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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Scope And Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The Joseph A. Baird, Jr. Collection
    Date (inclusive): 1977-1992
    Collection number: D-231
    Origination: Joseph A. Baird, Jr.
    Extent: 46 linear feet in 45 archives boxes and 2 folio boxes.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Davis, California
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Department.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Purchase of the Joseph A. Baird, Jr. Collection was made possible by the University of California Systemwide Shared Purchase Program. The collection was deposited in the Special Collections Department, Shields Library, in 1977. Upon the suggestion of Dr. Baird, the research files of Dr. Elliot Evans were acquired and added to the collection in 1978. Additional materials were added in the form of donations and purchases since that time and supplemental files from Dr. Baird were also interfiled into the collection. Following the death of Dr. Baird in 1992, the collection was closed, rearranged, and reindexed.
    Twenty monographs were extracted from the collection and cataloged for the Rare Books section of the Special Collections Department. Two monographs were similarly extracted and cataloged for the Main Library stacks. Also, thirteen serial publications were extracted and added to the Main Library's holdings as needed.
    The Clyde F. Trudell Collection was extracted and given its own collection number, D-24.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Library can only claim physical ownership of the Joseph A. Baird, Jr. Collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary property.

    Preferred Citation

    The Joseph A. Baird, Jr. Collection, D-231, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.


    Joseph Armstrong Baird, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1922. He began his studies in art history at Oberlin College where he received a bachelor's degree and then attended Harvard University where he first earned a master's degree and finally a doctorate in art and architectural history in 1951. He taught at the University of Toronto (1949-1953) before coming to Davis in 1953. Beginning as a lecturer in the Art Department, he retired as a full professor of fine arts in 1985. He continued to work as a consultant and art appraiser until his death in 1992.
    From 1962-1963 and 1967-1970, he was curator and art consultant to the California Historical Society. Traveling widely, he also taught at other institutions, including a visiting professorship at the University of Mexico under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. He was the founder and long-time owner of The North Point Gallery in San Francisco, which specialized in master works by American artists and rare historical photographs, until it was sold in 1985. While he was teaching at Davis, he helped develop art history programs, organize exhibitions, and develop the art collection on campus.

    Selected Bibliography

    • Art and Book Dealers, Galleries, Historical Societies, Libraries, Museums and Other Related Institutions in the Bay Area and Nearby. 1962
    • Time's Wondrous Changes: San Francisco Architecture, 1776-1915. 1962
    • The Churches of Mexico, 1530-1810. 1962
    • Historic Lithographs of San Francisco. 1972
    • The West Remembered: Artists and Images, 1837 -1973. 1973
    • Northern California Art: An Interpretive Bibliography to 1915. 1977

    Scope And Content

    This collection contains biographical information pertaining to primarily northern California artists and architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Research notes for two of Dr. Baird's publications, Catalogue of Original Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors in the Robert B. Honeyman, Jr. Collection (1968) and Historic Lithographs of San Francisco (1972), offer additional biographical and art historical information. His unpublished catalog on the prints in the Honeyman Collection at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley is also included.
    Extensive card files on individual California artists, compiled by both Dr. Baird and Dr. Evans, have been combined to document many minor artists. In addition, copies of the file cards from the Ferdinand Perret Research Library of the Arts and Affiliated Sciences, now owned by the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, offers another source of information on California artists. These cards contain biographical facts and selected titles of works and provenance of artists who were born in and/or worked in California in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The emphasis is on southern California artists of the early twentieth century, although many northern California figures are also included.
    A large catalog collection documents the more important exhibitions of California art. These exhibition catalogs are a source of biographical data, photographs, and bibliographies of California artists.
    Information on particular aspects of California art have been included in the subject files. The subject files contain a collection of essays and articles on California art, several bibliographic files which include a bibliography of California architecture, the West and Western art, and printmaking in California.
    The California architecture files include Historic American Buildings Surveys reports, architectural photographs, on-site notations and maps, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and catalogs relating to specific public and private buildings. Also, included are detailed content surveys of The California Architect & Building News for the years 1879 to 1900 prepared by Dr. Baird's students. Information about several private collections is also included in this collection.
    The collection is lacking in materials on modern artists, photographers, and sculptors. The Archives of American Art, a bureau of the Smithsonian Institute, has a west coast area center in San Francisco which includes primary source material on California art and artists.