Finding Aid for the Walter Gabrielson papers, 1962-2008

Processed by Heather Lowe in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia  funds.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2010
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Walter Gabrielson papers
Date (inclusive): 1962-2008
Collection number: 1830
Creator: Gabrielson, Walter, 1935-2008
Extent: 84 document boxes (42 linear ft.) 2 oversize boxes
Abstract: Walter Gabrielson (1935-2008) was a southern California painter, sculptor, professor, and arts writer. He served as professor at California State University Northridge (1966-1981) and helped form the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (1973-1988). The collection consists of professional records and writings as well as preparatory drawings, visual reference materials and documentation of his artwork.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Nancy Goldberg, December 3, 2008.

Processing Note

Processed by Heather Lowe in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010.
The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia   funds.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Walter Gabrielson papers (Collection Number 1830). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


Walter Gabrielson was born in Orr, Minnesota in 1935 and moved to Inglewood, California with his family in 1953. Gabrielson attended both Chouinard Art Institute and then transferred to the Otis Art Institute receiving his M.F.A in 1965. While still at Otis, Gabrielson worked as a printmaker for the Fantasmagoric Print Workshop and later for the Tamarind Institute. In the fall of 1966, Gabrielson began serving as a professor of art at California State University, Northridge and continued until 1981. During this time he participated actively in the local and national arts community. Most notably he was part of the founding committee of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art where he served as publications chairman. In 1974, he worked with Ed Wortz to lead an influential seminar through the UCLA extension program focusing on "The Ironic Los Angeles Artist," which included participation from John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Terry Allen, Karen Carson and many others.
Gabrielson exhibited his work throughout his life, including one-man and group shows in the Southern California area, as well as nationally and internationally. Notable exhibitions include a two-man show with James Turrell at the ARCO Art Center in 1976, "Decade, Los Angeles Painting in the Seventies" at the Art Center School of Design in 1981, and the "Collection of Michael Blankfort" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1982. Gabrielson had an ongoing relationship with the Contemporary Arts Forum of Santa Barbara, California, until his death in November 2008.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of drawings, photographs, and slides of Gabrielson's work as well as exhibition announcements, exhibition reviews and written works. A large portion of the collection is made of clippings and visual materials Gabrielson used as visual reference. The collection spans Gabrielson's artistic development with the inclusion of slides from early graduate work to drawings created in 2008. Images from various interactions with other local artists are included as well.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized by item type at the series level and by work or artistic project within series when applicable. The series are as follows:
  1. Professional documentation, 1962-2008 (boxes 1-3)
  2. Writings and books, ca. 1975-2004 (boxes 3-7, 85)
  3. Artwork, ca. 1975-2008 (boxes 7-32, 84-86)
  4. Sketchbooks, 1976-2007 (boxes 32-37)
  5. Slides and photographs of work, 1962-2008 (boxes 37-46)
  6. Research morgue, ca. 1962-2008 (boxes 47-83)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Gabrielson, Walter, 1935-2008.
Artists --United States --Archival resources.

Related Material

Gabrielson, W., Persistence: My Life as an artist. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., 1993.