Scope and Contents
The papers of woodworker, sculptor, and furniture designer Garry Knox Bennett measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1917 to 2017 with the bulk of the material dating from 1960 to 2017.
The collection includes biographical materials containing Bennett's birthday and wedding celebration material, appointment calendars, childhood artwork, sketches and patterns for projects, photographs and notes regarding the Bennetts' marriage, resumes, student records, and material regarding the Bennetts' house fire in 2003. Correspondence is with artists Wendell Castle and Nancy Jurs, June Schwarcz, Kay Sekimachi and Bob Stocksdale, Albert Paley who describes an accident that occurred in 2002, and good friend and writer Jack Marlowe, as well as with wife Sylvia and daughter Jessica. Exhibition files consist of artwork price lists, artist statements, shipping documents, correspondence, and printed materials for Bennett's solo and group exhibitions. They also include documentation of a few exhibitions showing pieces from his personal art collection.
Professional files relate to workshops, lectures, exhibitions, donations, and grant proposals. Also found are project and publication files, artist statements written by Jack Marlowe and Tom Farber for Bennett, studio visit records, a video recording of an interview with Bennett, and a few digital recordings. The Made in Oakland: The Furniture of Garry Knox Bennett (2001) retrospective files consist of correspondence, fundraising records, lender files, and material regarding the creation of a book that also served as the catalog for the exhibition. Financial and legal records contain check registers, invoices and receipts, card files containing sales information, and legal material relating to the estate of Peter T. Joseph. Printed materials include clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and exhibition history material. Additional printed material can be found in the scrapbooks recording exhibitions and Bennett's career. The scrapbooks also include some personal items such as letters, photographs, and documents from Bennett's youth.
Handwritten notes by Sylvia Bennett, offering additional history and context, can be found throughout the collection. The notes were typically written onto the original folders which have been preserved along with the related material.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Garry Knox Bennett papers were donated in 2003 by Sylvia Bennett, Bennett's wife, and in 2017 by Garry Knox Bennett. The papers were collected as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project For Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Garry Knox Bennett conducted February 1-2, 2002 by Glenn Adamson in Oakland, C.A. for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2022.