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PRELIMINARY INVENTORY OF THE ROLF NELSON GALLERY RECORDS, 1953-1973
2010.M.38  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Separated Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Rolf Nelson Gallery records
    Date (inclusive): 1953-1973
    Number: 2010.M.38
    Creator/Collector: Rolf Nelson Gallery
    Physical Description: 7.7 linear feet (11 boxes)
    Repository:
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The Rolf Nelson Gallery made a significant contribution to the vibrant Southern California art scene of the 1960s by exhibiting emerging as well as established artists. The archive contains correspondence, photographs, and printed ephemera related to the operation of the gallery and Nelson's subsequent work as a private dealer. The collection is rich in materials from Lowell Nesbitt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Judy Chicago, Robert Indiana, Harry Partch and George Herms.
    Request Materials: To access physical materials on site, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    The Rolf Nelson Gallery made a significant contribution to the vibrant Southern California art scene of the 1960s by exhibiting emerging as well as established artists. Born in Brooklyn in 1935 to Norwegian immigrant parents, Rolf Nelson began his career at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York in the early 1960s. After moving to Los Angeles in 1962 Nelson worked at the Southern California branch of the San Francisco-based Dilexi Gallery. By 1963 he had opened his own gallery in Los Angeles on La Cienega Boulevard. The gallery was subsequently moved to two other locations on La Cienega Boulevard, gradually expanding with each move. The Rolf Nelson Gallery played an integral role in disseminating art of the pop movement in the 1960s and promoting emerging artists such as Llyn Foulkes, George Herms and Jess, along with more established artists including Georgia O'Keeffe, Judy Chicago and Alfred Jensen. In 1966 Nelson closed his gallery and worked as a private dealer. He returned to New York by 1972 and retired soon thereafter.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Rolf Nelson Gallery records, 1953-1973, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 2010.M.38.

    Acquisition

    Acquired in 2010.

    Processing History

    In 2010 Laura Schroffel processed the collection and wrote the finding aid under the supervision of Andra Darlington.

    Separated Materials

    Four books were transferred to the Getty Research Library general collection and may be found by searching the library catalog : Lowell Nesbitt, Athens in ruins, Rome in ruins, New York in ruins (New York: Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer, 1971); Claes Oldenburg, Claes Oldenburg (Paris: Ileana Sonnabend, 1964); Lowell Nesbitt, Lowell Nesbitt: Bilder, Serigraphien (Köln: Galerie M.E. Thelen, 1970); Jess, Translation (New York: Odyssia Gallery, 1971).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Rolf Nelson Gallery records contain correspondence, photographs, and printed ephemera related to the operation of the gallery and Nelson's subsequent work as a private dealer. The collection is rich in materials from Lowell Nesbitt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Judy Chicago, Robert Indiana, Harry Partch and George Herms. There is original artwork by Judi, Jess, George Herms and Michael Cady. Letters sent and received during Nelson's tenure at the Martha Jackson Gallery and his own gallery make up the bulk of the collection. While most of the collection deals directly with artists and clients, there are also documents related to Nelson's involvement with the Save the Museum Committee and the Artist Protest Committee.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the gallery's original order. Files are organized alphabetically by artist, client, institution or topic, with some files of assorted items grouped under the letter of the alphabet.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Cady, Michael
    Chicago, Judy, 1939-
    Herms, George, 1935-
    Indiana, Robert , 1928-
    Jensen, Alfred, 1903-1981
    Jess, 1923-2004
    Nesbitt, Lowell, 1933-
    O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Martha Jackson Gallery
    Rolf Nelson Gallery

    Subjects - Topics

    Art galleries, Commercial--United States
    Art, Modern--20th century--United States
    Artists--California
    Artists-United States-Correspondence

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Black-and-white negatives
    Color slides--United States--20th century
    Gelatin silver prints--United States--20th century

    Contributors

    Cady, Michael
    Herms, George, 1935-
    Jess, 1923-2004
    Nelson, Rolf