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Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive
    Date (inclusive): circa 1964-2003
    Number: 2006.M.7
    Creator/Collector: Long Beach Museum of Art
    Physical Description: 465 Linear Feet (127 boxes, circa 5,000 videos)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    Business Number: (310) 440-7390
    Fax Number: (310) 440-7780
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) was among the first museums in the United States to focus on video as an artistic medium. The materials in the archive document LBMA's innovative approaches to collecting, producing and displaying video art, primarily between 1974 and 1999. Materials include artist files; exhibition records; LBMA's administrative records pertaining to the video program; materials on the museum's grant and cable television programs; photographic materials; and almost 5,000 videotapes.
    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

    Historical Note

    The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) began collecting and exhibiting video art in 1974 and in three decades developed one of the most significant video collections in the country, comprising approximately 5,000 videotapes. LBMA's video program started when museum director, Jan Adlmann, hired curator David Ross to establish the museum's video program. Exhibiting video as an artistic medium was at the forefront of LBMA's mission during the 1970s. The video program allowed artists to display their videos through experimental exhibitions like the Southland Video Anthology (1975-1978), which featured work by hundreds of video artists. Video art exhibitions were already taking place in Europe and on the East Coast in the mid-1960s, and LBMA played a pivotal role in bringing video art to West Coast audiences.
    In 1976, LBMA became the first museum to provide an in-house production facility where artists could produce and edit their videos. The production facility was located in the museum's attic, and was internally known as the Artist's Post Production Studio (APPS). APPS offered artists a place to create video art, and in exchange for this service, artists would leave a copy of their work with the museum. Through APPS, the museum began to develop a video collection, albeit inadvertently. Artists would also send copies of their work to the museum to be included in the collection. Around 1979, LBMA received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to open the Video Annex (also known as the Station Annex), located next to a fire station the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, California. The Video Annex was primarily used as a post-production studio, and held two editing studios, Studio A and Studio B. The Video Annex became a source of revenue for the museum, as artists rented the space to edit their work using broadcast-quality equipment. LBMA established a residency program, allowing artists to live in the Annex while producing and editing their work. Artists were also commissioned to create works for broadcast television at the Annex, and the space eventually housed the museum's growing collection of videos.
    In addition to supporting the work of video artists through exhibitions and the production facility, LBMA also offered grant programs, including Open Channels Television Production Grant Program, the Video Access Program, and New Visions: Video Production and Presentation Program. LBMA was able to present the medium to a wider audience by producing many cable series and live broadcast events through local cable television networks, and in partnership with other institutions, such as The Kitchen in New York, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Iowa. In the early 1980s, LBMA produced the cable series, Shared Realities: A Cultural Arts Cable Series, which featured interviews, art videos, music, and live performances. Other cable programs included Viewpoints on Video , Arts Revue, and Art Off the Wall.
    LBMA also acquired the video archive of the Los Angeles Woman's Building after it closed in 1991. Founded in 1973, the Woman's Building was an independent feminist arts institution that served as a center for education and activism.
    In the mid-1990s, the museum closed its video program, but kept the Video Annex open for a few more years to generate income. California artists played an important part in creating video art history, and through the museum's innovative programming, artists and curators were able to work together to create a substantial collection of video art. Collectively, the materials in the archive trace LBMA's role in the early history of the medium through its multi-faceted efforts to support artists and public understanding of video art.
    See also the chronology of film and video exhibitions  at the Long Beach Museum of Art from 1974 to 1999.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers. Videos are unavailable until reformatted.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive, circa 1970-2000. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2006.M.7

    Aquisition Information

    Transferred from the Long Beach Museum of Art in 2006.

    Processing History

    The following interns cataloged artists' tapes in Series VI and processed corresponding records in Series I under the supervision of Jocelyn Gibbs and Andra Darlington: Amy Sloper (2006-2007), Leah Kerr (summer 2007), Tim Wilson (fall 2007), Patti Peregrine (winter and spring 2008) and Holly Larson (fall 2008). Darlington cataloged the Woman's Building tapes in Series IX, many artists' tapes in Series VI and exhibition tapes in Series VII (2007-2008). Devon Bella finished processing Series I-IV (2009-2010).
    From 2009 to 2011 Annette Doss finished cataloging the artists' tapes in Series VI and cataloged many exhibition tapes in Series VII. Under Doss's supervision, Natalie Snoyman processed the photographs in Series V (fall 2010) and Philip Leers processed the tapes related to grant and cable programs in Series VIII (summer and fall 2011).
    Currently the exhibition tapes are still being processed and cataloged, and a number of miscellaneous tapes also remain unprocessed. Numerous videos have been digitized and are available online  to on-site readers and Getty staff.

    Reformatted Videos

    Many videos have been reformatted. Some DVD use copies are available in the repository, as indicated in the catalog records for individual video works; other videos are available online  to on-site Readers and Getty staff.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive documents more than three decades of LBMA's engagement with video art, from the late 1960s through 2003. At the heart of the archive are approximately 5,000 videos collected or produced by LBMA, including single-channel video artworks and installation works, taped interviews with artists, collectors, and curators, and video documentation of exhibitions, performances and other events at the museum and throughout Southern California. The paper component of the archive contains LBMA institutional records pertaining to the museum's activities in video art collecting, exhibition, production and distribution.
    Series I contains files on most, but not all, of the artists whose work is included in the video collection, as well as additional artists whose works are not represented in the archive. Some materials relate to the artist in general and some pertain to specific artworks. Artist files often include materials such as acquisition and donor forms, correspondence, artists' curriculum vitae, press clippings, screening announcements, project proposals, and a few drawings and sketches. Artists with particularly substantial files include Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Gary Hill, Nam June Paik, Ilene Segalove, and Bill Viola.
    Series II documents video exhibitions organized by and/or presented at the Long Beach Museum of Art from 1975 to 1999. Exhibition records often include press releases, printed announcements, catalogs, posters, text for printed materials, program notes, screening schedules, installation notes and sketches, correspondence, mailing lists, acquisition forms, loan and payment receipts, and press clippings. Among the exhibitions represented in the series are Southland Video Anthology (1975-1978), California Video (1980), and The Artist and the Computer (1983).
    Documenting LBMA's grant-making programs for video production, Series III contains press releases, subsidy applications, artists' applications and video proposals. The primary grant programs were Open Channels Television Production Grant Program, the Video Access Program, and New Visions: Video Production and Presentation Program. Also in Series III are records pertaining to LBMA's distribution of video art through cable programs such as Viewpoints on Video, Arts Revue, Art Off the Wall , and Shared Realities. These materials often include programming notes, budgets, tape rental forms, and reports for the museum's collaborative programs.
    The Administrative records in Series IV are comprised of executive and managerial documents, such as the LBMA Foundation curatorial grant applications and reports consisting of capital and operational support requests and supplementary materials. Also included are papers relating to the production facility at the Video Annex; records documenting the development and preservation of the video archive and library; David Ross papers, consisting of correspondence and files he kept on institutions; meeting notes relating to advisory organizations, such as the Video Council and National Alliance of Media Art Centers (NAMAC); subscriptions, serials, newsletters, and mailings.
    Series V contains photographic materials, including artist portraits, documentation of installations, and video stills. This series contains black and white prints, negatives, contact sheets, color photography, and transparencies. The majority of the files include installation shots from exhibitions organized by and presented at LBMA between 1974 and 1998, as well as video stills from individual artists' works. In addition, there are a few instances of correspondence in the series, usually between the artist and staff members of LBMA.
    Most of the artist videos Series VI and exhibition videos in Series VII have been cataloged and may be found in the library catalog  by searching for artists' names or the titles of works or exhibitions. To browse through all cataloged works, search for the title, "Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive."
    Series VIII, Grant and cable program videos, is comprised of 237 videotapes that document video art, interviews, performances and events that were produced by LBMA and aired on cable television from 1983 through 1993.
    Series IX contains more than 250 tapes from the Los Angeles Woman's Building, and includes feminist performance videos, video art, and documentation of the feminist movement in Southern California through interviews, performances, readings and other events. The Woman's Building tapes have been cataloged and may be found by searching the library catalog  for the Woman's Building in the author field.
    Videos are unavailable until reformatted. Contact Reference   for information about how to request reformatting.

    Arrangement note

    Arranged in nine series: Series I. Artists' files, circa 1966-2002; Series II. Exhibition files, 1975-1999; Series III. Grant and cable program files, 1976-1999, undated; Series IV. Administrative files,1972-2003, undated; Series V. Photographs, 1964-1998, undated; Series VI. Artists' videos, circa 1970-circa 2003; Series VII. Exhibition videos, circa 1970-circa 2003; Series VIII. Grant and cable program videos, 1983-1993; Series IX. Woman's Building videos, circa 1973-circa 1991.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Topics

    Art museums -- Exhibitions -- United States
    Art exhibitions -- 20th century
    Long Beach Museum of Art -- Exhibitions

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Color photographs
    Videocassettes -- United States -- 20th century
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Administrative records
    Video art -- United States -- 20th century
    Exhibition announcements
    Black-and-white negatives
    Color slides -- United States -- 20th century


    Long Beach Museum of Art