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Balch Art Research Library collection of artist and gallery ephemera
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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

  • Contributing Institution: Balch Art Research Library
    Title: Balch Art Research Library collection of artist and gallery ephemera
    Identifier/Call Number: LIB.001.002
    Physical Description: 447 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1879-ongoing
    Date (bulk): 1965-1990
    General Physical Description note: approximately 447.0 linear feet
    Language of Material: English .

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Various 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 in Exposition Park. The library continues to accrue additions to this collection either directly by mail or by transfer from curators or the Director's Office.

    Scope and Contents Note

    The artist and gallery ephemera collection contains approximately 447 linear feet of uncataloged printed ephemera related to individual artists and their exhibitions, as well as those distributed by galleries and other art institutions. Artists, galleries, and other arts institutions that are or have been active in Southern California are most heavily represented. The bulk of the materials served as announcements of exhibitions or other art-related events in the form of invitation postcards, press releases, brochures, pamphlets, news and magazine clippings, and posters.

    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 and institution files (96 boxes, or 56 linear feet)
    Files are arranged alphabetically by venue name (e.g., "Norton Simon Museum").
    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.
    Due to previous filing irregularities, some multiple-artist materials may be found in the Artist Files under the name of the first artist listed.

    Separated Materials Note

    Ephemera in unique or unusual formats were removed from the files and accrued to collection LIB.001.001.
    Items with more than 8 pages were removed and cataloged into the library's main research collection.

    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. These files were previously filed alphabetically by city.
    Metal filing cabinets used to house the collection were replaced with archival document cases and shelving.

    Internal Processing Information Note

    Inconsistencies due to evolving 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], The Balch Art Research Library collection of artist and gallery ephemera, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, LIB.001.002.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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