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Finding aid to the Kenneth Bartmess masks and photographs, circa 1979-1985 Coll2013.008
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Materials
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Title: Kenneth Bartmess Masks and Photographs
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2013.008
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.5 linear feet. 3 flat archive boxes.
    Date (inclusive): circa 1979-1985
    Abstract: Four flower masks, one Don Kilhefner mask, and photographs of Radical Faeries gatherings from gay activist and craftsman, Kenneth Bartmess, circa 1979-1985.
    creator: Bartmess, Kenneth


    California native and longtime Los Angeles resident, Kenneth Bartmess, was a volunteer peer counselor at the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center during the 1980s-1990s. He earned a degree from Santa Monica College in the early 1990s, and was involved in theater and dance. Bartmess was also a craftsman, and ran a custom lamp and lighting-fixture business. In 1991, Bartmess lost his lover of 22 years, CJ Meagher, to an AIDS-related illness. He later wrote about his experience in From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection (1996). As a craftsman, Bartmess also made masks for artistic expression.
    Source: Borger, Irene, Ed. From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection. New York, NY.: Washington Square Press, 1996.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.


    Donated by Kenneth Bartmess, March 21, 2007.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder #, or item name] Kenneth Bartmess Masks and Photographs, Coll2013-008, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, January 2013.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection, circa 1979-1985, comprises five of Bartmess' hand-crafted masks, as well as a small collection of photographs taken of gatherings of the Radical Faeries, a collective of spiritual gay men. One mask is in the likeness of gay activist and Radical Faerie founder, Don Kilhefner; and the other four flower masks were used in Without Reservations, a theatrical reading of stories from a gay theater group in Los Angeles.

    Separated Materials

    A pamphlet from Stonewater Circle, the San Diego gathering of Radical Faeries, has been separated from the collection and placed with the "Radical Faeries" file in the ONE Subject Files Collection, Coll2012-001.


    This collection is arranged alphabetically.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Kilhefner, Don, 1939-
    Radical Faeries.
    Gay men
    Gay theater
    Masks (costume)