Rick Barton was a gay Beat artist who lived in San Francisco in the 1950s and 1960s. The collection is primarily comprised
of drawings created by Barton, chiefly in pen and ink, in the late 1950s to early 1960s.
Rick Barton was born in New York in 1928. He was an artist who claimed to have conducted a self-guided education at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. While serving in the U.S. Navy in 1947, he traveled to China where he observed
traditional line painting. He was most prolific in the gay San Francisco Beat subculture of the 1950s and 1960s. There he
garnered a group of disciples who were drawn to his unique artistic style, which evidences an array of influences, including
Chinese line painting, Renaissance woodcut illustrations, and Cubism. Barton drew his surroundings constantly, and was most
attracted to subjects such as rooms, people, hands, cafés, churches and botanicals, which were represented in detailed and
imagined perspectives. While he primarily lived in San Francisco, Barton spent time in Los Angeles, drawing spaces like Olvera
Street, Bunker Hill, and other Los Angeles environs. Some of his drawings were printed by Henry Evans, who ran the Peregrine
Press in San Francisco in the 1950s and 1960s, and who supported Barton by purchasing what is now the largest extant collection
of his original drawings throughout those years. Barton passed in 1992.
11.25 Linear Feet
(3 flat boxes, 3 oversize flat boxes, 1 map folder)
(775 drawings, 4 paintings)
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are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright
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