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Mark Green papers, 1954-1991, bulk 1954-1978

Mark Green papers, 1954-1991, bulk 1954-1978

Green, Mark, 1932-

Photographer, Author

Representative image for Mark Green papers, 1954-1991, bulk 1954-1978

This site provides access to the papers of Mark Green in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 805 images.

Collection Information

Size: 1.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of San Francisco Beat photographer, journalist, and poet Mark Green consist of biographical information, correspondence, exhibition files, printed materials, scattered writings, and photographs. Photographs by Mark Green are of notable figures and places in the Beat movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Clyfford Still, as well as photographs by others of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mark Green, and Jack Kerouac, among others.

One folder of correspondence includes letters from Jay DeFeo, Wallace and Shirley Berman, and Robert Emory Johnson. Exhibition files are found for two Beat exhibitions that Mark Green assisted in organizing: "Rolling Renaissance", 1968 and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965", 1975. Exhibition files contain correspondence, photographs of work exhibited and installation views, clippings, announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Thomas Albright, Francis Ford Coppola, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Hull, Robert Emory Johnson, Bob Kauffman, J. Oliver Mitchell, Francis Rigney, Jerome Stauber, and Edward Silverstone Taylor. Correspondents include include Thomas Albright, Wallace Berman, Bill Eisenlord, Alfred Frankensten, Allen Ginsberg, Helen Johnson of the Focus Gallery, Robert Emory Johnson, Chester Kessler, and Philip Whalen.

Mark Green's writings include a history of the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, a statement about his photography, and various notes.

Printed materials consist of clippings, exhibition announcements for the San Francisco area and Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, and comic books.

The series of photographs is particularly rich due to Green's thoughtful and informative reflections written on the back of many of the photographs. The majority of the photographs identify the photographer, sitter, date, and place. Many times, Green included his own recollections of the particular sitter or photographer as well. In addition to photographs of Mark Green, there are photographs taken by Green and others of important Beat Movement figures. There are also photographs of beatnick "hot-spots" including the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, The Cellar, and The Place.

Biographical/Historical Note

Mark L. Green (1932-2004) was a photographer and writer from San Francisco, California. Established the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, 1972-1974, in San Francisco, California. Organizer of a retrospective exhibition of underground arts entitled "The Rolling Renaissance, 1945-1968."


Mark Green donated his papers in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 1991.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Mark Green Papers,
bulk 1954-1978
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
Mark Green (1932-) moved to San Francisco and became active in the "Beat Movement" as a photographer, writer, and arts advocate. He helped organize two major group exhibitions of beat-era arts and also founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery in San Francisco.
Green was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1932, and attended the University of Miami, Florida from 1950-1952. After taking classes in journalism and philosophy, Green began a career in media and worked as a copy-boy, reporter, and correspondent at various newspapers throughout the United States until 1956.
In 1957, Green moved to San Francisco and worked as a bartender at the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, a local spot for Beat gatherings. It was during this time that Green became involved with the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance. Green became friends with "Beatnick" figures including Edward Silverstone Taylor and Patricia Marx who encouraged him to take up photography. Green's poems were published in
The Real Bohemia
A more prolific photographer than poet, Mark Green exhibited his photographs at Seven Arts Gallery, the Critic's Choice San Francisco Art Festival (1964), the Focus Gallery, and the "San Francisco Renaissance" at the Gotham Book Mart and Gallery (1975). He was active in organizing group exhibitions including the "Rolling Renaissance" (1968) and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965" (1975). Additionally, Green founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery (1972-1974) to give little-known artists an outlet to exhibit their works.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1967-1970s (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1976 (Box 1, 3; 1 folder)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1954-1975 (Box 1, 3; 13 folders)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1974-1978 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1959-1978 (Box 1-3; 8 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, 1950s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)
Mark Green donated his papers in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 1991.
Processing Information
A portion of the Mark Green papers was microfilmed upon receipt in 1974 on reels 981-982. The remaining accessions were merged and processed by Jayna Hanson in 2008. The papers were digitized in 2010 with funding provided the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection was digitized in its entirety in 2010 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

Mark Green papers, 1954-1991, bulk 1954-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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