Scope and Content
Language of Material:
USC Libraries Special Collections
Title: Fisher Gallery records
Fisher Gallery (University of Southern California)
Identifier/Call Number: 0271
Identifier/Call Number: 997
46 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1932-2001
Abstract: The Fisher Gallery records document the functions and activities of the Fisher Gallery at the University of Southern California,
consisting of the papers of Gallery Directors; records, publications, and media of exhibits; documents of loans; records pertaining
to the USC Museum Studies Program; and papers from the Friends of Art/Council of Fine Arts.
Collection is stored off-site and advance notice is required for access.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of University Archives as the owner of the physical material, and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
The Fisher Gallery records is part of an ongoing donation from the USC Fisher Gallery.
In the summer of 2004, Jennifer Allan began processing the Fisher Gallery records. Allan processed the first portion of the
collection, including records from 1932 to 1994. In the spring of 2011, Rachel H. Wen-Paloutzian continued the project and
processed another portion of the collection, which contains records from 1970 to 2001.
In 1939, the Fisher Gallery was established at the University of Southern California University Park campus as the first museum
in Los Angeles dedicated to the collection and exhibition of fine arts. Mrs. Elizabeth Holmes Fisher contributed the funds
to build the Gallery and donated her collection of European and American art to USC. In 1942, the Gallery was expanded with
a new exhibit space, the Quinn wing. Winnifred Poingdestre was the first Director of the Fisher Gallery until retiring in
From 1958 to 1971, Dr. Edward S. Peck led the Fisher Gallery as the Director. In the summer of 1964, the Friends of Art of
USC was formed by community lovers of art and loyal friends of the University. In 1965, the Fisher Gallery enhanced its permanent
collection with a gift of fifty paintings from Dr. Armand Hammer.
Donald Brewer was the Director of the Fisher Gallery from 1971 to 1980. Also known as the University Art Galleries during
this period, the Fisher Gallery began an active changing exhibition program in the late 1970s.
With the appointment of Dr. Selma Holo in 1981 as the Director of the Gallery and the USC Museum Studies Program, the Fisher
Gallery officially became part of the USC School of Fine Arts. The Museum Studies Program (MSP) offered a master's degree
in Art History focused on graduate training in the curatorial, educational and administration of art museums. The MSP was
closed in 2005. In 1989, the Fisher Gallery gained accreditation from the American Association of Museums, and it became autonomous
in operation, separated from the governance of the USC School of Fine Arts. The Fisher Gallery was renamed the Fisher Museum
of Art in 2008.
The Gallery Directors have worked to secure funding for exhibitions and museum programs, participated in various museum committees
and professional associations, and attended events abroad and in the United States. In addition to showing its permanent collection,
the Fisher Gallery organized exhibitions and presented traveling exhibits.
Scope and Content
The Fisher Gallery records is composed of six series.
The first series, Gallery Directors, consists of correspondence, newsclippings, administrative reports, and other papers created
and received by the Directors of the Fisher Gallery. The second series, Exhibits, consists of correspondence, loan forms,
newsclippings, programs, reports, galley proofs, exhibit catalogues, and other materials pertinent to the curating, showing,
and traveling of exhibits at the Fisher Gallery and other museums. The third series, Loans, is a small amount of correspondence,
loan forms, programs, and other documents related to the loaning of artworks from the Fisher Gallery to other museums. The
fourth series contains the records of the Museum Studies Program, including grant applications, informational packets, correspondence,
and materials related to the exhibits curated by MSP students. The fifth series consists of the papers of the Friends of Art,
including correspondence, newsclippings, programs, and auction details. The sixth series, Photographs, consists of all removed
media from the previous series', including photographs, negatives, slides, and records.
Materials removed from the collection include duplicate items, receipts, shipping forms, purchase orders, job applications.
[Box/folder# or item name], Fisher Gallery records, Collection no. 0271, University Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries,
University of Southern California
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Traveling exhibitions -- Archival resources
Exhibitions -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
Art museum directors -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
College art museums -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
University of Southern California -- Archives
Fisher Gallery (University of Southern California) -- Archives
Poingdestre, Winnifred -- Archives
Brewer, Donald J. -- Archives
Holo, Selma -- Archives
Peck, Edward S. -- Archives