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Mel Ramos papers, 1959-1984

Ramos, Mel, 1935-2018

Art teacher, Painter

Collection Information

Size: 0.6 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of California pop artist and teacher Mel Ramos measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1959 to 1984. The collection documents Ramos's career as an artist through correspondence with Lawrence Alloway, Dwan Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, David Stuart, and Tom Wesselman, among others; a few inventories, invoices, and loan agreements; documentation of his work with the San Francisco Art Institute; and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Writings include two manuscripts on Ramos and the Pop Art movement, a one-page interview of Ramos, and poetry by Robin Skelton. Of interest in the collection, are files containing photographs, photo-collages, and clippings used for paintings such as "Elephant Seal," "Virnaburger," and "Manet's Olympia."

Biographical/Historical Note

Mel Ramos (1935-2018), born Melvin John Ramos, was a painter, pop artist, and teacher in California. Ramos was born in Sacramento, California. In 1955 he married Leta Helmers, who served as a model for many of his early paintings. Ramos received his M.A. from Sacramento State College in 1958 and taught a Mira Loma High School. In 1963 his work was included in Six More , a major exhibition of Pop Art at the Los Angeles County Museum. One year later he had his first solo show in New York at Bianchini Gallery. In 1965, he began showing his art at David Stuart Gallery in Los Angeles. Ramos also had a long career (1966-1997) as a professor at California State University, East Bay.


The collection was donated by Mel Ramos in July 1985.

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The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.