John Outterbridge papers, 1953-1997

Outterbridge, John Wilfred, b. 1933
Painter, Sculptor, Arts administrator
Active in Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.

Collection size: 5.9 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Biographical documents, such as Outterbridge's birth certificate, military record, teaching records, and awards and certificates; personal and business correspondence, 1974-1997; a transcript of an interview of Outterbridge conducted by Richard Candida Smith, 1989; exhibition catalogs and announcements, 1976-1997; and photographs of Outterbridge and of Watts Tower Art Center events and its annual Jazz Festival. Among those depicted in the photographs are Jacob Lawrence, Marla Gibbs, Bob Marley, Gregory Hines, Johnny Otis, and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. Also included are newpaper clippings regarding the history of the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts and the Watts Towers Art Center and Jazz Festival.

Biographical/Historical Note: Arts administrator, sculptor; Los Angeles, Calif. Outterbridge was born in 1933, in Greenville, N.C. After serving in the army, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and remained active in the Chicago art scence until moving to Los Angeles in 1963. He served as director of the Communicative Arts Academy, 1969-1975, and the Watts Towers Art Center, 1975-1993, a focal point for African American visual and theatrical arts and sponsor of the Watts Towers Jazz Festival.

Donated 1997 by John Outterbridge.

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