Archives of American Art

A Finding Aid to the Jerry Dreva Papers, 1964-1984, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.drevjerr
Creators:
Dreva, Jerry, 1945-1997
Dates:
1964-1984
Languages:
Some materials are in Spanish and Italian.
Physical Description:
1 Linear foot
Repository:
The Jerry Dreva papers measures 1.0 linear foot and dates from circa 1963-1982. The papers include biographical information; rare printed material; scrapbooks; correspondence consisting of letters of support for the exhibition DREVA/GRONK 1968-78: Ten Years of Art/Life (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 1978) and mail art; zines and small artist books exchanged with collaborators and friends; material documenting Dreva's relationship with performance artist, Gronk, including staged photographs, candid snapshots, correspondence, and ephemera, chronicling their shared practice, and the glam Hollywood, activist Chicana/o, and queer scenes in 1970s and 80s Los Angeles. Also included are two small labeled vinyl albums, one of which appears to have been used in a piece of artwork.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Jerry Dreva papers measures 1.0 linear foot and dates from circa 1963-1982. The papers include biographical information; rare printed material; scrapbooks; correspondence consisting of letters of support for the exhibition DREVA/GRONK 1968-78: Ten Years of Art/Life (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 1978) and mail art; zines and small artist books exchanged with collaborators and friends; material documenting Dreva's relationship with performance artist, Gronk, including staged photographs, candid snapshots, correspondence, and ephemera, chronicling their shared practice, and the glam Hollywood, activist Chicana/o, and queer scenes in 1970s and 80s Los Angeles. Also included are two small labeled vinyl albums.
Correspondence consists of letters to friends and institutions for which Dreva created mail and graphic art for. Some of the indiduals include: Vittore Baroni, John Jack, The Gay Activists Alliance, Michael Scott, and Sandy Robertson. Also included are files of mail art created by Dreva or sent to him by friends and other artists.
Professional files consist of some invoices and receipts, material related to the "Dreva/Gronk 1968-1978 Ten Years of Art/Life" exhibition, work for Mohammed publication company in Italy, certificates, a vinyl record produced by Le Petite Bon-Bons, and a scrapbook.
Printed material consists of clippings, announcements and posters, editions of Mainman Newsletter, "Despair" comic book, "How I Became Rich and Famous" by Captain Zerox, and "Mail Art Show" exhibition catalog.
Photographic material consists of photographs of Dreva, photographs of Dreva and Gronk, photographs of Le Petite Bon-Bons band members and various famous rock stars, and candid shots.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into four series
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1972-1983 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Professional Activity Files, 1975-1984 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1964-1979 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 4: Photographic Material, circa 1975-1979 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Jerry Dreva (1945-1997) was a performance artist, writer, activist, and teacher based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Los Angeles, California. Dreva was a leader in the mail art movement during the 1970s and 1980s. He was a founding member (together with Robert J. Lambert) of Les Petites Bon-Bons, a flamboyantly attired musical group that never played a single concert. In fact, they never so much as picked up an instrument. Instead they dressed as glitter rock musicians of the era (1970's) and were frequently featured in newspapers and magazines.

Administration
Author
Ricky Gomez
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2020 by Patrick Veda, a family attorney and the executor of Dreva's mother's estate.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2022.

Using the Collection
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
Jerry Dreva papers, 1964-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Performance artists -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Performance artists -- Wisconsin -- Milwaukee Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mail art Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Activists (LGBTQ) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists (LGBTQ) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Latino and Latin American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gronk, 1954- Personal 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