The collection contains a near complete archive of Jerry McMillan's
artistic output including approximately 7,000 negatives, 150 contact sheets, and 375 prints,
as well as magazine articles, exhibition announcements, and other ephemera. There is also a
small selection of McMillan's mixed media artworks, including two of McMillan's photo-bag
sculptures and a multimedia collage.
Jerry McMillan (born 1936) is a Los Angeles photographer who moved to California from
Oklahoma City in 1957 to study at Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of
the Arts). McMillan played a vital role as a documenter of the mid-century Los Angeles art
scene. Collaborating closely with artists, including fellow Oklahomans Ed Ruscha and Joe
Goode, he helped them craft their own brands by posing them in ways that reflected their
personas. Ruscha, Judy Chicago, and Barbara T. Smith are among the artists whose public
images came to be widely recognized, thanks to the often whimsically staged role-playing he
captured them performing. While McMillan is known primarily as a photographer and designer
of catalogues for other artists' exhibitions, he also developed his own artistic expression
using photography as an experimental medium integrated with other media and techniques. He
is one of the pioneers of photo-sculpture, and was a dedicated creator of photographic
three-dimensional objects throughout his career. Ten of McMillan's photo-sculptures,
including the sculptures known as "paper bags" that are included in the GRI holdings, were
included in the landmark 1970 exhibition Photography into Sculpture, curated by
Peter C. Bunnell at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which also traveled to several
venues in the United States and Canada. They were also included in a re-created
Photography into Sculpture exhibition at Cherry and Martin Gallery in Los
Angeles in 2011-2012, and a restaged version called The Photographic Object,
organized by Hauser + Wirth Gallery in New York in July 2014.
30.3 Linear Feet
Contact Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of sculptures which require
curatorial approval. Born-digital material unavailable until reformatted.