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Kasten (Karl) Papers
BANC MSS 87/186 c  
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The Karl Kasten papers are comprised of correspondence, professional and personal papers, writings, subject files, documentation binders, and teaching materials.
Karl Kasten, printmaker, painter, inventor, and educator, was born in San Francisco in 1916. Graduating as valedictorian from Marin College in 1936, he enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley where he received an M.A. in 1939. His service as a lieutenant in the 295th Engineer Combat Battalion during WWII interrupted Kasten's post graduate work which included studying with Mauricio Lasansky at the University of Iowa in 1949 and Hans Hofmann at the Han Hofmann School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1951. Kasten's teaching career began in 1941 with an appointment at the California School of Fine Art (later named the San Francisco Art Institute), and following his service in WWII he held a brief appointment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Kasten returned to the Bay Area in 1947 joining the faculty at San Francisco State University (1949-1950) where he established a printmaking program. His influential career at the University of California, Berkeley began in 1950 with an invitation from Worth Ryder to join the faculty. Kasten was an early proponent of Abstract Expressionism in the Bay Area. He was a charter member of the Bay Printmakers Society and the first president of the newly formed California Society of Printmakers in 1968. It was during the 1960s that Kasten expanded the possibilities of printmaking by developing vacuum-formed plastic plates and, in 1977, he designed the lightweight K-B etching press. Kasten had a long and illustrious exhibition record and his work was collected by museums nationally and internationally. He became Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley in 1983, capping a long and distinguished teaching career, beloved by countless students for his energetic, engaging and warm demeanor. "That was Nirvana" he said. "My greatest satisfaction is that I was a pretty good teacher." Kasten died at his Berkeley home at the age of 94 in May 2010, his passion for art and learning keeping him busy until the end.
9 linear feet (5 cartons, 6 boxes, 1 oversize box, 2 oversize folders)
Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For additional information about the University of California, Berkeley Library's permissions policy please see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies
Collection is open for research, with the following exceptions: Beatrix Kasten and Cho-An Kasten correspondence (Box 1, Folders 7-8) sealed until 2025.