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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Separated Books and Journals
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Selected Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gloria de Herrera papers
    Date (inclusive): 1936-1996 (bulk 1947-1985)
    Number: 980024
    Creator/Collector: De Herrera, Gloria
    Physical Description: 3 Linear Feet (8 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: American art preparator, restorer, and collector active in Los Angeles and Paris. De Herrera was a close friend of Man Ray, William Nelson Copley, and other notable artists. The papers include correspondence, documents, artworks, photographs, and audiovisual materials documenting De Herrera's milieu and activities.
    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

    Gloria Claire de Herrera was born in Los Angeles on April 26, 1929, of Mexican and German descent. In 1947, while still in high school, she befriended Barbara C. Byrnes, owner of the American Contemporary Gallery on Hollywood Boulevard, and her husband James B. Byrnes. In 1949 James Byrnes, at that time a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, offered De Herrera a position as project secretary for the California Centennial Exhibition; she also acted as slide-pusher for Byrnes's course on twentieth-century art at USC, and learned art conservation at the LACMA conservation laboratory. During these years De Herrera also became friendly with Man Ray and his wife Juliet (née Browner), as well as artist and collector William Nelson Copley. Through Copley and Man Ray she received entrée to a circle of artists connected to the Surrealist movement, including Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Roberto Matta-Echauren, Yves Tanguy, and Marcel Duchamp.
    In March of 1951, in response to the rise of McCarthyism in the United States, Man Ray, his wife, and Copley departed for Paris, bringing De Herrera with them. This move proved a pivotal event in her life, as she was never to return to the United States. In France, De Herrera and Copley found themselves at the heart of the art world, socializing with the Man Rays, Nelly van Doesburg, writers Valentine and Roland Penrose, poet Paul Eluard, and artists Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti and Tristan Tzara, among many others. De Herrera also became involved in buying and selling art, and traveled with Copley throughout France, visiting the country homes of Max Ernst, André Breton, Henri-Pierre Roché, Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot.
    By 1953 or 1954 the relationship with Copley had ended, and De Herrera had found employment at Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet, a notable Parisian art-supplies store then owned by Maurice Lefebvre-Foinet, whose brother René she had known in Los Angeles. Here she became an art conservator. After implementing a series of successful repairs on damaged paintings by Mondrian and Chagall, De Herrera was recommended for the task of applying permanent glue to Henri Matisse's cut-out collages (also known as découpages or gouaches découpées). Between 1953 and ca. 1959, De Herrera worked on at least sixteen collages, and likely many more; the work was coordinated through Matisse's Russian-born assistant and model Lydia Delectorskaya, who became De Herrera's friend as well. De Herrera also undertook a commission for Marcel Duchamp in 1957. She maintained friendships in this period with Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, Victor Brauner, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger, Wolfgang Paalen and Bernard Pfriem.
    In the late 1950s De Herrera became increasingly interested in leftist politics. She travelled to the Soviet Union in 1957, and as France became engaged with the struggle for Algerian independence, she espoused the Algerian cause. She also befriended the world-travelling photographer Dominique Darbois, and did layout for Darbois's Enfants du monde children's book series. In 1960 De Herrera was arrested and jailed for two months by French police conducting a sweep of Europeans who had provided assistance to the FLN (Front de libération nationale: the Algerian revolutionary army). Media attention focused on the involvement of De Herrera, an American citizen, in the trials of the "porteurs de valises" (suitcase-carriers, or French supporters of the Algerian independence movement). She was given a separate, secret military trial, and was ultimately expelled from France. De Herrera took up residence in Brussels, Belgium, as did many of her exiled cohorts. Successive amnesties declared in March 1962 and July 1968 restored her residency in France, and brought about the return of impounded possessions, including her automobile.
    Returning to France, De Herrera found herself shunned by most of her past art-world friends. Her intimates in this period included Darbois and the photographer/master forger Adolfo Kaminsky, both of whom had been active in the French Resistance during WWII. In 1973 she left Paris for the Dordogne region, where she purchased a home near Lascaux, whose prehistoric paintings she reportedly helped document. There she became friendly with American artist Patricia Barton, also living in the Dordogne.
    By 1983 De Herrera had developed terminal throat cancer. At this time James and Barbara Byrnes, who had been hoping to interview her about her Matisse collage work, finally located her through Darbois. They became her helpmates through her final two years of life, assisting her in raising money for medical treatment, in selling her house and transporting her belongings to the United States, and in re-establishing contact with her family, from whom she had been long estranged. Gloria de Herrera died on June 24, 1985, in Brive (Corrèze).

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers, excepting audiovisual materials being reformatted.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Gloria de Herrera papers, The Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 980024.

    Acquisition Information

    The papers were donated by James and Barbara Byrnes in 1998 in memory of their friend Gloria de Herrera, with further donations made in 2002.

    Custodial History

    De Herrera gave her papers to Barbara C. and James B. Byrnes who maintained the archive and added to it until giving it to the Getty Research Library.

    Processing History

    J.P. Munro rehoused the items and wrote a preliminary inventory in 2000. Paul Arenson created the series arrangement, separated the books and journals, and wrote and encoded the finding aid in 2002.

    Separated Books and Journals

    The archive included 41 books and 30 magazine issues which have now been separated to the library. A list of these materials follows.
    Adéma, Marcel, ed. Guillaume Apollinaire; souvenirs et témoignages inédits de Louis de Gonzague Frick [et al.] Supplément poétique: René Guy Cadou [et al.]

    [Albi]: Éditions de la Tête noire, [1946] Algérie 1959.

    Supplement to La defense No. 416 de juin 1959. Artaud, Antonin. Les Tarahumaras.

    Décines: M. Barbezat, [1963] Arts Council of Great Britain. The almost complete works of Marcel Duchamp: at the Tate Gallery, 18 June-31 July 1966.

    London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1966.

    With dedication to De Herrera by Marcel Duchamp. Avant-garde.

    [New York]: Jan. 1968-1971.

    Includes no. 10 (Jan. 1970) and no. 12 (May 1970) Bergot, Erwan. La guerre des appelés en Algérie, 1956-1962.

    Paris: Presses de la cité, c1980. Bousquet, Joë. Max Ernst / textes de Joe Bousquet et Michel Tapié.

    [Paris]: R. Drouin, 1950. Breton, André, and Paul Eluard. L'Immaculée conception.

    Paris: Éditions surréalistes, 1930.

    With dedication to Eva Sulzer by André Breton. Butor, Michel. Jacques Hérold.

    Paris: Galerie La cour d'Ingres, 1959. Cahiers d'art.

    Paris: Éditions "Cahiers d'art".

    4e année; mars-avril 1929. No. 2-3 (Fascicule consacré a l'art des Océaniens). Carrington, Leonora. La dame ovale: avec sept [sic] collages par Max Ernst.

    Paris: GLM, 1939. Copley Galleries. Max Ernst, 30 years of his work: a survey: the Copley Galleries, January 10 - February 20, 1949.

    Beverly Hills: [The Galleries], c1949.

    Dedicated to De Herrera by Max Ernst. Copley, William Nelson. CPLY.

    [Paris, A. Iolas, 1970] Copley, William Nelson. William N. Copley: Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 26 novembre 1980-11 janvier 1981 [exposition organisée par la Kunsthalle Berne; rédaction du catalogue, Marianne Schmidt, Johannes Gachnang]

    Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, [1980] Dada.

    Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, [1958]

    Exhibition at Stedeljik Museum Amsterdam, Dec. 23, 1958-Feb. 2, 1959. Eluard, Paul. A l'intérieur de la vue: 8 poèmes visibles [par] Mx Ernst [et] Pl Eluard.

    [Paris: P. Seghers, 1948]

    Numbered copy 359 of 610. Eluard, Paul. Les malheurs des immortels, révélés par Paul Éluard et Max Ernst.

    Paris, Éditions de la Revue Fontaine, [1945] L'Éphémère.

    Paris: Fondation Maeght, 1967-1972.

    No. 1 (1967). With articles by and about Giacometti. Max Ernst [Ausstellung] Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Köln, 28. Dezember 1962 bis 3. März 1963: Kunsthaus Zürich, 23. März bis 28. April 1963.

    Köln: [s.n., 1963?] Ernst, Max. Max Ernst.

    Paris: Orangerie des Tuileries, 1971. Ernst, Max. Max Ernst: 4 juillet-30 août 1953, Knokke, Le Zoute, Albert Plage, Casion Communal.

    Bruxelles: Éditions de la connaissance, c1953.

    "L'exposition retrospective des oeuvres de Max Ernst a été organisée par E.L.T. Mesens et P.G. Van Hecke avec la collaboration de L'Institute of Contemporary Arts de Londres" - T.p. verso. Ernst, Max. Max Ernst, histoire naturelle: dessins inédits.

    Paris: Berggruen & Cie, [195-] Ernst, Max. Max Ernst: Oeuvres de 1919 à 1936.

    Paris: Éditions Cahiers d'art, [c1937] Ernst, Max. Die Nacktheit der Frau ist weiser als die Lehre des Philosophen.

    Köln: Galerie Der Spiegel; Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1970. Ernst, Max. Le Néant et son double.

    Paris, New York: A. Iolas, [1968] L'Esprit nouveau.

    Paris: Éditions de l'Esprit nouveau, [1920]-[1925]

    Nos. 25 and 26 (1924 or 1925). No. 26 in acidic tissue wrapper: "Numéro spécial consacré à Guillaume Apollinaire." Europe: Revue mensuelle.

    46e année, no. 475-476, Nov-Dec. 1968. Cover title: Surréalisme. Exposition de trois peintres américains: deux tourangeaux - un parisien: Max Ernst, Man Ray, Dorothea Tanning: Musée des beaux-arts de Tours, 10 novembre 1956-16 décembre 1956 / sous les auspices de la ville de Tours à l'occasion du Festival international du court métrage.

    [Tours: Le Musée, 1956] Giacometti, Alberto. Alberto Giacometti.

    Bern: Klipstein & Kornfeld, [1959]

    Catalog of an exhibition held from July 18 to August 22, 1959. Giacometti, Alberto. Schriften, Fotos, Zeichnungen = Essais, photos, dessins / Alberto Giacometti; hrsg. von Ernst Scheidegger; die deutsche Übertragung besorgte Ursula von Wiese.

    Zürich: Im Verlag der Arche, 1958. Gide, André. Montaigne, an essay in two parts.

    London: The Blackmore press; New York: H. Liveright, 1929.

    Autographed by André Gide. English first edition (1929), numbered 264 of 300 British and 500 American copies. Hamon, Hervé, and Patrick Rotman. Les porteurs de valises: la résistance française à la guerre d'Algérie.

    Paris: A. Michel, 1979. Henri Matisse: les grandes gouaches découpées / Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, mars-avril-mai, 1961.

    [Paris: Le Musée, 1961]. Jacques Hérold.

    Wuppertal: Galerie Parnass, [1960]

    Catalog of an exhibition held May 27 - June 26, 1960. Jazz magazine.

    [Paris: Jazz Magazine]

    No. 330, juin 1984. Jeanson, Francis. Notre guerre.

    Paris: Éditions de Minuit, [c1960] Jeanson, Francis. Le procès du réseau Jeanson / présenté par Marcel Péju.

    Paris: Maspero, 1961. London Bulletin, March 15, 1939.

    London: London Gallery Ltd. Larrea, Juan. El surrealismo entre viejo y nuevo mundo.

    México: Ediciones Cuadernos americanos, 1944. Léger, Fernand. Fernand Léger, Ausstellung 22. Mai bis 23. Juni 1957, Kunsthalle Basel.

    [Basel: Die Kunsthalle, 1957] Les lettres nouvelles.

    Paris : Julliard. (Gallimard?)

    7e année, no. 6, 8 avril 1959. Contains interview with Alberto Giacometti. Magritte, René. Magritte, 1898-1967: 11 janvier-16 mars, 1979.

    Paris: Galerie Isy Brachot, [1979] Matta Echaurren, Roberto Sebastián. Matta: terres nouvelles: peintures exposées du 8 au 30 juin 1956 à la Galerie du Dragon.

    [Paris: La Galerie, 1956] Minotaure.

    Paris: A. Skira, 1933-1939.

    Three issues, 1933-34: No. 1 (Mission Dakar-Djibouti 1931-1933); No. 3-4, with article by Man Ray (L'age de la lumière); No. 5, with articles by Man Ray (Danses-Horizons), Max Ernst (Les mystères de la forêt), Paul Eluard and André Breton. L'OEil.

    [Paris, s.n.]

    No. 16, avril 1956. With article: Souvenirs rhénans, by Max Ernst. Opus international.

    Paris: Éditions Georges Fall.

    No. 19-20 (Oct. 1970). Cover title: Surréalisme international. With short articles on Matta, Man Ray and Jacques Hérold, and mention of Victor Brauner. Paalen, W., ed. Dyn.

    [Coyoacan, D.F., Mexico: Printed at Talleres Gráficos de la Nación, 1943]

    Nos. 1, 3, 4-5 ("Amerindian number"), and 6, dated 1942-1944. Picasso, Pablo. Picasso, oeuvres des musées de Léningrad et de Moscou, 1900-1914 / [introd. par Maurice Raynal].

    Paris: Maison de la pensée française, 1954. Ray, Man. Les mains libres: dessins de Man Ray; illustrés par les poèmes de Paul Éluard.

    [Paris]: Gallimard, 1947.

    With title page dedication to De Herrera by Man Ray. San Francisco Museum of Art. Dynaton, 1951 [by] Jacqueline Johnson, Lee Mullican, Gordon Onslow-Ford [and] Wolfgang Paalen.

    [San Francisco: s.n., 1951?] The Star screwer.

    [Montignac, France]: Nautical Press & Star Screwer, 1972-

    Nos. 3-4, 5, 6 plus poster. Style en France.

    Paris: Éditions J.B.V.

    Vol. II no. 5, Jan./Feb./Mar. 1947 [appeared 1947 Apr. 15]. Le surréalisme au service de la révolution. No. 1

    Paris: Librairie José Corti, [n.d.-1930?] Le Surréalisme en 1947: exposition internationale du surréalisme, présentée par André Breton et Marcel Duchamp.

    Paris: Pierre à Feu, Maeght Editeur, c1947. Tzara, Tristan. Morceaux choisis / Tristan Tzara; préface de Jean Cassou.

    [Paris]: Bordas, c1947.

    Dedicated to De Herrera and W. Copley by Tristan Tzara. Verve: Revue artistique et littéraire.

    Paris: Éditions Verve, 1937-

    Vol IX, no. 35-36, 1958. Cover title: Dernières OEuvres de Matisse, 1950-1954. View.

    New York: View, Inc., 1940-1947.

    Includes Vol VI no. 1, Feb. 1946 and Vol VI nos. 2-3, Mar.-Apr. 1946. XXe siècle.

    Paris: Chroniques du jour, 1938-1984.

    1re année (1938), nos. 1-4. Includes article: La photographie qui console, by Man Ray.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Gloria de Herrera papers consist of ca. 750 items documenting the life of Gloria de Herrera, an American art preparator, restorer and collector active in the art world in Los Angeles and France in the middle of the 20th century. A close friend and associate of Man Ray, William N. Copley, Max Ernst and other notable Surrealist and Dada artists, De Herrera is credited with having glued and made permanent the cut-out collages of Henri Matisse. Later, De Herrera became involved in the struggle for Algerian independence. The papers bear witness to these activities; they include ca. 180 letters; ca. 170 assorted documents (including her writings and those of William Copley, incidental publications revealing her political interests, notes concerning her art preparation work, legal and medical records, and papers associated with her untimely death from cancer); 22 artworks, 68 artwork surrogates and 7 exhibition announcements from artist friends, along with 11 items saved from her Matisse work; and some 244 photographs documenting her social circles, travels, interests and activities. Also included are 7 oversize items, 7 audio cassettes of an interview with De Herrera, and 1 VHS cassette of an interview of her friend James B. Byrnes, discussing De Herrera and her milieu.
    Highlights of the papers include a scrapbook of photographs of De Herrera's activities, ca. 1950-1953, documenting her transatlantic voyage and visits to the homes of Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso among other events; the Échantillons Matisse, a set of 72 fragments of gouached paper left over from her Matisse work, along with 10 full-sized gouached paper sheets; and two oil paintings by William N. Copley (one very small, one full-sized). Additionally, a set of photographs taken by De Herrera in 1947 documents a Just Jazz concert in Pasadena, featuring Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz artists. An additional 71 books and journals owned by De Herrera have been separated to the library; they are enumerated in a separation list at the end of this finding aid.

    Arrangement note

    The papers are organized in six series: Series I. Correspondence, 1950-1988; Series II. Documents, 1936-1996; Series III. Artworks, 1945-ca. 1975; Series IV. Photographs, 1947-1985; Series V. Oversize materials, 1937-1979; Series VI. Audiovisual materials, 1983-1996

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Man Ray, Juliet
    Hodes, Barnet
    Johnston, Ynez
    Kelleher, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph)
    Gillespie, Dizzy
    Granz, Norman
    Ellington, Duke
    Eluard, Paul
    Eluard, Dominique
    Fitzgerald, Ella
    Ernst, Max
    Teagarden, Jack
    Zerbib, Marcel
    Roché, Henri Pierre
    Rothman, Walter
    Péret, Benjamin
    Tanguy, Yves
    Tanning, Dorothea
    Penrose, Valentine
    Penrose, Roland, Sir
    Pastier, Madeleine
    Picasso, Pablo
    Picasso, Claude
    Matisse, Henri
    Mondrian, Piet
    Man Ray
    Cornell, Joseph
    Copley, William Nelson
    Duchamp, Marcel
    De Herrera, Gloria
    Bigard, Barney
    Boudaoud, Omar
    Armstrong, Louis
    Byrnes, Barbara
    Byrnes, James B.
    Breton, André
    Brahim, Malika
    Brauner, Victor

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet (Firm)
    Loudmer-Poulain (Firm)

    Subjects - Topics

    Art -- Collectors and collecting
    Tableaux modernes, art contemporain,
    Département de la Dordogne. Règlement sanitaire départemental
    La vie d'un grand disparu : Jean Jaurès, apôtre de la paix
    Art dealers -- France -- Paris
    Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- Los Angeles
    Art restorers -- France -- Paris
    Collage, French
    Art -- Conservation and restoration
    Art -- Exhibitions
    Art, Modern -- 20th century
    Surrealism -- California -- Los Angeles
    Surrealism -- France
    Americans -- France -- Social life and customs
    Painting, Modern -- 20th century
    Jazz musicians -- United States
    Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century
    Photography, Artistic

    Subjects - Places

    Soviet Union -- Description and travel
    United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1953
    Algeria -- History -- Revolution, 1954-1962
    Sedona (Ariz.) -- Social life and customs
    Paris (France) -- Social life and customs
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Social life and customs
    France -- Politics and government -- 1958-1969

    Subjects - Titles

    Modern art shackled to Communism Estampes des XIXe et XXe siècles Idolatry and confusion

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographs, Original
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Auction catalogs
    Slides (photographs)
    Drawings (visual works)
    Oil paintings
    Paper fragments
    Exhibition announcements
    Medical records
    Copy prints
    Color transparencies


    Lefebvre-Foinet, Maurice
    Loeb, Edouard
    Lucas, Jacques
    Mannheimer Kunstverein
    Maranz, George
    Matisse, Amélie
    Hall, Jacques
    Hôtel Drouot
    Inverarity, Robert Bruce
    Kaminsky, Adolfo
    Galleria del naviglio (Milan, Italy)
    Gibbons, Joseph Burroughs
    Giacometti, Alberto
    Gilot, Françoise
    Dumas, Roland
    Foresta, Merry A.
    Fonvieille-Alquier, François
    Tsypina, Rita
    Tashjian, Dickran
    Young-Mallin, Judith
    Rubin, William Stanley
    Sidney Janis Gallery
    Paalen, Wolfgang
    Poniatowski, Michel
    Pfriem, Bernard
    Mesens, E. L. T. (Edouard Léon Théodore)
    Matta Echaurren, Roberto Sebastián
    Matisse, Pierre
    Mitchell, Irene Musillo
    Meyer, Franz
    Messenger, Ivan
    Ernst, Max
    Matisse, Henri
    Man Ray
    Copley, William Nelson
    Tanning, Dorothea
    Byrnes, Barbara
    Byrnes, James B.
    Brauner, Victor
    De Herrera, David
    Darbois, Dominique
    Cowart, Jack
    Copley Galleries
    Chavaroche, Marie-Hélène
    Calder, Alexander
    Drouin, René
    Dorival, Bernard
    Dondero, George A. (George Anthony)
    Delectorskaya, Lydia
    De Herrera, Mildred
    Duchamp, Marcel
    De Herrera, Gloria
    Barton, Patricia
    Berggruen, Heinz
    Baldwin, Neil
    Barinov, Igor
    Burke, John
    Burley, Dan
    Brunius, Jacques-B.

    Selected Bibliography

    Michèle and Michel Auer. Encyclopédie internationale des photographes de 1839 à nos jours = Photographers encyclopaedia international, 1839 to the present. Hermance, Switzerland : Camera Obscura, c1985. Darbois, Dominique, and Philippe Vigneau. Les Algériens en guerre. Milan : Feltrinelli, 1961. Forging identity [videorecording] / a film by Jacques Falck. Brooklyn, NY : First Run / Icarus Films [distributor], 1999. Henri Matisse, 1950-1954 : les grandes gouaches découpées : [Ausstellung] Kunsthalle Bern, 25. Juli bis 20. September 1959. [Bern : Kunsthalle, 1959] Henri Matisse : paper cut-outs / Jack Cowart ... [et al.]. [St. Louis] : St. Louis Art Museum ; New York : distributed by Abrams, c1977. James Byrnes / interviewed by George M. Goodwin ; completed under the auspices of the Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles. c1977. Man Ray : Paris - L.A. Santa Monica, CA : Smart Art Press, c1996.