.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art galleries, Commercial--California
    Art museums--California
    Artist files