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Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery announcements, 1961-1973

Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery announcements, 1961-1973

Irving Blum Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)

This site provides access to the records of Irving Blum Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2009. The records have been scanned in their entirety, and total 32 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 32 items

Summary: The Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery announcements consist of 32 announcements for exhibitions at the Los Angeles Ferus Gallery (1957-1966) and its successor the Irving Blum Gallery (1966-circa 1972).

Biographical/Historical Note

The Ferus Gallery, later renamed the Irving Blum Gallery was an art gallery in Los Angeles, California. Originally founded by Walter Hopps and Ed Kienholz in 1957 as Ferus Gallery, Kienholz sold his share to Irving Blum one year later. Ferus Gallery closed in 1966 and Irving Blum maintained sole ownership and changed the gallery's name to Irving Blum Gallery. It was the first gallery in the Los Angeles area to show contemporary American art, and, under Blum's direction, soon focused heavily on contemporary Southern California artists, such as John Altoon, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Wallace Berman, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Richard Ruben, among many others. The gallery also exhibited contemporary American artists from New York, including Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Richard Diebenkorn, Andy Warhol, and others.

Provenance

Donated 1979 by Mrs. Rochella Orchard.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery Announcements,
1961-1973
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.irviblum
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Hanson
Scope and Content Note
The Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery announcements consist of 32 announcements for exhibitions at the Los Angeles Ferus Gallery (1957-1966) and its successor the Irving Blum Gallery (1966-circa 1972). Exhibition announcements are for many exhibitions of southern California contemporary and pop artists, as well as New York artists. Artists represented by announcements include John Altoon, Don Bachardy, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Craig Kauffman, Roy Lichtenstein, Edward Moses, Kenneth Noland, Ad Reinhardt, Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Although these announcements are scattered, they provide insight to and documentation of the southern California LA art scene and the Beat era. The exhibition announcements themselves are quite unique.
Historical Note
In 1957, Walter Hopps (1932-2005) and Edward Kienholz (1927-1994) opened the contemporary art Ferus Gallery on North La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Kienholz sold his share to Irving Blum (b. 1930) one year later. Hopps left in 1962 to become curator and, later, director of the Pasadena Art Museum. Ferus Gallery closed in 1966 and Irving Blum maintained sole ownership and changed the gallery's name to Irving Blum Gallery.
Ferus Gallery was the first gallery in the Los Angeles area to show contemporary American art, and focused heavily on contemporary Southern California artists, such as John Altoon, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Wallace Berman, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Richard Ruben, among many others. Likewise, Ferus Gallery helped to solidify the reputations of many established New York artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Richard Diebenkorn, Andy Warhol, and others.
The inaugural exhibition at the Ferus Gallery was "Objects on the New Landscape Demanding of the Eye" (March 15 - April 11, 1957), a group show including the work of Frank Lobdell, Jay DeFeo, Craig Kauffman, Richard Diebenkorn, John Altoon and Clyfford Still. Los Angeles artists who had their first solo shows at the gallery included: Wallace Berman (1957), Billy Al Bengston (1958), Ed Moses (1958), Robert Irwin (1959), John Mason (1959), Kenneth Price (1960), Llyn Foulkes (1962), Larry Bell (1962) and Ed Ruscha (1963).
In 1957 the gallery was temporarily closed after LAPD officers arrested and charged Wallace Berman with obscenity over work in his exhibition. It was his first and last solo show.
In 1962 "Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans" was Andy Warhol's first solo pop art exhibition and the first exhibition of the Soup Cans. Five of the canvases sold for $100 each, but Blum bought them back to keep the set intact.
Irving Blum designed many of the exhibition announcements for the gallery with a graphic aesthetic.
In 2007, "The Cool School" was released, a documentary film about the Ferus Gallery and its eccentric artists.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 2 series:
Series 1: Ferus Gallery Announcements, 1961-1965 (Box 1; 20 folders)
Series 2: Irving Blum Gallery Announcements, 1969-1972 (Box 1; 12 folders)
Provenance
Donated 1979 by Mrs. Rochella Orchard.
Processing Information
The collection was microfilmed on reel 3002 upon receipt. Later, the collection was fully processed and described by Jayna Hanson in October 2008 and scanned in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection was digitized in its entirety in 2009 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Irving Blum Gallery and Ferus Gallery announcements, 1961-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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