Size: 11.7 Linear feet; 1.01 Gigabytes
Summary: The papers of poet, artist, and ordained priest Robert Alexander and the records of Venice, California's Temple of Man measure 11.7 linear feet and 1.01 GB, and date from 1938-2015. The papers and records document Alexander and the Temple of Man, which he founded in 1960 to serve as a meeting place for a community of artists, poets, and musicians. The collection contains biographical material pertaining to Alexander, Temple of Man administrative records, correspondence and artists files, project files, printed material, and photographic material.
Robert Alexander (1923-1987), also known as Bob and "Baza," was a poet, collagist, printer, assemblage artist, and ordained priest from Venice, California. Alexander founded the Temple of Man in 1960 in San Francisco, moving it to his home in Venice, California in 1968. The Temple served as a meeting place for artists, poets, and musicians, and contained a collection of artworks by Temple of Man members, also ordained priests. Many of the artworks which form the core of the collection were on display at the Alexander residence and are dedicated to Alexander and his wife Anita. Members also created and exchanged mail art, handmade cards, and poems with one another. After Alexander's death in 1987, the Temple of Man was directed by Anita Alexander and, since 1992, by a board of directors.
Donated to the Archives of American Art by Alexander's widow Anita Alexander in 1990 and in 2017 and 2018 by the Temple of Man via George Herms, Officer, and Yoav Getzler, Registered Agent of record.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with artist George Herms conducted by Paul Karlstrom in 1993-1994, the papers of California artist and poet Wallace Berman, and the papers of curator and founding board member of the Temple of Man, Hal Glicksman.