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Man Ray letters and album, 1922–1976

Materials from the Man Ray archive
 
The Getty Research Institute has acquired two significant and complementary archival collections related to the artist and photographer Man Ray.

The highlight of the first acquisition is a set of 35 illustrated datebooks, covering more than a quarter-century of the artist's career. The datebooks, which span most of Man Ray's first period in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s and include some years from his later stay there, offer a fascinating in-depth view into his daily activities and interactions with friends and colleagues such as André Breton, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. Accompanying the datebooks are more than 200 pieces of correspondence and other archival material, and over 50 photographs, including portraits of artists and writers such as T.S. Eliot, Paul Éluard, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf—taken by Man Ray from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Spread from Man Ray's datebook
 
The second acquisition is an embossed leather and faux bois portfolio published by Jean-Luc Mercié that contains eight black-and-white photographs taken by Gianfranco Baruchello of Marcel Duchamp inspecting his monumental work, La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (also known as the Large Glass or Grand Verre), in the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1966. The portfolio is accompanied by a unique illustrated datebook Man Ray purchased in 1953 and used as a notebook, detailing his thoughts on various aspects of the art world, including remarks on his friend Duchamp. The notebook also contains entries that are likely the early working notes for Man Ray's 1963 autobiography, Self-Portrait.

The agendas and their accompanying cache of letters, photographs, and publications greatly enhance the existing Man Ray collections at the Research Institute and the Getty Museum's Department of Photographs. Likewise, the portfolio and notebook add to the already strong Dada and Surrealist collection at the Research Institute, and bridge its prominent Duchamp and Man Ray holdings.