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Prigoff, James Slide Collection
CEMA 102  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access restrictions
  • Use Restriction:
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Prigoff, James Slide Collection
    Dates: 1975-2003
    Collection number: CEMA 102
    Creator: James Prigoff
    Collection Size: 429 slides housed in one slide album.
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
    Selected digitized images from this collection on Calisphere.

    Access restrictions


    Use Restriction:

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All Requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    GUIDE TO THE JAMES PRIGOFF SLIDE COLLECTION, CEMA 102, Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Slides contributed by photographer James Prigoff in 2004.


    James Prigoff, an internationally respected photographer, author and lecturer on the subject of urban murals and aerosol art, has been documenting public art for over thirty years. Prigoff first photographed murals during his travels in Europe and Mexico in the sixties. It wasn’t until the early eighties Prigoff seriously recorded spraycan art. Some of Prigoff’s most important photos appear in the book he co-authored with photographer Henry Chalfant called Spraycan Art (Thames and Hudson, 1987). His world-renowned book not only documented aerosol art movements from its infancy in the United States and all over the world, but inspired additional movements around the world, as well. James Prigoff co-authored other books including Painting the Towns-Murals of California and Walls of Heritage-Walls of Pride, which looks at the history of African-American mural art. His work was displayed in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition 100 Years of California Art. In 2001 Prigoff curated an exhibit called Painting and Politics featuring his own work at the Social and Public Art Resource Center gallery in Venice, California. Prigoff has been invited to speak at museums and universities all over the globe including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Vancouver Art Museum and Stanford University. He received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is considered one of their most distinguished graduates.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The James Prigoff slide collection is an important visual resource that helps document the Chicano visual arts movement in California, and in particular, the San Diego and Tijuana area. The collection complements that of other CEMA collections that make up a visual record about San Diego’s Chicano Park and artists whose work appear there, especially that of Chicano artists Victor Ochoa, Guillermo Aranda, Nuke, Victor Ochoa, Jesse Ortiz, Sake, Michael Schnorr, Mario Torero and others. The slides in this collection are overwhelmingly of mural art and of spray can art.
    This catalog contains 276 records representing 429 slides. The slides are organized first according to major categories of art media such as "Drawings" or "Murals." Within each of these broader categories the individual records are arranged in alphabetical order by name of the artist. " Artist Unknown" works are listed at the beginning of each section indicating that we do not have information on who created that work.
    For the sake of clarification the terms " Untitled" and " (title unknown)" are not interchangeable. " Untitled" is a legitimate title of a work given by the artist, while " title unknown" means that we do not have any information about the title. The records are as complete as possible; however, to a certain degree the catalog is a "work in progress." We are hopeful that over time information about the " Artist Unknowns" and " title unknowns" will become known and the catalog will be updated and re-issued. A glossary has also been included describing the various mediums and their unique characteristics.
    Related collections include the Centro Cultural de la Raza archives, the Salvador Roberto Torres papers, and the Victor Ochoa papers; all are housed in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives.