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Metz (Kathryn E.) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Kathryn E. Metz Papers
    Creator: Metz, Kathryn
    source: Metz, Kathryn
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.019
    Physical Description: 45.7 Linear Feet (26 boxes, 3 map-case drawers, and 2 framed items)
    Physical Description: 0.88 GB (16 digital files)
    Date (inclusive): 1909-2018
    Date (bulk): 1965-2005
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection open for research. Digital files are available in the UCSC Special Collections and Archives reading room. Some audiovisual materials and some digital files may require reformatting before they can be accessed. Technical limitations may hinder the Library's ability to provide access to some digital files. Access to digital files on original carriers is prohibited; users must request to view access copies. Contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access to digital and audiovisual files.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gifts of Kay Metz; 1996, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014. Gift of Betsy Andersen, 2019.


    This collection is arranged in 8 series:
    • Series 1: Professional and biographical files
    • Series 2: Art
    • Series 3: Sketchbooks, travel journals, and notebooks
    • Series 4: Correspondence
    • Series 5: Gallery and exhibition files
    • Series 6: Teaching files
    • Series 7: Travel files
    • Series 8: Subject files
    Materials within each series are arranged chronologically unless otherwise specified.

    Biographical / Historical

    Kathryn (Kay) Metz (1932-2018) was a painter and printmaker whose works in abstract expressionism and plein air landscapes span from the early 1960s until her death in 2018. Drawn to motifs of panoramas, horizons, hills, water and sky, Metz's art highlights the movement, light, and color of organic forms using a diverse array of media: intaglio, lithograph, and woodblock printing; acrylic lightboxes; watercolor, egg tempera, and oil painting; pastels, colored pencil, and graphite sketches. Her expertise brought her to the University of California in Santa Cruz in 1971, where she established and taught in the printmaking program until her retirement in 1992. In addition to her work as a dedicated professor, Metz traveled broadly and frequently, taking inspiration from the landscapes of Tuscany, Britain, and California. She was also an active member of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch from the 1990s to early 2000s, and her later plein air landscapes reflect a deep commitment to environmental conservation and community connection. Metz donated her work widely, and her art is held in numerous collections, including the New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; the Fresno Art Museum; Monterey Museum of Art; Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County; Musée d'art Contemporain de Chamalières; Grunwald Graphic Arts Foundation, University of California, Los Angeles; and Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
    Metz was born in Dayton, Ohio on September 3, 1932. She received a BFA from Bowling Green State University, Ohio in 1955 and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1960, where she completed her thesis on abstract expressionism. Between 1966 and 1967, Metz studied at Atelier 17 in Paris with S.W. Hayter, under the auspices of the College Art Study Abroad at the American Center for Students and Artists. After returning to New York City in the late 1960s, Metz studied printmaking independently with Philip Guston and Robert Blackburn and began exhibiting professionally in the United States. Her work earned her residence grants at the Huntington Hartford Foundation, Pacific Palisades in 1965 and the MacDowell Colony residential fellowship from 1966 to 1967.
    Metz's teaching experience began at Phoenix College in Arizona in 1964. From 1967 to 1970, she held positions as a part-time faculty member at the NYU School of Education, College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and University of California Extension in Los Angeles. Metz was hired in 1971 to establish the printmaking program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she remained a dedicated professor until her retirement in 1992. While teaching at UC Santa Cruz, Metz organized galleries for local and international artists, including George McNeil, Toni Krajnc, Misch Kohn, and S.W. Hayter, as well as student art exhibits ranging from CSU Hayward to Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
    Metz was also a champion of women artists. In the mid-1980s, she developed and taught seminars on women artists, and later published monographs on the 19th-century artists Ellen and Rolinda Sharples in Woman's Art Journal (1995) and Dictionary of Women Artists (1997). In 1997, as a result of this legacy, UCSC's literary magazine Quarry West invited 12 printmakers (Janice Bridgman, Zarina Hashmi, Kathryn Metz, Veda Ozelle, Susana Terrell, Maria Alquilar, Julie Connell, Kristin Hayward, Winifred Heron, Darien Payne, Mary Warshaw, and Elizabeth Williams) to contribute pieces created in honor of Metz, whose own research, publications, and UCSC seminars benefitted many of the artists featured.
    An engaged member of her community, Metz actively supported the environments she painted. Her post-retirement works pay particular attention to the Santa Cruz County wetlands, where she served as a board member of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch from the 1990s to the early 2000s. Metz's plein air paintings reflect her efforts to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of local wetlands environments. She was also a member of the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County and supported youth education in the arts.
    Metz passed away on September 27, 2018.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Access to the born digital materials of the Kathryn Metz Papers is available on-site in the UCSC Special Collections & Archives reading room. The software application QuickView Plus is recommended for reading and viewing, and is provided for use in the reading room. Note that some files stored may be inaccessible due to obsolete formats, lack of required software, or file degradation.

    Preferred Citation

    Kathryn E. Metz Papers. MS 19. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Emily Travis in the Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) with assistance from Alix Norton, 2019. Nearly all titles in this collection were derived from the original folder titles as received from the donor.
    Digital files were transferred from carrier disks and processed by Alix Norton in 2019. Files were not reformatted, and file names are original to the creator. Original disks were retained and are included in the collection.

    Related Materials

    More of Metz's work in Special Collections & Archives can be found by searching "Metz, Kathryn." in the Author field in UCSC Library Search.
    A member of the Board of Directors of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, Metz was involved in publishing Watching the Watsonville Wetlands: An Armchair Guide to the Watsonville Slough system (Call number QH105.C2 B87 2000).

    Scope and Contents

    This collection documents the personal and professional activities of Kathryn (Kay) Metz, including her career as an artist and professor/creator of the printmaking program at UC Santa Cruz. The collection includes over 300 pieces of original art by Metz, her colleagues, and UCSC students; personal records such as Metz's academic transcripts, family histories, travel records, and notes; correspondence between Metz and family members, galleries, colleagues, and students; teaching materials such as lecture notes, syllabuses, and course readers; research materials on printmaking techniques and drafts of publications on women artists; and biographical material including résumés and obituaries. The forms of materials in this collection include ink-based prints, graphite sketches, watercolor landscapes, sketchbooks, notebooks, scrapbooks, awards, newspaper clippings, magazine and journal articles, correspondence, photographs, and slides.

    Conditions Governing Use

    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. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Artists -- California -- Santa Cruz County
    Serigraphy -- Specimens
    Etching -- Specimens
    Faculty papers
    Metz, Kathryn