The Joan Brown Papers, 1959-2002, n.d., consist of correspondence, announcements, catalogues, professional papers, notebooks,
artwork, source material and personal papers that detail Brown's life as an artist, from her coming to prominence during San
Francisco's Beat era of the 1950's, to her death in 1990. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1970's to 1990, but also
includes Brown's early correspondence with her first art dealer, George Staempfli. These papers complement other collections
of artist's papers held by The Bancroft Library, notably Bruce Conner and Jay DeFeo.
Born in San Francisco in 1938 and living her entire life in the Bay Area, Joan Vivien (Beatty) Brown would, at the time of
her death in 1990, come to epitomize the style and philosophy of the Bay Area figurative tradition. Though her exposure to
art during her childhood was minimal, upon graduating from high school in 1955 Brown experienced an artistic awakening when
she by chance stumbled upon an advertisement in a local San Francisco newspaper for classes at the California School of Fine
Art (later renamed the San Francisco Art Institute). Longing to escape the confines of an unhappy and physically cramped home
life, Brown submitted a small portfolio of pencil drawings of movie stars and was accepted for admission.
Number of containers: 9 boxes, 1 carton, 14 oversize folders, and 1 oversize box
(Linear feet: 8.2)
Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must
be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research, except for Box 5. Permission of Pictorial Curator required for use.