Elissa L. Jerome
Scope and Contents
The papers of African American painter, printmaker, and educator Marvin Harden measure 2.2 linear feet and date from circa 1936 to 2005. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, exhibition files, printed material, artwork, and photographs. Artwork includes a book of etchings Natural Selections (1991).
Biographical material includes papers pertaining to Harden's education and family history, including an essay written by his sister Lura Harden Miller.
Correspondence is with artists, colleagues, and organizations, including Eugene Anderson, Sandy Ballatore-Nelson, William Brice, Judy Chicago, Houston Conwill, Connor Everts, Jud Fine, Marion Lerner Levine, Pleter Plagens, Nancy Lee Riegelmen, Jan Stussy, Caroll Toon, William Wilson, Dobrick Gallery, Eugenia Butler Gallery, Gloria Cortella, Inc., Hank Baum Gallery, Jan Turner Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Teaching files primarily document Harden's career as an art educator at California State University, Northridge. Materials include teaching awards, assignments, course outlines, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Harden about his teaching philosophy. The files also contain correspondence and photographs with students, a student exhibition guest register, committee notes, memorandums, and evidence pertaining to an employment-related grievance with the university.
Exhibition files include announcements, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, floor plans, insurance documents, loan agreements, photographs, press releases, and price lists.
Printed material consists of announcements and invitations, exhibition catalogs, and a loose clippings scrapbook with articles and reviews about Harden's artwork and exhibitions. Also found is a copy of the first volume of the Journal published by the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, which includes a photograph of Harden and references to his involvement in developing the organization.
Artwork includes two sketches and an artists' book entitled natural selections which contains 12 aquatint etchings by Marvin Harden.
Among the black and white and color photographs are portraits and snapshots of Marvin Harden, family members, and colleagues, as well as Harden's home, studio, and land at Inwardness Ranch located near Cambria, California.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Marvin Harden papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Marvin Harden in 2005.
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Elissa L. Jerome in 2016.