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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Saul Bass papers
    Date (inclusive): 1949-1996
    Date (bulk): 1955-1996
    Collection number: 421
    Creator: Bass, Saul
    Extent: 233 linear feet of papers. 33 linear feet of photographs. 18,383 artworks.
    Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Languages: English

    Important Information for Users of the Collection


    Available by appointment only.

    Publication rights

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

    Preferred Citation

    Saul Bass papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of the Saul Bass family, 1998-1999


    Saul Bass was an American graphic designer, animator, and director. He founded Saul Bass & Associates in 1946 and co-founded the design firm Bass/Yager and Associates. His animated and graphic title sequences opened numerous feature films from the 1950s through 1990s. Bass worked on several films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, including PSYCHO (1960). Bass also produced and directed animated shorts, live-action documentaries, and television commercials. Many of his corporate logos, for clients such as AT&T, Quaker, and the United Way, have become cultural icons.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Saul Bass papers span the years 1949-1996 and encompass more than 233 linear feet of manuscripts, 33 linear feet of photographs, and 18,383 artworks. The collection consists of art material, storyboards, publicity, books, corporate manuals, animation cels, audiotapes, and photographs. The art material includes exploratory artwork, presentations, drawings, layouts, and other illustrative matter. There is a large amount of mechanical art, or camera-ready paste-up of previously prepared artwork and copy. Projects produced or directed by Bass, such as NOTES ON THE POPULAR ARTS (1977), PHASE IV (1975), and WHY MAN CREATES (1968) are particularly well-represented. Files on these projects, Bass's corporate client files, and the Bass/Yager exhibition and promotion files comprise the majority of the collection. His film work, represented by title design and poster design, comprises about 30 linear feet. The photograph series consists of photographic prints, transparencies, negatives, slides, motion picture film frames and strips of title art, advertising art, marketing materials, logos, storyboards, promotional displays, production shots, film frames, trade ads, sketches, location research, packaging design, and portraits.


    Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 2. Television, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 3. Stage files; 4. Subject files; 5. Business papers; 6. Books; 7. Periodicals; 8. Oversize.

    Indexing Terms

    Bass, Saul , 1920-1996--Archives.
    graphic designers