A Finding Aid to the Mel Ramos Papers, 1959-1984, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.ramomel
Creators:
Ramos, Mel, 1935-2018
Dates:
1959-1984
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of California pop artist and teacher Mel Ramos measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1959 to 1984. The collection documents Ramos's career as an artist through correspondence with Lawrence Alloway, Dwan Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, David Stuart, and Tom Wesselman, among others; a few inventories, invoices, and loan agreements; documentation of his work with the San Francisco Art Institute; and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Writings include two manuscripts on Ramos and the Pop Art movement, a one-page interview of Ramos, and poetry by Robin Skelton. Of interest in the collection, are files containing photographs, photo-collages, and clippings used for paintings such as "Elephant Seal," "Virnaburger," and "Manet's Olympia."

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of California pop artist and teacher Mel Ramos measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1959 to 1984. The collection documents Ramos's career as an artist through correspondence with Lawrence Alloway, Dwan Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, David Stuart, and Tom Wesselman, among others; a few inventories, invoices, and loan agreements; documentation of his work with the San Francisco Art Institute; and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Writings include two manuscripts on Ramos and the Pop Art movement, a one-page interview of Ramos, and poetry by Robin Skelton. Of interest in the collection, are files containing photographs, photo-collages, and clippings used for paintings such as "Elephant Seal," "Virnaburger," and "Manet's Olympia."

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection, the papers are arranged as one series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mel Ramos (1935-2018), born Melvin John Ramos, was a painter, pop artist, and teacher in California. Ramos was born in Sacramento, California. In 1955 he married Leta Helmers, who served as a model for many of his early paintings. Ramos received his M.A. from Sacramento State College in 1958 and taught a Mira Loma High School. In 1963 his work was included in Six More, a major exhibition of Pop Art at the Los Angeles County Museum. One year later he had his first solo show in New York at Bianchini Gallery. In 1965, he began showing his art at David Stuart Gallery in Los Angeles. Ramos also had a long career (1966-1997) as a professor at California State University, East Bay.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is available on microfilm reels 3652-3653 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Kinhart in 2018.
Author
Erin Kinhart
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Mel Ramos in July 1985.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Mel Ramos papers, 1959-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an interview of Mel Ramos conducted on May 15, 1981, by Paul Karlstrom.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pop art -- California Style/period Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- Oakland Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hispanic American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alloway, Lawrence, 1926-1990 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thiebaud, Wayne 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
https://www.aaa.si.edu/