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Wallace Berman, 1907-1979, bulk 1955-1979

Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976

Mail artist, Assemblage artist

Collection Information

Size: 5 Linear feet

Summary: The Wallace Berman papers date from 1907 to 1979 (bulk 1955-1979). The collection measures 5 linear feet and presents a cursory overview of Berman's career as an assemblage artist and poet. The collection contains business correspondence, letters from other artists and writers of the Beat movement, writings by others, scattered artwork by Berman, photographs by Robert F. Heinecken, and sound recordings of poetry readings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Wallace Berman was born in 1926 in Staten Island, New York. In the 1930s, his family moved to the Jewish district in Los Angeles. After being expelled from high school for gambling in the early 1940s, Berman immersed himself in the growing West Coast jazz scene. During this period, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and Chouinard Art School, but departed when he found the training too academic for his needs.

Provenance

The Wallace Berman papers were donated by Tosh Berman, Wallace Berman's son, in 1992.