Guide to the Ann Rosener Papers M1946

Finding aid prepared by Joseph Geller
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305

Title: Ann Rosener papers
Identifier/Call Number: M1946
Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 20.0 Linear feet (21 manuscript boxes; 10 flat boxes)
Date: circa 1900-2013
Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, photographs, posters, exhibition catalogs, subject files, drafts, and business records documenting Ann Rosener's career as a photographer, designer, and publisher.
creator: Rosener, Ann.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], Ann Rosener papers (M1946). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Access to Collection

The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See:
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Biographical Note

Ann Rosener in her long life was active as a photographer, designer, and private press publisher. She was a native of San Francisco, where her grandparents settled in the mid-19th century; her father was a civil engineer. She graduated in 1935 from Smith College, where she took poetry and literature classes that helped shape her lifelong interests.
During World War II, Rosener worked as a photojournalist in Washington for the Office of War Information. One of her assignments was to photograph women at home to show their ability to help the war effort, whether repairing vacuum cleaners or salvaging cooking grease for bombs. Her postwar portraits of Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra, Patrice Munsel, and Tennessee Williams, among others, were published in Life magazine.
In the early 1950s Rosener returned to California, settling in the Los Angeles area. She married briefly and through her husband, the art dealer Frank Perls, she met artists and collectors. She continued to work as a photographer, but in 1951 she designed a museum for the Pacific Coast Borax Company in Death Valley, and in 1956 was involved in the production of the film "Around the World in 80 Days."
After moving to the Bay Area, she worked at Stanford University from 1964 to 1988, designing exhibition catalogues and posters for the Stanford Museum of Art, as well as library bookplates and invitations to University functions.
In 1976 Rosener acquired a Vandercook press and Chandler & Price presses and began to set type by hand. Her earliest effort was the poem by W. B. Yeats "The Coming of Wisdom with Time." Only a photocopy survives, but it shows the "First proofs made on the Vandercook 4 at Occasional Works in Woodside" date from December of 1976. A few other small projects date from the late 1970s and early 1980s, when she first hand set Bembo, then bought monotype Bembo from Mackenzie and Harris. Bembo remained her favorite typeface, whether metal or digital. After she retired, Rosener became more ambitious. Four books printed on the Vandercook involved collaborations with artists, incorporating original prints or facsimile reproductions. From 1992 new projects demanded greater skills as a printer and as a publisher: a collection of poetry by C. P. Cavafy with etchings by William Brice; two complex illustrated accordion-fold books; and two anthologies of poems that not only showed her far-ranging reading but involved considerable correspondence about permissions.
Her letters demonstrate her wit and way with words. Rosener collaborated with several Bay Area printers (notably Eric Holub); for Jeff Maser, her agent and colleague, she printed a series of broadsides. She often designed papers for her book covers, and T&J Graphics in Redwood City supplied color printing as well as technical advice. From 1993 her books were bound by the Foolscap Press in Santa Cruz. Her last publications, dating from 2007–08, were significantly poetry broadsides, the last a translation of an ode by Horace that recalls the subject of the Yeats poem of 1976.
Biography from the 2013 Mills College Library exhibit, "Ann Rosener: Designer, Printer, and Publisher"— curated by Linda Brownrigg and Betsy Fryberger.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, posters, exhibition catalogs, subject files, drafts, and business records documenting Ann Rosener's career as a photographer, designer, and publisher. It includes photographs from her work for the Office of War Information, portraits of artists such as William Brice and Rico Lebrun, and photographs of family, friends, and travels. Rosener's research for the film Around the World in 80 Days (1956) is also included in the collection, as well as her photographs and design work for the Borax Museum and the Frank Perls Gallery. Other materials of interest include posters and exhibition catalogs designed for the Stanford Art Museum, Art Department, and the Stanford Development Office. The collection also contains correspondence, drafts, and business records from her private press, Occasional Works.


The Collection is arranged into seven series:
Series 1. Personal
Series 2. Correspondence
Series 3. Travel
Series 4. Professional
Series 5. Stanford University
Series 6. Photographs
Series 7. Artwork

Acquisition Information

This collection was given by Nancy Packer to Stanford University, Special Collections in October, 2012.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Brice, William, 1921-2008
Frank Perls Gallery.
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Occasional Works (Firm).
Pacific Coast Borax Company
Rosener, Ann.
Stanford University. Department of Art and Art History.
Stanford University. Museum of Art
United States. Office of War Information.
Book design.
Private press books--United States.


Series 1. Personal

Scope and Contents

This small series contains juvenilia and miscellaneous artifacts, ephemera, and biographical materials.
Flat-box 14, Folder 1

Notes from Ann to her father circa 1922

Box 1, Folder 1

Copper printing plate (for calling card)

Box 1, Folder 2

Phonograph records (2)

Box 1, Folder 3

Scrap book

Box 1, Folder 4

Address book/journal

Box 1, Folder 5


Box 1, Folders 6-8

Greeting cards and ephemera; includes scrap material for hand-made cards

Flat-box 31, Folder 4

Posters from Ann Rosener exhibit, Mills College Library 2013


Series 2. Correspondence

Scope and Contents

This series contains letters and cards to/from Ann Rosener. Materials sent with correspondence, such as photographs, typescripts, and clippings have been retained in this series.
Box 1, Folder 9

Early family correspondence; includes letters and post cards from Ann's mother to Ann and to/from other family members; letters from Ann to her parents; also letters from miscellaneous family members circa 1900-1925

Box 2, Folder 1

Eamon Grennan

Box 2, Folder 2

Leo Holub

Box 2, Folder 3

Greg Paltinger

Box 2, Folder 4

Eric Prokosch

Box 2, Folder 5

Patricia Rose

Box 2, Folder 6

Lawrence D. Stewart

Box 2, Folder 7

Dorothea Straus

Box 2, Folder 8

Helen Trimpi, post cards

Box 2, Folder 9

Susan Wilson, notes and wood engravings

Box 2, Folder 10

Miscellaneous letters to Ann Rosener

Box 2, Folder 11

Correspondence and holiday cards circa 1960-1970

Box 2, Folders 12-14

Holiday cards circa 1960-1970


Series 3. Travel

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials from Ann Rosener's travels, including itineraries, travel brochures, postcards, and notes.
Box 3, Folder 1

Europe 1957

Box 3, Folders 2-4

England, France, and Russia circa 1970-1981

Box 3, Folder 5

London 1993

Box 3, Folder 6

London 1994

Box 3, Folder 7

Prague 1995

Box 3, Folder 8

Philadelphia 1996

Box 3, Folder 9

Venice 1996

Box 3, Folder 10

England 1997

Box 3, Folder 11

Paris 1997

Box 3, Folder 12

London 1998

Box 4, Folder 1

England 1999

Box 4, Folder 2

France 1999

Box 4, Folder 3

Cambridge, MA

Box 4, Folder 4


Box 4, Folder 5

London, miscellaneous travel material and correspondence

Box 4, Folder 6

New York

Box 4, Folder 7

Sissinghurst Garden

Box 4, Folder 8



Series 4. Professional

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials from Ann Rosener's varied career as a designer and publisher.
This series contains some photographs, but the majority of photographs documenting her career as a photographer have been arranged in Series 6. Design work done for Stanford University has also been arranged separately in Series 5.

Subseries 1. Around the World in 80 Days

Scope and Contents

This subseries contains costume and set design research material for the film Around the World in 80 Days (1956). Also included are photographs Rosener took of actress Shirley MacLaine.
Box 15, Folder 1

General notes and research

Flat-box 14, Folder 3

Research; magazines and clippings

Box 15, Folder 2

Shirley MacLaine, casting notes

Box 15, Folder 3

Shirley MacLaine (photographic prints)

Box 15, Folder 4

Shirley MacLaine (negatives)

Box 15, Folder 5

England, research notes

Box 15, Folder 6

England, photostats and prints

Box 15, Folder 7

Paris and the balloon, research notes

Box 15, Folder 8

Paris and the balloon, photostats and prints

Box 15, Folder 9

Spain, research notes

Box 15, Folder 10

Spain, photostats and prints

Box 15, Folder 11

S.S. Mongolia, Suez, and Indian Ocean - research notes

Box 15, Folder 12

S.S. Mongolia, Suez, and Indian Ocean - photostats and prints

Box 15, Folder 13

India, research notes

Box 15, Folder 14

India, photostats and prints

Box 15, Folder 15

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Yokohama - research notes

Box 15, Folders 16-18

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Yokohama - photostats and prints

Box 16, Folder 1

San Francisco to New York, research notes

Box 16, Folders 2-3

San Francisco to New York, photostats and prints


Subseries 2. Occasional Works

Scope and Contents

This subseries contains working files from Ann Rosener’s fine press, Occasional Works. It includes correspondence, business records, and drafts and proofs for various publications, particularly for How Words See: Some Twentieth-Century Poems about Works of Art (1998) and Sunday Collection: Thirty twentieth-century poems about Sunday (1995).
Box 7, Folder 1

Correspondence 1995-2001

Box 7, Folder 2

Correspondence and permissions

Box 7, Folder 3

Ephemera and publicity

Box 7, Folder 4

Miscellaneous business records

Box 7, Folders 5-7

Invoices and business records circa 1991-2004

Box 7, Folder 8

Invoices 1993

Box 7, Folder 9

Invoices 1995

Box 7, Folder 10

Invoices 1998-2000

Box 8, Folders 1-2

Mailing lists circa 1985-1995

Box 8, Folder 3

Permissions and expenses

Box 8, Folder 4


Box 8, Folder 5


Box 8, Folder 6

Thom Gunn 1999

Box 8, Folder 7

How Words See, chronologies

Box 8, Folder 8

How Words See, permissions

Box 8, Folder 9

How Words See, type proofs

Box 8, Folder 10

How Words See, biographies and reviews

Box 8, Folder 11

How Words See, poems included

Box 9, Folder 1

How Words See, poems not included

Box 9, Folder 2

How Words See and Sunday, business records

Box 9, Folder 3

Memorial poems

Box 9, Folder 4

Poets' cards

Box 9, Folder 5

Poets and poems, clippings

Box 9, Folder 6

Muriel Spark

Box 9, Folders 7-9

Sunday, poems

Box 9, Folder 10

Sunday, poems not included

Box 9, Folder 11

Sunday, expenses

Box 9, Folder 12

Sunday, letters and cards

Box 9, Folders 13-14

Sunday, permissions

Flat-box 26, Folder 4

Thirteen Views of Santa Barbara (Edgar Bowers), jacket design, 1989


Subseries 3. Miscellaneous art/design projects and subject files

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials from other miscellaneous professional projects such as design work for the Borax Museum and the Frank Perls Gallery. Also included are subject files, presumably used for design research.
Box 5, Folder 1

Curriculum Vitae circa 1961

Flat-box 14, Folder 2

Design Awards

Box 5, Folders 2-3

Art gallery/museum, ephemera

Flat-box 29, Folder 3

Miscellaneous museum and gallery posters

Box 5, Folder 4

Barclay Fund, design work

Box 5, Folder 5

1918 book illustrations

Box 5, Folder 6

Borax Museum; publications, ephemera, and photographs of exhibit

Box 5, Folder 7

Carnegie Quarterly 1966-1970

Box 5, Folder 8

Design research - acrobats

Box 5, Folder 9

Design research - artists' marks

Box 5, Folder 10

Design research - hats and wheels

Box 5, Folder 11

Design research - household objects

Box 5, Folder 12

Design research - shoes, scenic, and patterns

Box 5, Folder 13

Design research - writing

Box 6, Folder 1

Mary Hiedecker, typescripts

Box 6, Folder 2


Box 6, Folder 3

Journal of Fashion, Culture, and Fine Arts, 1895

Box 6, Folder 4

Journal of Fashion, Culture, and Fine Arts (photocopy) 1895

Box 6, Folder 5

Rico Lebrun, Crucifixion catalogue 1950

Box 6, Folders 6-7

Letterhead design

Flat-box 31, Folders 2

Robert Motherwell exhibit posters 1957

Box 6, Folder 8

Frank Perls Gallery, ephemera

Flat-box 29, Folder 1

Frank Perls Gallery, posters

Box 6, Folder 9

Type design course

Box 6, Folder 10

Index of typefaces

Box 16, Folders 4-5

Printing and design samples


Series 5. Stanford University 1964-1988

Scope and Contents

This series contains exhibit catalogues, brochures, postcards, event invitations, and posters designed by Ann Rosener for the Stanford Art Museum/Art Department, the Stanford Development Office, and other Stanford venues, such as the University Library.

Subseries 1. Stanford Art Museum and Art Department

Box 10, Folder 1

Rodin and Balzac, exhibit catalogue 1973

Box 10, Folder 2

Whistler: Themes and Variations, exhibit catalogue 1978

Box 10, Folder 3

Eighteenth-Century Italian Prints, exhibit catalogue 1980

Box 10, Folder 4

Figures from Rodin's Gates of Hell, exhibit catalogue 1984

Box 10, Folder 5

Robert Motherwell, exhibit catalogue jacket 1986

Box 10, Folder 6

Richard Diebenkorn, exhibit catalogue jacket 1987

Box 10, Folder 7

Christmas card

Box 10, Folders 8-11


Flat-box 30, Folders 1-5

Stanford Art Museum/Department posters

Flat-box 31, Folders 3

Stanford Art Museum/Department posters


Subseries 2. Stanford Development Office circa 1961-1974

Box 11, Folder 1


Box 11, Folders 2-7

Publications and ephemera

Box 12, Folders 1-7

Publications and ephemera

Box 13, Folders 1-6

Publications and ephemera

Box 13, Folder 7

Stanford University Libraries, book plate designs

Flat-box 29, Folder 2

Miscellaneous Stanford event posters


Series 6. Photographs

Scope and Contents

This series contains photographic prints, negatives, contact sheets and slides from Ann Rosener's career as a photographer. Included in this series are prints from Rosener’s work for the Office of War Information; portraits of artists such as William Brice, Rico Lebrun, and Richard Neutra; photographs documenting Borax production locations and facilities; and miscellaneous travel photographs and photographs of family and friends.
Flat-box 24, Folder 1

Office of War Information, Women in Essential Service (photographic print) 1943

Box 17, Folders 1-3

Office of War Information, Women in Essential Service (photographic prints) circa 1942-1944

Box 17, Folder 4

Office of War Information, Women in Essential Service (photographic prints and negatives) circa 1942-1944

Box 17, Folder 5

Borax Museum (photographic prints)

Flat-box 25, Folders 1-5

Borax: photographs documenting Borax production locations and facilities; includes images of Death Valley, CA, Turkey and other locations; also construction of factory, mule team, and Boron Mine

Flat-box 23, Folder 2

Eugene Berman (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives)

Flat-box 23, Folder 3

William Brice (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives)

Box 17, Folder 8

William Brice, studio (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 9

Rico Lebrun (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives)

Flat-box 23, Folders 4-5

Rico Lebrun, Crucifixion series (photographic prints) 1950

Flat-box 23, Folder 6

Rico Lebrun, Crucifixion series (contact sheets and negatives) 1950

Box 18, Folder 4

Walter Lodge (photographic prints and negatives) circa 1956

Box 19, Folder 15

Alvin and Elaine Lustig (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 10

Richard Neutra (photographic prints)

Box 17, Folder 11

Richard Neutra (negatives) 1953

Flat-box 24, Folder 4

Father McLean (photographic prints)

Flat-box 24, Folder 5

Father McLean (contact sheets and negatives)

Box 18, Folder 2

Vincent Price and family (photographic prints and negatives) 1956

Flat-box 24, Folder 7

Alice B. Toklas (photographic print)

Flat-box 23, Folder 7

Frank Perls Gallery (photographic prints and contact sheets)

Flat-box 23, Folder 8

Frank Perls Gallery (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 13

Claire McCardle exhibit (contact sheets) 1953

Flat-box 23, Folder 1

Portraits of various artists (photographic prints and contact sheets)

Box 19, Folders 1-3

Family and friends (photographic prints)

Flat-box 24, Folder 8

Family and friends (photographic prints)

Box 19, Folder 4

Rosener family (photographic prints)

Box 19, Folder 5

Ann Rosener (photographic prints)

Box 19, Folder 6

Ann Rosener and Frank Perls (photographic prints)

Flat-box 31, Folders 1

Portrait of Ann Rosener in her press by Leo Holub (photographic print) 1978

Box 19, Folder 7

Leland S. Rosener, Jr. (negatives) 1911-1912

Box 19, Folder 8

Daniel (photographic prints) circa 1954

Box 19, Folder 9

J.T., Cora, etc. (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives) 1954

Box 19, Folder 14

Gebelle children (negatives) 1969

Box 18, Folder 7

Kathleen Winsor (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 15

Bradbury building (contact sheets and negatives)

Box 17, Folder 14

Mojave, mule barn, etc. (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives)

Box 18, Folder 8

Cable cars (negatives)

Flat-box 24, Folder 6

San Francisco (photographic prints and contact sheets)

Box 18, Folder 3

Sutro Baths (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 12

Utter McKinley, Los Angeles, etc. (contact sheets and negatives)

Box 18, Folder 9

Watts Towers/Sam Rodia (negatives)

Box 18, Folder 12

Muscle Beach (photographic prints)

Box 18, Folder 13

Muscle Beach (contact sheets)

Box 18, Folder 1

Cats (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives)

Box 18, Folder 6

Children's life (negatives)

Box 18, Folder 5

Nuns' life (negatives)

Flat-box 24, Folder 2

Europe (photographic prints and contact sheets) 1957

Box 18, Folder 10

Europe (negatives)

Flat-box 24, Folder 3

Europe (negatives) 1957

Box 18, Folders 14-15

Europe (contact sheets) 1957

Box 17, Folder 7

Scandinavia, England, etc. (negatives)

Box 17, Folder 6

Paris, New York, etc. (negatives)

Box 18, Folder 11

Cairo, Eygpt - International Kinema Research (photographic prints)

Box 19, Folder 10

Yosemite trip (photographic prints) 1922

Box 19, Folder 11

Martha's Vineyard (photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives) 1965

Box 19, Folder 12

NH (negatives) 1964

Box 19, Folder 13

Summer (contact sheets and negatives) 1964

Box 20, Folders 1-3

Miscellaneous photographic prints and contact sheets circa 1950-1965

Box 20, Folders 4-8

Miscellaneous negatives circa 1950-1965

Box 21, Folders 1-11

Miscellaneous photographic prints

Box 22, Folder 1

Miscellaneous contact sheets

Box 22, Folders 2-7

Miscellaneous negatives

Box 22, Folder 8

Miscellaneous slides

Flat-box 24, Folder 9

Miscellaneous photographic prints


Series 7. Artwork

Scope and Contents

This series contains miscellaneous artwork, including drawings, paintings, prints, and mixed media materials, as well as related clippings and ephemera. The works are mostly unidentified, but possibly by Ann Rosener, William Brice, Rico Lebrun, and others in her circle.
Flat-box 26, Folder 1

William Brice drawings; caricatures of Ann Rosener as a photographer

Flat-box 26, Folder 2

Drawings; caricatures of Ambrose Perls

Flat-box 26, Folder 3

Miscellaneous artwork

Flat-box 27, Folders 1-3

Miscellaneous artwork

Flat-box 28, Folders 1-3

Miscellaneous artwork