A Finding Aid to the Janice Lowry Papers, 1957-2009, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.lowrjani
Creators:
Lowry, Janice Ann, 1946-2009
Dates:
1957-2009
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
18 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of collagist and painter Janice Lowry measure 18.0 linear feet and date from 1957 to 2009. Lowry's career as an artist in Arizona and California is documented through biographical material, printed material, teaching files, and photographs. The bulk of the papers consist of six diaries; thirteen morning journals; 126 art journals which include both written text and artwork in the form of sketches, paintings, and collages; hand-made artist books; nine notebooks with sketches; and one sketchbook.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of collagist and painter Janice Lowry measure 18.0 linear feet and date from 1957 to 2009. Lowry's career as an artist in Arizona and California is documented through biographical material, printed material, teaching files, and photographs. The bulk of the papers consist of six diaries; thirteen morning journals; 126 art journals which include both written text and artwork in the form of sketches, paintings, and collages; hand-made artist books; nine notebooks with sketches; and one sketchbook.
Biographical material includes artist statements, price lists, guest books, scattered correspondence, and exhibition, consignment, and sales records. Six diaries document Lowry's childhood from the age of 11 to 16. Thirteen morning journals date from 1998 to 2008 and are almost entirely stream of consciousness written text. In these journals Lowry records her daily life, thoughts, and dreams.
Janice Lowry's artwork is combined with her personal writings in three different sets of books, named and numbered by her - art journals, artist books, and notebooks. She kept the "art journals" for most of her adult life, averaging about four per year; some contain mainly written text, whereas others are mostly visual. There are 126 art journals found within her papers. They are filled with sketches depicting vacation spots, objects around the house, studies for works, and people. The art journals also include collages of photographs, ephemera such as ticket stubs and receipts, and other common household objects.
Artist books were handmade and titled by Lowry. They include comic book stories about her family, collage booklets, and children's books.
Lowry's notebooks contain many sketches and date primarily from Lowry's days as a student at Art Center College of Design. Three later notebooks also contain autobiographical essays about her life and family. There is one sketchbook from the 2000s.
Printed material includes newspaper clippings, magazines, press releases, posters, and gallery catalogs and guides. There are personal photographs of Janice Lowry as well as slides of her work. Teaching files contain class project, assignments, and syllabi.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1964-2009 (Box 1, 18; 1.4 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Diaries, 1957-1962 (Box 2; 6 folders)
  • Series 3: Morning Journals, 1998-2008 (Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Art Journals, Artist Books, Notebooks and Sketchbooks, circa 1973-2009 (Box 3-15, 17-20, 22; 14.2 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1974-2009 (Box 15-16, 20; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Photographs, 1965, circa 1980s-2000s (Box 16, 20; 4 folders)
  • Series 7: Teaching Files, circa 1989-2008 (Box 20-21; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Janice Lowry (1946-2009) created paintings, collages, and assemblages in Arizona and California. She is known for her box creations of homemade frames filled with found objects that often questioned and commented on life, death, journeys, and rites of passages.
Lowry was born in 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona. She started writing diaries when she was 11, and, with the exception of a decade, continued journaling until 2007. She married Jan Gilbert in 1965 and had two sons, Brandon and Kevin. During this period Lowry also set up a studio and started showing her artwork. In 1973, the family moved to California. Shortly after, she began her long battle with depression, and she divorced Jan in 1976.
Remaining in California, Lowry attended Art Center College of Design where she earned a BFA with honors in 1979 and a MFA in painting in 1980. She married Jon Gothold in 1983, and had another son, Brent. Her work sold well in the 1980's, but after her studio was destroyed in an earthquake in 1987, she took a break from making art.
Janice Lowry's first solo show was at Art Space in 1980, and the gallery continued to showcase and sell her work for many years. She taught at Art Center, Cypress College, and Oakridge Private School. Among other shows, she was part of an exhibition about 9/11 at Legacy Arts Gallery in 2001. In 2007, she was named the region's "Best Visual Artist" by the Orange County Weekly. After several health issues, Janice Lowry died of liver cancer in 2009.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was fully processed by Jessica Byler in 2011. A finding aid was prepared by Erin Kinhart and Jessica Byler also in 2011. Additional papers donated in 2014 were processed and the finding aid was updated by Erin Kinhart in 2016.
Author
Erin Kinhart and Jessica Byler
Provenance
Donated 2007 and 2009 by Janice Lowry and in 2014 by Jon Gothold, Lowry's widower and executor.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Janice Lowry papers, 1957-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Janice Lowry 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Notebooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visitors' books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paintings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collages Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' books Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collagists -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.) -- Students 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/