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Mizuno Gallery Records, 1955-2005, bulk 1966-1988
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical / Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mizuno Gallery records
    Date (inclusive): 1955-2005 (bulk 1966-1988)
    Number: 2010.M.84
    Creator/Collector: Mizuno Gallery
    Physical Description: 2.9 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The Mizuno Gallery occupies an important place in the history of postwar art in Los Angeles as a venue for contemporary art from 1967 to 1984. The archive includes gallery ephemera, postcards, letters, installation shots and other photographs documenting gallerist Riko Mizuno's close relationship with the artists she exhibited, and with collectors and other art world personalities. The most extensively represented artists are Vija Celmins, Billy Al Bengston, and Henry Miller.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Biographical / Historical Note

    A partial chronology of exhibitions held at Gallery 699 and Mizuno Gallery is available at: http://archives.getty.edu:30008/getty_images/digitalresources/2010m84_mizuno_chron.pdf 
    Riko Mizuno operated the Mizuno Gallery from 1967-1984. The gallery occupies an important place in the history of art in postwar Los Angeles as a venue for contemporary artists such as Chris Burden, Mike Kelley and Billy Al Bengston. Mizuno was born in Tokyo in 1932. In the mid 1950s, she arrived in Los Angeles assisted by a family friend who also knew Nelbert Murphy Chouinard, of the Chouinard Art Institute where Mizuno enrolled as a ceramics student. While there, she met many other student artists, such as Stephan von Huene and Ed Ruscha. In 1966, encouraged by Guy Williams' wife, Mary, Mizuno took over the space formerly occupied by the Rolf Nelson Gallery and opened Gallery 669.
    The first exhibition at Gallery 669 was of Henry Miller's watercolors. The following year, Eugenia Butler joined Mizuno as co-director of the gallery, but soon left to found her own gallery. Mizuno then renamed the gallery Mizuno Gallery. During the ten years Mizuno occupied that particular space, she exhibited historical figures associated with the Ferus Gallery, including Ken Price, Ed Moses, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, and Billy Al Bengston, and other major artists, such as Vija Celmins, Ay-O, Jack Goldstein, Alexis Smith, and Doug Wheeler. In addition, Chris Burden's early performance, Deadman, took place at her gallery in 1972, as did his first solo exhibition (1974). In 1976 Mizuno closed the gallery, and in 1978, reopened it in Little Tokyo. This was the site of Mike Kelley's first solo exhibition in 1981. Mizuno relocated again in 1983 to 454 N. Robertson Blvd. The gallery closed in 1984. Although Mizuno no longer works out of a public storefront, she continues to operate as a private dealer.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Mizuno Gallery records, 1955-2005, bulk 1966-1988, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2010.M.84.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Riko Mizuno in 2010.

    Processing History

    In 2011 Teresa Soleau processed the collection and wrote the finding aid under the supervision of Andra Darlington.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Mizuno Gallery records contain correspondence, photographs, and printed ephemera, among other materials that document the operation of the gallery from its founding in 1967 until 1984. Of approximately 90 exhibitions at the gallery, two-thirds are represented in some way in this collection. There are also materials from artists whose work was never shown at the gallery. The collection is rich in materials from Billy Al Bengston, Vija Celmins and Henry Miller. There is original artwork by Billy Al Bengston, Vija Celmins, Raymond Saunders, Russell Tamblyn and H.C. Westermann.
    The ephemera in Series I dates from 1967 to 1983 and includes invitations, postcards and posters from exhibitions held at Gallery 669 and Mizuno Gallery. The records in Series II date from 1967 to 2005 and include a sales log and guest book as well as photographs of the gallery. The artist files in Series III date from 1955 to 1988 and include postcards and letters to Riko Mizuno from the artists, newspaper and journal article clippings, invoices (for works of art), ephemera for exhibitions not at Mizuno Gallery, correspondence and slides, color and black-and-white photographs, transparencies and photograph negatives of openings, installations, and artists.


    Organized in three series. Series I. Gallery ephemera, 1967-1983; Series II. General gallery records, 1967-2005; Series III. Artists' files, 1955-1988.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Mizuno Gallery
    Gallery 669

    Subjects - Topics

    Artists -- 20th century -- Correspondence
    Art dealers -- United States -- Correspondence
    Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- Los Angeles

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Color photographs
    Mail art
    Black-and-white negatives
    Printed ephemera
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Color slides -- 20th century
    Photographs, Original
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)


    Celmins, Vija
    Bengston, Billy Al
    Mizuno Gallery
    Miller, Henry
    Mizuno, Riko