Guide to the Gaza Bowen papers

M. Carey
University of California, Santa Cruz
2013
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064
speccoll@library.ucsc.edu


Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Gaza Bowen papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS.293
Physical Description: 25 Linear Feet 16 boxes, 39 oversize objects
Date (inclusive): 1980-2008
Abstract: This collection includes files, notebooks and slides as well as artist's books and installation pieces from "Biblioteca Memoria".
Physical Location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Language of Material: English

Access

Collection open for research. Some of the oversize objects are not available for research because of their size, weight and condition.

Use Restictions

Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Preferred Citation

Gaza Bowen papers. MS 293. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dennis Wheeler in 2002, 2006, 2009.

Biography

Gaza Bowen (1944-2005) was an internationally known sculptor who exhibited extensively since 1978. In the broadest sense her work was an inquiry into the non-verbal communication between people and objects.
For nearly twenty years she focused her attention on shoes: their construction, history, cultural meaning, and social significance. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she made functional shoes that sported vibrant colors and unusual patterns. Then she explored shoes as sculptures. Her work has been featured in museums from Berkeley to Los Angeles to Germany. Perhaps her best-known series, "Shoes for the Little Woman," was a group of shoe sculptures created mostly from cleaning supplies: elaborate high heels constructed from kitchen sponges or wooden clothespins, sometimes decorated with pot scrubbers.
In 1995, supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, Gaza stepped away from the shoe idiom and began exploring the relationship between the personal and the political, building mixed media sculptures based on childhood memories.
From 1997 to 1999 she continued her investigation into how the history of use becomes indelibly etched into the fiber of matter and how those traces of memory evoke meaning in the viewer. This work culminated in "Bibliotheca Memoria", a library/reading room installation of books and furniture built from salvaged materials.
Her use of detritus as art material led her to an artist-in-residency at the San Francisco dump in 2000. Her final project from this four month residency was the "Waste Not/What Not Catalog". She also produced many artist's books including "Red Shoe Reader" and "The Secret Game".
Gaza Bowen's work is included in many private and public collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Getty Center for Art and the Humanities and The Norton Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia and Duetsches Schuhmuseum, Offenbach am Main, Germany.
Excerpted from Gaza Bowen, Artist, Biography at gazabowen.com & SF Gate obituary, 6/11/2005, by Kelly Hill, Chronicle Staff Writer.
A resume of Gaza Bowen's work can be found under "Additional Guides" to this finding aid.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection includes files, notebooks and slides as well as artist's books and installation pieces from "Biblioteca Memoria". Many of the objects were fabricated from material from the San Francisco Land Fill and are rusty and sharp edged. Please handle with care.

Separated Material

Red shoe reader [Gaza Bowen, compiler], and Waste not/what not catalog : new paradigm products, [designed, photographed, written by Gaza Bowen] have been cataloged separately.

Processing Information

Processed by:
M. Carey
Date Completed:
February 2014
Encoded by:
M. Carey

Additional collection guides

  1. Gaza Bowen Resume 
  2. Slide Bin Divisions  

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Artists--California--Santa Cruz County
Installations (Art)

 

Business & Research materials, Series 1 ca. 1996-2005

Physical Description: 6 document boxes

Scope and Content Summary

This series contains some biographical material, drawings, notebooks, diaries, sales list, loans, teaching materials, printed appearences, and slides.
box 1

Biographical material, artist statements, etc., 1996-2005

box 1

Sales, Museums, Grants, Exhibit Loans, 1990-2003

box 1

Exhibits, appearances in magazines, programs, announcements

box 1

undated

box 1

1980-1989

box 1

1990-1995

box 2

1996-1999

box 2

1990-1999

box 2

2000-2006

box 2

Announcements & programs, 1997-2001

box 2

Reference material, n.d.

box 2

3 notebooks, 1990-2001

box 5

Photos of art work, Shoes; Drawings, 1983-1997

box 3

2 diaries, 7 notebooks, ca. 1990s

box 4

4 notebooks, ca. 1980-1990s

box 4

Notebook: "Pro Deo et Ecclesia . . .", n.d.

box 4

Teaching, 2000

box 4

Group Show - Cabrillo Gallery, 2006

box 5

Biblioteca Memoria, 1999

box 5

Red Shoe Reader, 1992-2000

Box 6-8

Slides 1978-1999

 

Biblioteca Memoria, Series 2 ca. 1997-1999

Physical Description: 64 objects

Scope and Content Summary

This series contains some of the objects from the installation "Bibliotheca Memoria".
In 1997 Gaza began work on "Bibliotheca Memoria", a life size library built from salvaged metals and assorted detritus. First viewed in September 1999 at Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, the work has been installed at four other venues: Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, University of California Santa Cruz; Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz; Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, California; and JFK University Arts Annex, Berkeley in connection with Women's Environmental Artist Symposium 2001.
box 9

Metal slide box - empty - "O-P" #7, ms0293_obj_0045 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 9

Metal slide box - empty - "Q-S" #8, ms0293_obj_0046 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 9

Metal slide box w/magnifying glass inset in cover, inside cover inset w/knobs, keys - rope, slides. corked bottle of water - "K-L" #5, ms0293_obj_0047 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 10

Metal slide box - empty - "A-B" #1, ms0293_obj_0048 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 9

Metal slide box w/metal magnifying glass, metal engraving block of "bowling pins" and wood/metal engraving of people" - "M-N" #6, ms0293_obj_0044 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 10

Metal slide box w/vertebrate, telephone rotary dial, round cardboard box - "T-V" #9, ms0293_obj_0049 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 10

Metal slide box - empty - "W-Z" #10, ms0293_obj_0050 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 10

Metal slide box w/ double glass display areas. Inside: contains lace, beads, buttons, ribbons, grommets, etc., ms0293_obj_0051 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 10

Blue metal box w/2 working gears. Inside: red metal notebook w/ wire mesh pages, gears, ms0293_obj_0057 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Metal slide box w/wire mesh book on cover & chain attached. Inside: w/lighter, c-clamp, chain links, spring, bolt, etc., ms0293_obj_0052 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Metal book on cover w/chain attached. Inside: w/ spring, nut & bolt, ball bearings, metal bits, ms0293_obj_0053 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Black leather covered wood box w/ mirror shard inbedded. Inside: w/ 'pages' of lace, wire mesh, plastic, netting, etc., ms0293_obj_0054 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Black metal box w/ imbedded cheese grater on cover & plastic insulator, chain attached to cover. Inside: w/sheet metal & wire mesh pages, ms0293_obj_0058 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Black metal chain, 1/2" link, ms0293_obj_0059 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 11

Galvanized metal chain, 1 1/2" link w/metal hook at end, ms0293_obj_0060 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 12

Metal box w/ chrome handle & chain attached. Inside: w/mirror, wire coil, bolt, ear plug, mirror clip, etc., ms0293_obj_0055 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 12

Metal box w/ bike chain & mirror on cover w/chain attached. Inside: w/ mirror, coiled saw blade, wire mesh, ms0293_obj_0056 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 12

Blue metal box w/ working gears on front cover, chain attached; Inside: chain driven gears, orange metal notebook w/die, gears, wire mesh pages, ms0293_obj_0064 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 13

Wood box w/ chain saw blade & wire mesh imbedded on cover: Inside: metal tool box w/wooden balls & metal hooks (floats), metal pages w/ smashed bottle caps, aluminum rounds, mesh, etc., ms0293_obj_0061 1997-1999

Physical Description:
box 14

Metal 'book' w/ pipe binding, wire mesh page, saw blade page, tail light page, etc., ms0293_obj_0062 1997-1999

Physical Description:
Box 15

Metal 'book' w/ pipe binding, Wire mesh page w/purple bits, saw blade & copper page, stove difuser page, etc., ms0293_obj_0063 1997-1999

Physical Description:
Box 16

Multi-colored metal tray book, 8 pages, ms0293_obj_0040 1997-1999

Physical Description:
Box 16

Metal slide box w/ nutmeg grater - otherwise empty - "E-G", ms0293_obj_0041 1997-1999

Physical Description:
Box 16

Metal slide box w/hinged & unhinged playing cards, empty frame & metal page - "H-J" #4, ms0293_obj_0042 1997-1999

Physical Description:
Box 16

Metal slide box w/cloth doll, burnt candles, 4 2x2" slides, filled vials, men's 15 1/2" paper collar, lighter, bits & pieces - "C-D" #2, ms0293_obj_0043 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Floor Lamp, ms0293_obj_0001 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#1 Desk Lamp, ms0293_obj_0002 1997-1999

 

#2 Desk lamp, ms0293_obj_0003 1997-1999

 

#1 Bookcase (wall), ms0293_obj_0004 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#2 Bookcase (wall), ms0293_obj_0005 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Small desktop book shelf, ms0293_obj_0006 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Small bookcase, ms0293_obj_0007 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Book cart w/attached book cradle, yellow, ms0293_obj_0008 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Book cart w/attached book cradle and chained book, green, ms0293_obj_0009 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Book cart w/attached book cradle and book attached, rusted metal, ms0293_obj_0010 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 decorative tin panel, fan motif, ms0293_obj_0011 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#1 Wood/metal bookshelf, ms0293_obj_0012 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#2 Wood/metal bookshelf, ms0293_obj_0013 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#3 Wood/metal bookshelf, ms0293_obj_0014 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Red pedestal table w/attached book cradle, ms0293_obj_0015 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#1 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0016 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#2 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0017 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#3 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0018 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#4 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0019 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#5 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0020 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#6 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0021 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#7 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0022 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#8 metal fold up chair, folded, ms0293_obj_0023 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal mesh side chair, ms0293_obj_0024 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal mesh garden arm chair, ms0293_obj_0025 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal/wood chair, ms0293_obj_0026 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 table, ms0293_obj_0027 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal sign "Biblioteca Memoria", ms0293_obj_0028 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal table frame w/o top, ms0293_obj_0029 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 metal school desk, ms0293_obj_0030 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 round metal mesh patio table w/attached book cradle, approx. 24" diameter, ms0293_obj_0031 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#1 roll of sheet metal, blue outside, ms0293_obj_0032 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#2 roll of sheet metal, blue outside, ms0293_obj_0033 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#3 roll of sheet metal, blue outside w/wood grain paper lining, ms0293_obj_0034 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#4 roll of sheet metal, blue outside w/wood grain paper lining, ms0293_obj_0035 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#1 Metal grate, ms0293_obj_0036 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

#2 Metal grate, ms0293_obj_0037 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

1 Metal square pedestal table, ms0293_obj_0038 1997-1999

Physical Description:
 

Metal table/desk w/metal scroll work [ms0293_obj_0006 is the bookshelf made for this table/desk], ms0293_obj_0039 1997-1999

Physical Description: