Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Artist and gallery ephemera LIB.001.002
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (0.52 Mb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents Note
  • Accessing the Collection
  • Conditions Governing Use Note
  • Arrangement Note
  • Separated Materials Note
  • Processing Information Note
  • Internal Processing Information Note
  • Preferred Citation Note

  • Title: Artist and gallery ephemera
    Identifier/Call Number: LIB.001.002
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 447.0 Linear feet
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1965-1990
    Date (inclusive): Bulk, 1965-1990 1879-2013
    General Physical Description note: approximately 447.0 linear feet
    creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the opening of the museum on Wilshire Boulevard in 1965. Materials dating before the 1960s were inherited from the museum's parent entity, the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art (now the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County) at Exposition Park, from which the art collection was separated in 1961 to form LACMA. The library currently receives most materials either directly by mail or by donation from curators, board and committee members, artists and their families, or other private donors.

    Scope and Contents Note

    The artist and gallery ephemera collection contains approximately 447 linear feet of miscellaneous uncataloged materials related to individual artists and artist groups, as well as galleries and other art institutions that are or have been active in California. The bulk of the materials relate to exhibitions or other art-related events, and are represented in the form of: invitation postcards, press releases, brochures, pamphlets, thin catalogs, price lists, news and magazine clippings, posters, slides, and photographs.
    Series I: Artist Files contains materials related predominantly to individual artists. To a far lesser extent, the files may include non-artist individuals, such as collectors, museum directors, or critics. All items relating to single individuals are retained regardless of the nationality, period, or school of the artist, or venue represented.
    Series II: Gallery/Institution Files contains materials related to individual galleries, institutions, or organizations. As of 2011, only items pertaining to California-based venues are collected.
    Series III: Posters include materials larger than 18x24". See Arrangement Note for internal arrangement schema.

    Accessing the Collection

    This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Balch Art Research Library. Contact the Library at 323-856-6118 or library@lacma.org in advance to inquire if materials exist in the ephemera collection pertaining to your research interests.

    Conditions Governing Use Note

    Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-856-6118 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

    Arrangement Note

    Series I: Artist Files (655 boxes, or 383 linear feet)
    Files are arranged alphabetically by personal last name.
    Individual files are either designated for a single artist (e.g., "Abramovic, Marina"), or may represent an alphabetical range (e.g., "Aba-Abz") that excludes those artists for whom designated individual files have been created.
    Series II: Gallery/Institution Files (96 boxes, or 56 linear feet)
    Files are arranged alphabetically by venue name (e.g., "Norton Simon Museum", NOT "Pasadena").
    Materials related to more than one artist is filed under this series.
    Individual files are either designated for a single venue (e.g., "Felix Landau Gallery"), or may represent an alphabetical range (e.g., "F-Fh") that excludes those venues for which designated individual files have been created.
    Series III: Posters (6 boxes, or 8 linear feet)
    Files are arranged alphabetically by city name.
    Note on cross-listed artists: Current practice is to file all single artists under Artist Files and to file any item representing more than one artist under Gallery/Institution Files. Due to previous filing irregularities, some multiple-artist materials may be found in the Artist Files under the name of the first artist listed, or under a name that the filer has checked or underlined. Index card surrogates directing the user to other files were also previously used (e.g., "see also" or "filed under").

    Separated Materials Note

    Ephemera in unique or unusual formats have been removed from the files and cataloged separately. These items include invitations and announcements issued in the form of an artist's book, a three dimensional object, or an object that references a theme in the artists artwork. These are also available for research consultation as a part of the artist and gallery special formats ephemera collection (collection number LIB.001.001).

    Processing Information Note

    The rehousing and reorganization of the ephemera collection and the creation of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Getty Foundation, and was completed in 2012 as part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 in order to improve the visibility, accessibility, growth, and conservation of the collection.
    During this time, the formerly separate "Gallery Files" and "Institution Files" were integrated into a single series, and the geographical filing method (alphabetical by city) was abandoned in favor of filing by the name of the gallery or institution. Physical storage was also improved by replacing filing cabinets and record storage boxes with archival document cases and open shelving.

    Internal Processing Information Note

    Some inconsistencies due to changing filing strategies included reintegrating "Mc and Mac" as "mc" and "mac" and reversing the occasional practice of filing a 'u' or 'o' with a diaeresis which had been noted to be filed as 'ue' or 'oe' and is now filed as a 'u' or 'o'. 'La' and 'le' had been both separated as articles as well as filed with the spaces skipped, and 'de' have been left as filed within miscellaneous (i.e. "La-Li") folders. The distinctions between LA, L.A., [Los Angeles] "La" as an artiel (as in La Canada or La Tour) had mostly been ignored within the files by running them together. Researchers should be prepared to look in all combinations. Dutch, Spanish and Asian multi-part names were often filed under the first or last part of the name. As the files are updated the Library of Congress authority heading is being used or the ULAN if there is no LOC entry; if neither has an entry the name is listed as it appears on an artist's or institution's website or the museum's own TMS listing. Many of the names on the catalogs do not correspond with authorized headings - most often because they have been Anglicized. Some of the institution and place names may differ as well but have generally been transcribed rather than individually researched for American usage. As location designations, New York and California have been abbreviated since almost all of the materials are mailings and use US Post Office naming conventions.

    Preferred Citation Note

    [Description of item], [Name of series], Artist and gallery ephemera, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, LIB.001.002.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art galleries, Commercial--California
    Art museums--California
    Artist files