A Finding Aid to the Elmer Bischoff papers, 1914-1990, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.biscelme
Creators:
Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991
Dates:
1914-1990
Languages:
English
The collection is in English
Physical Description:
3.8 linear feet
Repository:
The papers of San Francisco painter and arts instructor Elmer Bischoff measure 3.8 linear feet and date from 1914 to 1990, with the bulk of the material dating from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. Found within the papers are biographical materials, scattered correspondence, notes and notebooks, teaching and student files, printed materials, artwork and two sketchbooks, and photographs and negatives of Bischoff, his family, post World War II Europe, and artwork studies.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of San Francisco painter and arts instructor Elmer Bischoff measure 3.8 linear feet and date from 1914 to 1990, with the bulk of the material dating from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. Found within the papers are biographical materials, scattered correspondence, notes and notebooks, teaching and student files, printed materials, artwork and two sketchbooks, and photographs and negatives of Bischoff, his family, post World War II Europe, and artwork studies.
Biographical materials document jurying on art prize committees, interviews with others, lists of names and addresses, and biographical materials. Scattered correspondence is with Staempfli Gallery, organizations, and artists. Notes and notebooks document people Bischoff kept in touch with, as well as day-to-day occurrences in his life, including health and travel. University files document Bischoff's years as a professor at UC Berkeley, as well as papers written about him and notes from his days as a student at UC Berkeley. The bulk of the collection consists of printed material documenting exhibitions, magazines and newspapers where Bischoff's work was profiled, and materials that document his personal interests. Artwork and two sketchbooks contain drawings, watercolors, and collages by Bischoff. Photographs are of Bischoff, his family, travel, and art resource photographs.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-1990 (Box 1, 0.5 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-1990 (Box 1, 0.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Notes and Notebooks, 1976-1989 (Box 1, 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: University Files, 1954-1990 (Box 2, 0.4 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1941-1990 (Box 3-6, 1.6 linear feet)
Series 6: Artwork and Sketchbooks, 1958, undated (Box 7-8, 0.6 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1914-1990 (Box 9, 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) was an influential painter and arts instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area figurative art movement that emerged in the early 1950s.
Bischoff grew up in Berkeley, California and attended the University of California (UC) at Berkeley, receiving his Master of Arts in 1939. During the Great Depression, he became involved with the Federal Art Project and taught ceramics at an arts center in Sacramento, California. During World War II, he served in the US Air Force and was stationed in England as an intelligence officer. When he returned to California in 1945, he taught at the California School of Fine Arts (now known as San Francisco Art Institute) with Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Ad Reinhardt. He resigned from the school in the early 1950s when he took up figurative painting, but returned in 1956 to head the graduate program. In 1963 he became an associate professor at UC Berkeley, and was promoted to full professor in 1965, where he stayed until he retired in 1985.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed, arranged, and described by Alexandra Krensky in 2013 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
The goal for minimal-level processing at the Archives of American Art is to provide access to collections as quickly as possible while maintaining our high standards for arrangement, description and preservation. Generally, materials are minimally rearranged, existing folder titles are retained, and all materials are rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Staples and other fasteners are not removed, but materials are removed from binders or damaged binding when necessary.
Author
Alexandra Krensky
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Preservation Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Two items on reel 2787 were donated in 1974 by Elmer Bischoff. His papers were donated in 1991 by his widow, Adelie Bischoff.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
The Elmer Bischoff papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Elmer Bischoff papers, 1914-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Among other resources relating to the Elmer Bischoff papers are two oral histories with Bischoff; one conducted in 1965 by Mary McChesney and the other conducted in 1977 by Paul J. Karlstrom.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Collages Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watercolors Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- San Francisco Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Staempfli Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Berkeley -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Berkeley -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/