The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute focuses on the history of art, architecture, and archaeology with relevant materials in the humanities and social sciences. The range of the collections begins with prehistory and extends to contemporary art. Presently, the collections are strongest in the history of western European art and culture in Europe and North America; however, in recent years, they have expanded to include other areas, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, and selected regions of Asia.
The special collections contain rare and unique materials in selected areas of art history and visual culture. Predominately works on paper, these collections include rare books, prints, and photographs. Archives, manuscripts, sketchbooks, and albums provide perspectives on artistic production, illuminating intellectual exchanges that fostered creative collaborations. More recent acquisitions focus on art and architecture in Southern California, revealing Los Angeles's significant role in the postwar era.
Relevant collections including artists publications:
Jean Brown papers
1916-1995 (bulk 1958-1985)
An extensive study collection of avant-garde materials amassed by librarian and art collector, Jean Brown. Her collection documents the Dada and Surrealist art movements and their offshoots, especially Fluxus, mail art, and concrete poetry. Materials include letters, printed matter and ephemera, clippings, nearly 500 art objects, sound recordings, motion pictures, and video recordings.
Coracle Press records
1953-2013, bulk 1975-2008
Coracle Press records from 1953 to 2013 document the press's production of books, printed matter and exhibitions under the direction of Simon Cutts.
Experiments in Art and Technology records
1966-1993 (bulk 1966-1973)
Records of the organization Experiments in Art and Technology, generated and collected by its president, Billy Klüver, and other staff members, the bulk from 1966-1973. Materials include project files, correspondence, proposals, reports, photographs, posters, audiovisual materials, minutes, clippings, printed matter, and other items.
Ian Hamilton Finlay papers
This collection details the career and work of Scottish concrete poet/artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay. It includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, garden designs, photographs, project files, clippings, catalogs, and other materials related to his work, his family, colleagues, friends, and the controversies that surrounded him. Materials collected by Simon Cutts, publisher of the Coracle Press.
Guerrilla Girls records
Guerrilla Girls records document the activities of the feminist art group, comprising a complete set of posters, mass mailings, form letters, and other graphic materials, along with internal group memoranda, letters from fans, business correspondence, and audiovisual materials.
Dick Higgins papers
American artist, poet, writer, publisher, composer, and educator. The archive contains papers collected or generated by Higgins, documenting his involvement with Fluxus and happenings, pattern and concrete poetry, new music, and small press publishing from 1972 to 1994, with some letters dated as early as 1960.
High Performance magazine records
High Performance magazine records document the publication's content, editorial process and administrative history during its quarterly run from 1978-1997. Founded as a magazine covering performance art, the publication gradually shifted editorial focus first to include all new and experimental art, and then to activism and community-based art. Due to its extensive compilation of artist files, the archive provides comprehensive documentation of the progressive art world from the late 1970s to the late 1990s.
Internationale Situationniste ephemera
A collection of assembled printed manifestoes, tracts, exhibition catalogs, and posters created by members of Internationale Situationniste (I.S.). The founding of this politically charged artistic and literary movement can be traced through the small amount of ephemera by the Internationale Lettriste and Bauhaus Imaginiste groups, precursors to I.S.
Allan Kaprow papers
The Allan Kaprow Papers offer comprehensive documentation of an artistic career that spanned the latter half of the 20th century and continues into the 21st. Arranged chronologically so as to demonstrate the artist's passage from student of art and art history to practicing artist, art theorist and art educator, the collection contains drawings, term papers and notebooks from Kaprow's student days, followed by ca. 250 Project Files, comprising the complete extant documentation of Kaprow's Environments, Happenings, and Activities.
Otto Mühl papers
circa 1918-circa 1997
The archive of Otto Mühl, co-founder and one of the main participants of Viennese Actionism, and founder of the living experiment known as the Friedrichshof Commune, includes his complete diaries and a wealth of theoretical writings about Actionism, the concept of Action Analysis, and life in a commune as an alternative model of society. Also present is his correspondence; legal documents relating to court proceedings against Mühl and other participants of Viennese Actionism; approximately 1000 negatives and contact sheets of Mühl's actions taken by the Austrian photographer Ludwig Hoffenreich; circa 165 sketchbooks with drawings and writings by Mühl; and a collection of press reviews of Viennese Actionism published in Austrian and German newspapers in the 1960s and 1970s. Also included is correspondence of Otto Mühl's family, various family documents and records, hundreds of personal photographs, and Mühl's juvenile drawings and writings.
Bern Porter mail art collection
American physicist, poet, publisher, editor of artists' books, illustrator and mail artist. Collection consists of five collections of mail art preserved by Porter from his own accumulation and those of fellow mail artists John Pyros, Carlo Pittore (née Charles Stanley), Robert Saunders, and Jay Yager.
Jasia Reichardt archive of concrete and sound poetry
British art critic, editor, and curator born in Poland. The collection consists of poetry in a variety of media: manuscripts and typescripts, screenprints and posters, collages and original graphics, sound recordings, photoprints, and objects. Artists include Ronaldo Azedredo, Stephen Bann, Derek Boshier, Eugenio Carmi, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Kenelm Cox, Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, John Furnival, Ludwig Gosewitz, Brian Hindmarch, Michael Horovitz, D.S. Houedard, Ferdinand Kriwet, John Latham, Christopher Logue, Edward Lucie-Smith, Hansjörg Mayer, Franz Mon, Seiichi Niikuni (and the Tokyo Assn. for the Study of Arts [ASA]), Tom Phillips, John Sharkey, Gianni-Emilio Simonetti, Mary Ellen Solt, Edgardo Antonio Vigo, and Wolf Vostell.
Jasia Reichardt correspondence
Jasia Reichardt correspondence, 1956-1987, consists mainly of correspondence between artists, writers, and Reichardt from 1965 to 1975 when she was Assistant Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and Director of the Whitechapel Gallery.
Edward Ruscha photographs of Los Angeles streets
The collection is comprised of Edward Ruscha's ongoing photographic documentation of Los Angeles thoroughfares. Included are shoots of three streets made in the 1970s: Santa Monica Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, 1974; and Melrose Avenue, 1975; and over 40 shoots made since 2007. These shoots represent more than twenty-five streets including Sepulveda, Pico, Olympic, Wilshire, La Cienega, and Beverly boulevards.
Edward Ruscha photographs of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard
The collection is comprised of material related to Ed Ruscha's photographic documentation of two major Los Angeles thoroughfares: Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard, as well as the projects that resulted from the documentation of the two streets. Ruscha documented Sunset Boulevard in twelve shoots between 1965 and 2001, and Hollywood Boulevard in four shoots between 1973 and 2004. Finished projects include his fourth photographic art book, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966; the portfolio Sunset Strip 1965/1995, and the portfolio and book Then & Now: Hollywood Boulevard 1973-2004, 2005.
Carolee Schneemann papers
The papers document the performances, happenings, film and book productions, and exhibitions of the American painter and performance artist Carolee Schneemann.
Robert Watts papers
1883-1989 (bulk 1940-1988)
American artist of mixed media, sculpture, and assemblage, best known as a founding member of Fluxus. The archive consists of correspondence, manuscripts, personal documents, and many photographs and slides documenting Watts' work and affiliations with artists. Also included are three works of art.
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