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Finding Aid for the Gordon Wagner Papers, 1935-1985
1594  
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Description
Gordon Wagner was born on April 13, 1915 in Redondo Beach, California, and died in Long Beach, California, on December 4, 1987. From a young age Wagner was interested in mechanical designs as well as expressing his artistic vision through painting, poetry, and assemblage creations. The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, ephemera, realia, and photographs related to the creation and exhibition of Wagner's work.
Background
Gordon Parsons Wagner was born on April 13, 1915 in Redondo Beach, California; attended UCLA (1935, 1939, 1941); and Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, 1937-41; taught painting, drawing, and sculpture at Barnsdall Art Center (1960-67), Pitzer College (1970-71), and other institutions; became a sculptor and painter, winning 75 awards; his work is represented in some 500 collections and museums, including the Denver Art Museum, Sodertelje Art Museum (Sweden), and the Ahmanson Collection, Los Angeles; he died on December 4, 1987 in Los Angeles.Gordon Wagner was born in 1915 in Redondo Beach, a popular Southern California seaport and tourist destination. Wagner spent the early days of his youth exploring and working at the piers and amusement zones of the local beach cities, gleaning experiences which would later manifest in his paintings, poetry, and assemblage art. As a young man Wagner was influenced by his mentor and fellow painter, Norman S. Chamberlain, with whom he traveled to France and met renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso and Maurice de Vlaminck. Afterwards, Wagner began exploring the work of surrealists such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp, preferring their sense of mysticism and fantasy over the cubist styles of Picasso and Vlaminck. Wagner studied engineering at UCLA and Berkeley, later attending the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Starting in 1934 Wagner worked as a tool and design engineer for various engineering firms such as EMSCO Derrick Equipment Company, where his father had been a sales manager, Hughes Aircraft Company and Rocketdyne before he began his career as a full-time artist and art instructor in 1958.
Extent
23 boxes (11 linear ft.) 10 oversize boxes
Restrictions
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.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.