Sound RecordingPoet Michael McClure reading at the Lion-house, Fleishacker zoo, San Francisco
Sound RecordingDavid Meltzer reading Kenneth Patchen poems with live and recorded music
Sound RecordingMichael McClure and unidentified partner poetry reading
Berman, Wallace, b. 1926 d. 1976
Assemblage artist, Mail artist
Active in Los Angeles, Calif.
Collection size: 4.9 linear feet
Collection Summary: Letters, notes from an interview of Berman, art work, issues of Berman's underground publication Semina, and one of "S.M.S.", printed materials, photographs and audio tapes provide an overview of the career of California assemblage artist and beat poet Wallace Berman, as well as the "beat" movement in California in the late 1950s through the 1970s. Approximately two thirds of the collection consists of Berman's library - mostly poetry - including many first editions, by writers of the beat movement.
Biographical/Historical Note: Wallace Berman (1926-1976) was an assemblage artist and poet in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. Born in Staten Island, N.Y., Berman moved to Los Angeles with his family in the 1930s. After being expelled from high school for gambling, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and the Chouinard Art School. By the 1950s, he had become a full-time assemblage artist and produced a mail art publication Semina, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by Berman. In 1963, he permanently settled in Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles and created verifax collages and rock assemblages.
Donated 1991 by Tosh Berman, Berman's son.
How to Use this Collection
- Read the Finding Aid for this collection
- Microfilm reels 5282-5284 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
- Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
- For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.