Bowery Gallery records, 1969-2008

A Finding Aid to the Bowery Gallery Records, 1969-2008 , in the Archives of American Art, by Justin Brancato

Download PDF Version of this page [Download PDF Version]

Table of Contents:

Historical Information

In 1969, eighteen artists founded the Bowery Gallery as a non-profit, artist-run cooperative gallery in New York City. The gallery's original mission was to promote contemporary art and artists during a time when abstract art and pop art dominated. In 1991, Bowery Gallery began sponsoring an annual national competition and juried show for artists working in two-dimensional media.

Return to top

Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The records of the Bowery Gallery, a non-profit, artist-run cooperative gallery in New York City, measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1969-2008. Business records, letters, exhibition files, guest registers, printed material and photographs document the gallery's activities and artists.

An additional 0.4 linear feet of Bowery Gallery records dated circa 2002-2008 were accessioned in 2008 and remain unprocessed. This accretion contains minutes and other business records, exhibition schedules, exhibition announcements, and Bowery Artists Tribute, Volume 1 (2008). Also found is a DVD copy of an audiovisual recording of the gallery's inaugural exhibition (October 31, 1969).

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:


  • Art galleries, Cooperative--New York (State)--New York

Types of Materials:

  • Video recordings
  • Visitors' books
  • Photographs


Donated 2003 and 2008 by the Bowery Gallery via Barbara Grossman, and Lynda Caspe, founding members of the Bowery Gallery, and Marylou Schuck. Grossman maintained the Gallery records.

How the Collection was Processed

The records were processed to a minimal level by Justin Brancato in July 2005.

The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder tiles and dates, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders. Staples and other fasteners were not removed, but materials were removed from binders or damaged bindings.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original records requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Bowery Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

How to Cite this Collection

Bowery Gallery records, 1969-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Return to top

Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Business Records, 1969-2002
(Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Record book contains first treasurer's records and artists' accounts. Incorporation documents include the Gallery's bylaws.

Box Folder
1 1 Curriculum Vitae of Artists, Armstrong-Virgil, undated
1 2-3 Incorporation of Gallery, 1985-1993, undated
(2 folders)
1 4 Lease Information,
1 5 Members' Lists, 1970-2002
1 6-9 Minutes of Meetings, 1977-2000
(4 folders)
1 10 Press Releases and Price Lists, 1969, 1983-1988, undated
1 11 Record Book, circa 1969, 1983, undated
(1 volume, removed from binder)
1 12 Rules and Regulations, Fact Sheet, 2002

Series 2: Letters, 1974-1997
(Box 1; 3 folders)

Letters concern Gallery activities and business matters.

Box Folder
1 13-15 Letters, 1974-1997, undated
(3 folders)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1983-1994
(Box 1; 4 folders)

Documentation of the "25th Anniversary Exhibition" includes letters and photographs.

Box Folder
1 16 "Bowery on the Bowery," 1983, 1984
1 17-19 "25th Anniversary Exhibition," 1994
(3 folders)

Series 4: Guest Registers, 1976-20001
(Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear feet)

11 volumes record names, addresses, and comments of visitors to the Gallery's exhibitions.

Box Folder
1 20 Volume 1: 1973-1993
(1 volume)
Box Folder
2 1-10 Volumes 2-10: 1993-2001
(10 volumes)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1969-2001
(Boxes 2-4; 0.9 linear feet)

Printed material documents Bowery Gallery's exhibitions and artists.

Box Folder
2 11 Exhibition Catalogues, 1992, 1995
2 12-25 Gallery Announcements, 1971-1992
(4 folders)
Box Folder
3 1-5 Gallery Announcements, 1992-2000, undated
(5 folders; oversized material housed in Box 4)
3 6 National Competition Forms, 1992-2001
3 7 Newsletter, "News from Bowery Gallery," 1986-2000
3 8 Newspaper Clippings, 1971, 1977-1986, 2000
3 Poster 1974
(oversized material housed in Box 4)
4 Oversized Printed Material, 1969-1997, undated
(from Box 3, folders 1-5)

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1997-1999, 1997-1999
(Box 3; 0.1 linear ft.)

Photographs and negative record Bowery Gallery exhibition installations, and there are photographs and 35-mm color slides of artwork.

Additional photographs are found with the exhibition files (Series 3).

Box Folder
3 9 Installation Views, 1997-1999
(photographs, negatives)
3 10 Artwork, undated
(photographs, 35-mm color slides)