PRELIMINARY INVENTORY OF THE MIZUNO GALLERY RECORDS, 1955-2005, bulk 1966-1988

Finding aid prepared by Teresa Soleau


Descriptive Summary

Title: Mizuno Gallery records
Date (inclusive): 1955-2005 (bulk 1966-1988)
Number: 2010.M.84
Creator/Collector: Mizuno Gallery
Physical Description: 2.9 linear feet (4 boxes)
Repository:
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
Abstract: The Mizuno Gallery occupies an important place in the history of postwar art in Los Angeles as a venue for contemporary art from 1967 to 1984. The archive includes gallery ephemera, postcards, letters, installation shots and other photographs documenting gallerist Riko Mizuno's close relationship with the artists she exhibited, and with collectors and other art world personalities. The most extensively represented artists are Vija Celmins, Billy Al Bengston, and Henry Miller.
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Language: Collection material is in English

Biographical / Historical Note

A partial chronology of exhibitions held at Gallery 699 and Mizuno Gallery is available at: http://archives.getty.edu:30008/getty_images/digitalresources/2010m84_mizuno_chron.pdf 
Riko Mizuno operated the Mizuno Gallery from 1967-1984. The gallery occupies an important place in the history of art in postwar Los Angeles as a venue for contemporary artists such as Chris Burden, Mike Kelley and Billy Al Bengston. Mizuno was born in Tokyo in 1932. In the mid 1950s, she arrived in Los Angeles assisted by a family friend who also knew Nelbert Murphy Chouinard, of the Chouinard Art Institute where Mizuno enrolled as a ceramics student. While there, she met many other student artists, such as Stephan von Huene and Ed Ruscha. In 1966, encouraged by Guy Williams' wife, Mary, Mizuno took over the space formerly occupied by the Rolf Nelson Gallery and opened Gallery 669.
The first exhibition at Gallery 669 was of Henry Miller's watercolors. The following year, Eugenia Butler joined Mizuno as co-director of the gallery, but soon left to found her own gallery. Mizuno then renamed the gallery Mizuno Gallery. During the ten years Mizuno occupied that particular space, she exhibited historical figures associated with the Ferus Gallery, including Ken Price, Ed Moses, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, and Billy Al Bengston, and other major artists, such as Vija Celmins, Ay-O, Jack Goldstein, Alexis Smith, and Doug Wheeler. In addition, Chris Burden’s early performance, Deadman, took place at her gallery in 1972, as did his first solo exhibition (1974). In 1976 Mizuno closed the gallery, and in 1978, reopened it in Little Tokyo. This was the site of Mike Kelley's first solo exhibition in 1981. Mizuno relocated again in 1983 to 454 N. Robertson Blvd. The gallery closed in 1984. Although Mizuno no longer works out of a public storefront, she continues to operate as a private dealer.

Administrative Information

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Mizuno Gallery records, 1955-2005, bulk 1966-1988, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2010.M.84.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Riko Mizuno in 2010.

Processing History

In 2011 Teresa Soleau processed the collection and wrote the finding aid under the supervision of Andra Darlington.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Mizuno Gallery records contain correspondence, photographs, and printed ephemera, among other materials that document the operation of the gallery from its founding in 1967 until 1984. Of approximately 90 exhibitions at the gallery, two-thirds are represented in some way in this collection. There are also materials from artists whose work was never shown at the gallery. The collection is rich in materials from Billy Al Bengston, Vija Celmins and Henry Miller. There is original artwork by Billy Al Bengston, Vija Celmins, Raymond Saunders, Russell Tamblyn and H.C. Westermann.
The ephemera in Series I dates from 1967 to 1983 and includes invitations, postcards and posters from exhibitions held at Gallery 669 and Mizuno Gallery. The records in Series II date from 1967 to 2005 and include a sales log and guest book as well as photographs of the gallery. The artist files in Series III date from 1955 to 1988 and include postcards and letters to Riko Mizuno from the artists, newspaper and journal article clippings, invoices (for works of art), ephemera for exhibitions not at Mizuno Gallery, correspondence and slides, color and black-and-white photographs, transparencies and photograph negatives of openings, installations, and artists.

Arrangement

Organized in three series. Series I. Gallery ephemera, 1967-1983; Series II. General gallery records, 1967-2005; Series III. Artists' files, 1955-1988.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Corporate Bodies

Gallery 669
Mizuno Gallery

Subjects - Topics

Art dealers--United States--Correspondence
Art galleries, Commercial--California--Los Angeles
Artists--20th century--Correspondence

Genres and Forms of Material

Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white prints (photographs)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Color photographs
Color slides--20th century
Mail art
Photographs, Original
Printed ephemera

Contributors

Bengston, Billy Al
Celmins, Vija, 1939-
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980
Mizuno, Riko, 1932-


Container List

 

Series I. Gallery ephemera, 1967-1983

Physical Description: 1.0 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series includes ephemera for shows that took place at Gallery 669 and Mizuno Gallery between 1967 and 1983. See also artist files for some related exhibition ephemera and duplicates of gallery ephemera.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 1

1960s, 1967-1969

Scope and Content Note

1960s ephemera includes a sign hand-made by Mizuno for the first exhibition at Gallery 669 of Henry Miller's watercolors (1967).
Box 1, Folder 2

1970s, 1970-1979

Scope and Content Note

1970s ephemera includes a drawing by Billy Al Bengston that served as an invitation for Candle Lit Show (1970), an exhibition announcement for Chris Burden's early performance, Deadman (1972) and a postcard for John Knight's 1973 show drawn over on both sides in ballpoint pen.
Box 1, Folder 3

1980s, 1980-1983

Scope and Content Note

1980s ephemera includes an exhibition announcement for Mike Kelley's first one-man exhibition (1981). See Vija Celmins file for ephemera from 1983 group show.
Box 4*, Folder 1, 3, 5-6

Oversize, 1967-1973

Scope and Content Note

Oversize ephemera including two copies of a poster from the first exhibition at Gallery 669 of Henry Miller's watercolors (both signed by Miller (1967)) and two copies of a small poster from Ed Moses' first show at Gallery 669 (1967).
 

Series II. General gallery records, 1967-2005

Physical Description: 0.4 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Business records and gallery documentation including installation photographs. See also individual artist files for openings and invoices.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 4

Gallery 669 guestbook, 1967

Box 1, Folder 5

Sales log, 1969-1973

Box 1, Folder 6

Gallery photographs, 1967-1979

Scope and Content Note

Includes a black-and-white photograph of Mizuno during installation of the Plagens show (1970s?) and a photograph of gallery storeroom featuring works by Celmins, Bell and Wheeler. Also includes facsimile photographs of images from a personal album of Riko Mizuno's of her with an AY-O piece and of the Henry Miller opening (1967), including a photograph of Sam Francis.
Box 3, Folder 1

Slides of 1983 gallery addition by Arata Isozaki, 1983

Scope and Content Note

Photography by Mas Kono.
Box 1, Folder 6

Receipt for black-and-white enlargements, 2005

 

Series III. Artists' files, 1955-1988, undated

Physical Description: 1.5 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series includes postcards and letters to Riko Mizuno from the artists, newspaper and journal article clippings, invoices (for works of art), ephemera for shows not at Mizuno Gallery, correspondence and slides, color and black-and-white photographs, transparencies and photograph negatives of openings, installations, and artists. See Gallery ephemera series for ephemera for shows that took place at Gallery 669 and Mizuno Gallery.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically with various individuals and unidentified artists at the end.
Box 2, Folder 1

Allen, Terry, 1970-1971

Box 2-3

Arnoldi, Charles, 1972-1983

Box 2, Folder 2

Papers and black-and-white photograph, 1972-1973

Scope and Content Note

Includes a black-and-white contact print of show at Mizuno Gallery (1972?).
Box 3, Folder 2

Color slide, 1983

Scope and Content Note

Interior installation view of 1983 group show at Mizuno Gallery. Artists featured: Sam Francis and Charles Arnoldi.
Box 2, Folder 3

AY-O, 1968

Scope and Content Note

See General gallery records series for guestbook from 1967 show at Gallery 669 as well as a facsimile photograph from a personal album of Riko Mizuno's depicting an AY-O work.
Box 2, Folder 4

Bachardy, Don, 1975

Scope and Content Note

Message written to Mizuno on postcard featuring Billy Al Bengston work from 1970.
Box 2, Folder 5

Bell, Larry, undated

Scope and Content Note

See General gallery records for photograph of storeroom with Bell's work.
Box 2-3

Bengston, Billy Al, 1970-1980s

Box 2, Folder 6

Papers and back-and-white photographs, 1970-1978

Scope and Content Note

Includes photographs from 1970 show Tea Tables and Tapestries with Ed Moses at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 3, Folder 3

Color slides and color photographs, 1970-1980s

Scope and Content Note

Tea Tables and Tapestries with Ed Moses (Dec 1970), Candle Lit Show (Mar 1970) and gallery opening from the 1980s.
Box 2, Folder 7

Burden, Chris, 1973-1974

Scope and Content Note

Ephemera includes color photocopy of announcement for Burden's Through the Night Softly (1973).
Box 2, Folder 8

Card, Greg, 1970

Box 2-3

Celmins, Vija, 1969-1983

Scope and Content Note

See General gallery records series for photograph of storeroom with Celmins' work.
Box 2, Folder 9-10

Papers and black-and-white photographs, 1969-1983

Scope and Content Note

Includes ephemera from 1983 group show at Mizuno Gallery drawn on by Celmins, a set of small drawings by Celmins, and photographs from a 1973 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 3, Folder 4

Medium format negatives, 1970s

Scope and Content Note

Photographs feature Celmins with 1970 untitled work (comb).
Box 2, Folder 11

Chamberlain, John, 1969

Scope and Content Note

Photographs of works, possibly from 1969 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 2, Folder 12

Cheng, Kai Bob, 1985-1988

Scope and Content Note

Ephemera from 1985 and 1988 shows presented by or in cooperation with Riko Mizuno.
Box 2, Folder 13

Cooper, Ron, 1971-1972

Box 2, Folder 14

Coplans, John, 1969-1974

Box 2, Folder 15

Diebenkorn, Richard, 1981

Box 2-3

Dill, Laddie John, 1973, undated

Box 2, Folder 16

Black-and-white photograph, 1973

Scope and Content Note

Photograph from 1973 show at Mizuno Gallery. Photograph by Frank J. Thomas.
Box 3, Folder 5

Color photograph, undated

Box 2, Folder 17

Fine, Jud, 1972-1974

Box 2-3

Freeman, Betty, 1974, undated

Box 2, Folder 18

Papers, 1974

Box 3, Folder 6

Color photograph, undated

Box 2, Folder 19

Grinstein, Stanley, 1972

Box 2, Folder 20

Hopper, Dennis, 1965

Scope and Content Note

Photograph taken by Hopper of Robert Irwin's studio featuring a prop by Ed Moses (1965).
Box 2, Folder 21

Irwin, Robert, 1965-1980

Scope and Content Note

Includes photographs from 1972 and 1974 shows at Mizuno Gallery. See also Dennis Hopper folder for photograph by Hopper of Irwin's studio featuring an Ed Moses prop (1965).
Box 2, Folder 22

Isermann, Jim, 1981

Box 2, Folder 23

Jackson, Richard, 1976

Box 2-3

Kauffman, Craig, 1975

Box 2, Folder 24

Papers and black-and-white photographs

Scope and Content Note

Includes a contact sheet with photographs from 1975 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 3, Folder 7

Negatives and transparencies

Scope and Content Note

From 1975 show at Mizuno Gallery. For contact sheet of negatives, see papers and black-and-white photographs (Box 2, Folder 24).
Box 2, 4*

Kelley, Mike, 1981-1982

Box 2, Folder 25

Black-and-white photographs, 1981

Scope and Content Note

Photographs from 1981 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 4*, Folder 2

Poster, 1982

Scope and Content Note

Poster from a show with John Miller and JoAnn Verburg, Visiting Artists Exhibition, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, April 19-29, 1982.
Box 2, Folder 26

Knight, John, 1973-1974

Scope and Content Note

Includes black-and-white photograph of 1973 show at Mizuno Gallery courtesy of Frank J. Thomas Archives.
Box 2, Folder 27

Lannan, Pat, 1975

Box 2, Folder 28

Lere, Mark, 1980

Box 2, Folder 29

Little, Penny, 1970

Scope and Content Note

See Billy Al Bengston file for note signed by Little.
Box 2, Folder 30

Madsen, Loren, 1973

Scope and Content Note

Vol. 1, no. 1 (May/Jun 1973) of the Art in America review of exhibitions including review of Madsen's 1973 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 2, Folder 31

Mason, John, 1960

Scope and Content Note

See Peter Voulkos file for photograph including Mason.
Box 2, Folder 32

Miller, Henry, 1955-1968

Scope and Content Note

Includes photographs from 1967 opening at Gallery 669. See General gallery records series for guestbook from 1967 show and facsimle photographs of the opening from an album of Riko Mizuno's.
Box 2, Folder 33

Miyake, Issey, 1974

Box 2, Folder 34

Moses, Ed, 1957-1980

Scope and Content Note

See Dennis Hopper file for photograph by Hopper of Robert Irwin's studio featuring a Moses prop (1965). See Billy Al Bengston files for photographs and slides of 1970 show Teatables and Tapestries. One photograph also includes Robert Delford Brown. Includes drafts for invitation to 1980 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 2-3

Novros, David, undated

Box 2, Folder 35

Black-and-white photograph

Scope and Content Note

Installation photograph of show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 3, Folder 8

Color photograph

Box 2, Folder 36

Price, Ken, 1960s-1970

Box 2, Folder 37

Saunders, Raymond, 1971

Scope and Content Note

Includes a crayon and ink heart drawing by Saunders.
Box 4*, Folder 4

Shinoyama, Kishin, undated

Box 2, Folder 38

Smith, Alexis, 1974

Scope and Content Note

Includes photograph from 1974 show at Mizuno Gallery.
Box 2, Folder 39

Speyer, James, 1971-1980

Box 2, Folder 40

Takemoto, Henry, undated

Scope and Content Note

One photograph includes Peter Voulkos. One photograph with sticker on from Lee Nordness Galleries: Untitled: ceramic: catalog #94.
Box 2, Folder 41

Tamblyn, Russell, 1973

Scope and Content Note

Includes original piece of mail art by Tamblyn.
Box 2, Folder 42

Voulkos, Peter, undated

Scope and Content Note

"Henry Takemoto" written on the back of all photographs. One photograph includes John Mason. See Henry Takemoto file for photograph including Voulkos.
Box 2, Folder 43

Westermann, H.C. 1975

Scope and Content Note

Includes envelope with original Westermann woodcut print on the back.
Box 2, Folder 44

Wheeler, Doug, 1981-1982

Scope and Content Note

See General gallery records for photograph of storeroom with Wheeler's work.
Box 2, Folder 45

Woelffer, Emerson, undated

Box 2, Folder 46

Wudl, Tom, 1972-1974

Box 2, Folder 47

Various, 1969-1983

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence from Maurice Tuchman, LACMA curator.
Box 2, Folder 48

Unidentified, 1969-1974