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Reginald Gammon papers, 1927-2007, bulk 1960-2005

Reginald Gammon papers, 1927-2007, bulk 1960-2005

Gammon, Reginald A. (Reginald Adolphus), 1921-2005

Painter, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 2.4 linear feet

Summary: The Reginald Gammon papers measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1927 to 2007 (bulk 1960-2005). The papers contain biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings and artwork by Gammon, printed material, and photographs regarding Gammon's career as a painter, educator, and prominent member of the African American art scene.

Biographical/Historical Note

Reginald A. Gammon (1921-2005) was a painter and art educator, working in New York City, Michigan, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gammon was a founding member of Spiral, an African American artist's collective and member of the New Mexico Afro-American Artist Guild. Gammon also taught in the New York public schools and at Western Michigan University.

Provenance

The collection was donated in 2007 and 2008 by Janice Gammon, Gammon's widow.

A Finding Aid to the Reginald Gammon Papers, 1927-2007, bulk 1960-2005, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.gammreg
Finding aid prepared by Dominique Luster
Scope and Contents note
The Reginald Gammon papers measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1927 to 2007 (bulk 1960-2005). The papers contain biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings and artwork by Gammon, printed material, and photographs regarding Gammon's career as a painter, educator, and prominent member of the African American art scene.
A small selection of biographic information about Gammon includes certificates, military documentation, and interviews. Approximately half of the collection consists of correspondence with other artists, museums, galleries and arts organizations. Correspondence documents his work with a number of African American arts organizations across the country. Of note is correspondence with Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Vivian Browne, Thomas Frey, Joseph Greenberg, Patrick King, Hughie Lee-Smith, Harry Overton, and Jonathan Wynberg. Writings by Gammon including personal and lecture notes as well as project drafts. Printed materials consist primarily of exhibition catalogs. Artwork includes pencil and ink sketches, advertisement mock-ups, collages, and paintings. Photographs depict Gammon at school, in the Navy, with other artists friends, and in his studio.
Biographical/Historical note
Reginald A. Gammon (1921-2005) was a painter and art educator, working in New York City, Michigan, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a founding member of Spiral, an African American artist's collective and member of the New Mexico Afro-American Artist Guild. He also taught in the New York public schools and at Western Michigan University.
Gammon was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and received a scholarship to study art at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts. He joined the Navy and served from 1944-1946 with an all-black unit stationed in Guam. He lived in Philadelphia briefly after the war and then moved to New York. Gammon taught for several years at the Saturday Academy Program for New York Public Schools. In 1963, he was a co-founder of Spiral, a group of African American artists including Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Hale Woodruff. As a member of this group, Gammon participated in the 1965 exhibition
First Group Showing: Works in Black and White
. After Spiral disbanded in 1965, Gammon formed the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition with Benny Andrews.
Gammon married Janice (Jonni) Goldberger in 1972. Around this time he also accepted a visting lectureship at Western Michigan University that turned into a full-time teaching position. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts and Humanities in 1991 after 21 years. He and his wife settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he became involved in the New Mexico Afro-American Artist Guild and the Albuquerque United Artists, among other civic organizations. Gammon completed his final collection of works at the New Grounds Print Workshop, which he co-founded in 1996.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 6 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1936-2006 (0.2 linear feet, Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1964-2005 (0.8 linear feet, Box 1-3)
Series 3: Writings and Notebooks, circa 1980s (0.2 linear feet, Box 2)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1955-2005 (0.4 linear feet, Box 2, OV 4)
Series 5: Photographic Material, 1927-2003 (0.2 linear feet, Box 2-3)
Series 6: Artwork, 1960s-2007 (0.5 linear feet, Box 2-3, Artifact)
Provenance
The collection was donated in 2007 and 2008 by Janice Gammon, Gammon's widow.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid created in 2014 by intern Dominique Luster.

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION IS BEING PREPARED FOR DIGITIZATION AND IS CLOSED TO RESEARCHERS.

How to Cite This Collection

Reginald Gammon papers, 1927-2007, bulk 1960-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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