Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Bienal Americana de Arte records
Date (inclusive): 1961-1969, 1977
Bienal Americana de Arte
20.61 linear feet
(26 boxes, 9 flatfile folders, 1 roll)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
The Bienal Americana de Arte records document the series of art salons and biennials sponsored by Industrias Kaiser Argentina
(IKA). The biennials were important events for exhibiting contemporary art in Latin America in the 1960s. Although regional
in focus, they attracted significant international attention. An experimental music section in 1966 featured John Cage among
several Latin American composers. The archive documents the planning, realization, and reception of the biennials, as well
as two contemporary Latin American art salons.
Language: Collection material is in
Spanish; Castilian with some
The Bienales Americana de Arte were important events for exhibiting contemporary art in Latin America in the 1960s. Although
regional in focus, the biennials attracted significant international and critical attention.
Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) began taking an interest in arts and cultural sponsorship in 1958, when it organized the
first of five contemporary visual arts salons in Córdoba, Argentina. The salons were held until 1963 and featured Argentine
artists working in a number of mediums. Inspired by the success of the salons, IKA organized the first Bienal Americana de
Arte in 1962 and expanded its scope to include artists from the neighboring countries of Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, in addition
to Argentina. The jury was composed of a representative from each of these four countries, a representative from the Organization
of the American States (OAS), and headed by British critic Sir Herbert Read.
The second Bienal, in 1964, expanded further to include artists from ten Latin American countries. Umbro Apollonio, director
of the Venice Bienale, presided over a jury comprised again of representatives from each participating country and an OAS
representative. Selections from the second Bienal later toured North America.
The third and final Bienal took place in 1966. By this time, the event had grown to include artists from 13 Latin American
countries in addition to an Experimental Music section featuring John Cage and Earle Brown along with other contemporary musicians
and composers from all over the Americas. In a departure from previous years, the jury was restricted to a small pool of internationally
known art experts: Alfred Barr Jr., (Director of MoMA, N.Y.), Arnold Bode (Director of Documenta of Kassel, West Germany),
Sam Hunter (Director of the Jewish Museum, N.Y.), Carlos Raul Villanueva (an internationally known Venezuelan architect),
and Aldo Pellegrini (a highly respected Argentine writer and art critic). Christian Sorenson directed all three biennials
and his wife, Magda, coordinated the Experimental Music section.
Open for use by qualified researchers, except for unreformatted audio visual materials.
Bienal Americana de Arte records, 1961-1969, 1977, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 970074.
Acquired in 1997.
In 2010 and 2011, Alexis Adkins processed the collection and wrote the finding aid under the supervision of Andra Darlington.
Six monographs and eight serials were transferred to the library. These publications may be found by searching the
for the provenance, Bienal Americana de Arte Collection.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Bienal Americana de Arte records provide partial documentation of the planning, realization, and reception of Salons IV
and V and Bienales I, II, and III. The Salons are grouped into one series, each Bienal into its own series, and there is a
separate series for the Experimental Music section.
All of the series include administrative papers and ephemera. The third and fourth series have more extensive and varied records
-- including correspondence, photographs, and slides -- which reflect the growing scope and impact of the second and third
biennials. The series for the Experimental Music section includes correspondence with and a score by John Cage, and audio
recordings of works by the following composers: Earle Brown, Alcides Lanza, Nelly Moretto, and Jorge de la Vega in addition
to two compilations.
Arranged in five series:
Series I. Salons, 1961-1967;
Series II. I Bienal Americana de Arte, 1961-1963;
Series III. II Bienal Americana de Arte, 1963-1967;
Series IV. III Bienal Americana de Arte, 1961-1969, 1977;
Series V. Experimental Music, 1962-1969, 1977.
Subjects - Topics
Art, Latin America--20th century
Genres and Forms of Material
Black-and-white photographs--Latin America--20th century
Color slides--Latin America--20th century
Apollonio, Umbro, 1911-
Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-1981
Bode, Arnold, 1900-1977
Brown, Earle, 1926-2002
Hunter, Sam, 1923-
Industrias Kaiser Argentina
Moretto, Nelly, 1925-1978
Read, Herbert, 1893-1968
Vega, Jorge de la, 1930-1971
Villanueva, Carlos Raúl, 1900-1975