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Zakian (Michael) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Series 1
  • Biographical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Separated Materials
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Michael Zakian Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0184
    Physical Description: 1.7 Linear Feet 4 Hollinger Boxes, 1 Folder of Nitrate Negatives
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1996
    Abstract: Michael Zakian was the Director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum at Pepperdine University. Throughout his life Michael had a passion for the arts which came through in his work at the Weisman Museum and previous museums he was employed at. This collection contains research notes, correspondence, financial documents, photographs, photographic slides, and promotional materials related to Zakian's curatorial work for the Agnes Pelton: A Poet of Nature Exhibition which was on show at the Weisman Museum in the Spring of 1996.
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Series 1

    Transferred by Stewart O'Rourke of the Weisman Museum in September 2020.


    Michael Zakian was born on April 7, 1957 in New York. He became interested in art at a young age and was inspired by pieces he saw on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art amongst other museums. After High School, Zakian enrolled in Columbia University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Art History. He continued his art education at Rutgers University where he worked as a teaching assistant while attaining his Master's with a focus on American abstract expressionism and later earning his doctorate in the same study.
    Zakian moved to Southern California in 1984 and worked at the Palm Springs Art Museum, first as an assistant curator and then an associate curator. A decade later in 1995, Michael moved from Palm Springs to Malibu to take over as the director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum at Pepperdine University. In addition to his work at the Weisman Museum, Michael taught several courses on topics like baroque and rococo art, architecture, and contemporary art at Pepperdine University.
    Zakian practised art himself and published three books on artists and their work, including "Agnes Pelton: Poet of Nature," "Sam Francis: Elements and Archetypes" and "Wayne Thiebaud: Works from 1955 to 2003."
    Michael Zakian died of pancreatic cancer on January 14, 2020.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Michael Zakian Papers, Collection no. 184, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Processing Information

    This collection was arranged and described by Brendan Morris, October 2020.

    Related Materials

    Michael Zakian's book collection was also donated to Pepperdine Libraries. His books can be found both in the general library collection and special collections.

    Separated Materials

    3 books were seperated and added to Pepperdine Library's general circulation collection. Zakian authored "Agnes Pelton: Poet of Nature" and "Wayne Thiebaud: Works on Paper 1948-2004" and contributed a chapter in "Gerardo Reuda."

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright restrictions may apply.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
    Malibu (Calif.) -- History
    Pepperdine University