Born in Arkansas in 1942 and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brainard moved to New York City in 1961. There, he quickly developed
friendships with Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, Bill Berkson, Barbara Guest, and other participants in the New York School.
The large number of collaborative works in the collection, as well as the many illustrations Brainard did for books by others,
reflect the sense of community shared by these artists.