A Finding Aid to the Baxter Art Gallery Records, 1962-1997, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.baxtart
Creators:
Baxter Art Gallery
Dates:
1962-1997
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
17 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of the Baxter Art Gallery measure 17 linear feet and date from 1962 to 1997. The collection documents the activities of the gallery founded by Professor David Smith in 1971 on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Documentation includes administrative records, business correspondence, programs and events, exhibition files, and printed material, as well as three films by artist Lillian Schwartz shown at the gallery. The bulk of the collection (9.7 linear feet) consists of Exhibition Files, which document nearly every exhibition held at the gallery from 1971 to 1985. Of note are detailed records regarding "25 Years of Space Photography," the last exhibition held at Baxter Art Gallery in 1985 which toured internationally through 1997. Also included are records of the Pasadena Gallery of Contemporary Arts, which was founded by former director Jay Belloli after Baxter Art Gallery closed.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of the Baxter Art Gallery measure 17 linear feet and date from 1962 to 1997. The collection documents the activities of the gallery founded by Professor David Smith in 1971 on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Documentation includes administrative records, business correspondence, programs and events, exhibition files, and printed material, as well as three films by artist Lillian Schwartz shown at the gallery. The bulk of the collection (9.7 linear feet) consists of Exhibition Files, which document nearly every exhibition held at the gallery from 1971 to 1985. Of note are detailed records regarding "25 Years of Space Photography," the last exhibition held at Baxter Art Gallery in 1985 which toured internationally through 1997. Also included are records of the Pasadena Gallery of Contemporary Arts, which was founded by former director Jay Belloli after Baxter Art Gallery closed.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
  • Series 1: Administrative Records, 1970-1987 (Boxes 1-4, Box 21; 3.4 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Business Correspondence, 1969-1988 (Box 4, Box 21; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Programs and Events, 1971-1986 (Boxes 4-5, Box 21; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1968-1997 (Boxes 5-14, Box 21, FC 17; 9.7 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-1989 (Box 14, Box 21, OV 16, OV 23; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Pasadena Gallery of Contemporary Arts Records, 1981-1990 (Boxes 14-15, Boxes 21-22, OV 23; 1.6 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Motion Picture Film, circa 1970, circa 1975 (FC 18-20; 0.4 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Baxter Art Gallery (1971-1985) was an art exhibition space at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California founded by Professor David Smith.
David R. Smith, professor of Literature, established an exhibition program for Caltech in 1968 as part of the Institute Programs Committee. In 1971 Baxter Art Gallery was formally established as part of the new Donald E. Baxter Hall of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The majority of the exhibitions focused on contemporary art, with a special interest in Southern California artists and art and technology. David Smith became the first gallery director. After years of struggling to find funding for exhibitions, in 1977 the gallery received sponsorship from the Pasadena Art Alliance. The establishment of Friends of the Baxter Art Gallery around this time allowed for more educational programs around the exhibitions, such as lectures, informal talks, films, tours, and performances.
Michael H. Smith served as director from 1977 to 1982, followed by Jay Belloli, director from 1982 to 1985. In 1984 the closing of the gallery was announced, despite outcry from faculty and the public. The last exhibition "25 Years of Space Photography" was held at the gallery from May 22 to September 2, 1985. That exhibition continued to tour internationally to over 50 museums under the curatorship of Jay Belloli.
After Baxter Art Gallery closed Belloli established the Pasadena Gallery of Contemporary Arts and worked to find a new exhibition space. This gallery in collaboration with the Pasadena Arts Workshop became the Armory Center for the Arts in 1989 and Belloli served as Director of Gallery Programs.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed in 2013 by Erin Kinhart. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2016-2017 with funds provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The 2019 addition was minimally processed and integrated into the collection by Rayna Andrews in 2019 with funding from Gerald and Bente Buck.
Author
Erin Kinhart and Rayna Andrews
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of the 2019 addition to the collection was provided by Gerald and Bente Buck.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The records were donated in 1986 by the Baxter Art Gallery via David Smith and Jay Belloli, Directors, and in 1991 by David Grether, chair of the Division of Humanities at the California Institute of Technology. Additional records were donated in 2011 and 2019 by Jay Belloli.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Baxter Art Gallery records, 1962-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
The Baxter Art Gallery records 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.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Motion pictures (visual works) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries -- California Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Space photography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, David R. (David Rodman), 1923- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pasadena Gallery of Contemporary Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schwartz, Lillian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Belloli, Jay Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California Institute of Technology 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/