Gaza Bowen Papers

M. Carey
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Gaza Bowen Papers

Collection number: MS 293

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
M. Carey
Date Completed:
February 2014
Encoded by:
M. Carey
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Gaza Bowen papers
Dates: 1980-2008
Collection number: MS 293
Creator: Bowen, Gaza
Collection Size: 6 half cartons; 3 cartons; 3 flat slide boxes; 3 flats(16x20); 39 oversize objects

25 linear ft.
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This collection includes files, notebooks and slides as well as artist's books and installation pieces from "Biblioteca Memoria".
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection open for research.

Access Restrictions

Some of the oversize objects are not available for research because of their size, weight and condition.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Gaza Bowen papers. MS 293. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dennis Wheeler in 2002, 2006, 2009.

Biography

Gaza Bowen (1944-2005) was an internationally known sculptor who exhibited extensively since 1978. In the broadest sense her work was an inquiry into the non-verbal communication between people and objects.
For nearly twenty years she focused her attention on shoes: their construction, history, cultural meaning, and social significance. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she made functional shoes that sported vibrant colors and unusual patterns. Then she explored shoes as sculptures. Her work has been featured in museums from Berkeley to Los Angeles to Germany. Perhaps her best-known series, "Shoes for the Little Woman," was a group of shoe sculptures created mostly from cleaning supplies: elaborate high heels constructed from kitchen sponges or wooden clothespins, sometimes decorated with pot scrubbers.
In 1995, supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, Gaza stepped away from the shoe idiom and began exploring the relationship between the personal and the political, building mixed media sculptures based on childhood memories.
From 1997 to 1999 she continued her investigation into how the history of use becomes indelibly etched into the fiber of matter and how those traces of memory evoke meaning in the viewer. This work culminated in "Bibliotheca Memoria", a library/reading room installation of books and furniture built from salvaged materials.
Her use of detritus as art material led her to an artist-in-residency at the San Francisco dump in 2000. Her final project from this four month residency was the "Waste Not/What Not Catalog". She also produced many artist’s books including "Red Shoe Reader" and "The Secret Game".
Gaza Bowen's work is included in many private and public collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Getty Center for Art and the Humanities and The Norton Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia and Duetsches Schuhmuseum, Offenbach am Main, Germany.
Excerpted from Gaza Bowen, Artist, Biography at gazabowen.com & SF Gate obituary, 6/11/2005, by Kelly Hill, Chronicle Staff Writer.
A resume of Gaza Bowen's work can be found under "Additional Guides" to this finding aid.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection includes files, notebooks and slides as well as artist's books and installation pieces from "Biblioteca Memoria".
Many of the objects were fabricated from material from the San Francisco Land Fill and are rusty and sharp edged. Handle with care!

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bowen, Gaza--Archives
Artists--California--Santa Cruz County
Installations (Art)

Separated Material

These items have been cataloged separately.
  • Red shoe reader , [Gaza Bowen, compiler]
  • Waste not/what not catalog : new paradigm products, [designed, photographed, written by Gaza Bowen]

Additional collection guides


Collection Contents

 

Series 1 Business & Research materials, ca. 1996-2005

Physical Description: 6 document boxes

Scope and Content Summary

This series contains some biographical material, drawings, notebooks, diaries, sales list, loans, teaching materials, printed appearences, and slides.
box 1

Biographical material, artist statements, etc., 1996-2005

box 1

Biblioteca Memoria, 1999

box 1

Red Shoe Reader, 1992-2000

box 1

Photos of art work, Shoes; Drawings, 1983-1997

box 1

Sales, Museums, Grants, Exhibit Loans, 1990-2003

box 1

Teaching, 2000

box 1

Exhibits, appearances in magazines, programs, announcements

box 1

undated

box 1

1980-1989

box 1

1990-1995

box 2

1996-1999

box 2

1990-1999

box 2

2000-2006

box 2

Announcements & programs, 1997-2001

box 2

Reference material, n.d.

box 2

3 notebooks, 1990-2001

box 3

2 diaries, 7 notebooks, ca. 1990s

box 4

Slides (1), 1990s

box 4

Slides (2), 1990s

box 4

4 notebooks, ca. 1980-1990s

box 5

Notebook: "Pro Deo et Ecclesia . . .", n.d.

box 5

1 slide case, 3 slide boxes, 1970-1999

box 5

"Tape of UCSC Library Gaza" - 2 mini digital video cassettes, 2000 [?]

box 5

Group Show - Cabrillo Gallery, 2006

box 6

2 slide cases, 7 slide boxes, ca. 1990s

 

Series 2 Biblioteca Memoria, ca. 1997-1999

Physical Description: 64 objects

Scope and Content Summary

This series contains some of the objects from the installation "Bibliotheca Memoria".
In 1997 Gaza began work on "Bibliotheca Memoria", a life size library built from salvaged metals and assorted detritus. First viewed in September 1999 at Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, the work has been installed at four other venues: Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, University of California Santa Cruz; Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz; Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, California; and JFK University Arts Annex, Berkeley in connection with Women's Environmental Artist Symposium 2001.
box 7

ms0293_obj_0040 Multi-colored metal tray book, 8 pages, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 9"w x 14"l x 3 1/2" h
box 7

ms0293_obj_0041 Metal slide box w/ nutmeg grater - otherwise empty - "E-G", 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 7

ms0293_obj_0042 Metal slide box w/hinged & unhinged playing cards, empty frame & metal page - "H-J" #4, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 7

ms0293_obj_0043 Metal slide box w/cloth doll, burnt candles, 4 2x2" slides, filled vials, men's 15 1/2" paper collar, lighter, bits & pieces - "C-D" #2, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 8

ms0293_obj_0044 Metal slide box w/metal magnifying glass, metal engraving block of "bowling pins" and wood/metal engraving of people" - "M-N" #6, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 8

ms0293_obj_0045 Metal slide box - empty - "O-P" #7, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 8

ms0293_obj_0046 Metal slide box - empty - "Q-S" #8, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 8

ms0293_obj_0047 Metal slide box w/magnifying glass inset in cover, inside cover inset w/knobs, keys - rope, slides. corked bottle of water - "K-L" #5, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 9

ms0293_obj_0048 Metal slide box - empty - "A-B" #1, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 9

ms0293_obj_0049 Metal slide box w/vertebrate, telephone rotary dial, round cardboard box - "T-V" #9, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 9

ms0293_obj_0050 Metal slide box - empty - "W-Z" #10, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 8"w x 13"l x 3" h
box 9

ms0293_obj_0051 Metal slide box w/ double glass display areas. Inside: contains lace, beads, buttons, ribbons, grommets, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 7 1/4" x 11 1/4" x 2"
box 9

ms0293_obj_0057 Blue metal box w/2 working gears. Inside: red metal notebook w/ wire mesh pages, gears, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 12" x 5 1/2" 1 1/2"
box 10

ms0293_obj_0052 Metal slide box w/wire mesh book on cover & chain attached. Inside: w/lighter, c-clamp, chain links, spring, bolt, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 4 1/2" x 11 1/2" x 1 1/2"
box 10

ms0293_obj_0053 Metal book on cover w/chain attached. Inside: w/ spring, nut & bolt, ball bearings, metal bits, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 4" x 11 1/2" x 2"
box 10

ms0293_obj_0054 Black leather covered wood box w/ mirror shard inbedded. Inside: w/ 'pages' of lace, wire mesh, plastic, netting, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 5" x 10" x 1 1/2"
box 10

ms0293_obj_0055 Metal box w/ chrome handle & chain attached. Inside: w/mirror, wire coil, bolt, ear plug, mirror clip, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 7" x 4 1/2" x 3 1/2"
box 10

ms0293_obj_0058 Black metal box w/ imbedded cheese grater on cover & plastic insulator, chain attached to cover. Inside: w/sheet metal & wire mesh pages, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 7" x 4" x 1"
box 11

ms0293_obj_0056 Metal box w/ bike chain & mirror on cover w/chain attached. Inside: w/ mirror, coiled saw blade, wire mesh, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 5" x 8" 1 1/2"
box 11

ms0293_obj_0059 Black metal chain, 1/2" link, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 16"
box 11

ms0293_obj_0060 Galvanized metal chain, 1 1/2" link w/metal hook at end, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 61"
box 11

ms0293_obj_0064 Blue metal box w/ working gears on front cover, chain attached; Inside: chain driven gears, orange metal notebook w/die, gears, wire mesh pages, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 12" x 5 1/2" x 1 1/2"
box 12

ms0293_obj_0061 Wood box w/ chain saw blade & wire mesh imbedded on cover: Inside: metal tool box w/wooden balls & metal hooks (floats), metal pages w/ smashed bottle caps, aluminum rounds, mesh, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 11 1/2" x 19" x 4 1/2"
box 13

ms0293_obj_0062 Metal 'book' w/ pipe binding, wire mesh page, saw blade page, tail light page, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 13" x 21" x 2 1/2"
box 14

ms0293_obj_0063 Metal 'book' w/ pipe binding, Wire mesh page w/purple bits, saw blade & copper page, stove difuser page, etc., 1997-1999

Physical Description: 23" x 13 1/2" x 2 1/2"
 

ms0293_obj_0001 Floor Lamp, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 16"l x 16"w x 66"h
 

ms0293_obj_0002 #1 Desk Lamp, 1997-1999

 

ms0293_obj_0003 #2 Desk lamp, 1997-1999

 

ms0293_obj_0004 #1 Bookcase (wall), 1997-1999

Physical Description: 89"l x 50"w x 6"deep
 

ms0293_obj_0005 #2 Bookcase (wall), 1997-1999

Physical Description: 89"l x 50"w x 6"deep
 

ms0293_obj_0006 Small desktop book shelf, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 32"l x 14"w x 24"h
 

ms0293_obj_0007 Small bookcase, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 37"h x 36"w x 9" deep
 

ms0293_obj_0008 Book cart w/attached book cradle, yellow, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 27"l x 16"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0009 Book cart w/attached book cradle and chained book, green, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 28"l x 16"w x 39"h
 

ms0293_obj_0010 Book cart w/attached book cradle and book attached, rusted metal, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 27"l x 16"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0011 1 decorative tin panel, fan motif, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 20" x 20"
 

ms0293_obj_0012 #1 Wood/metal bookshelf, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 31"l x 37"w x 3"h
 

ms0293_obj_0013 #2 Wood/metal bookshelf, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 31"l x 37"w x 3"h
 

ms0293_obj_0014 #3 Wood/metal bookshelf, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 31"l x 37"w x 3"h
 

ms0293_obj_0015 Red pedestal table w/attached book cradle, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 12"l x 16"w x 31.5"h
 

ms0293_obj_0016 #1 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0017 #2 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0018 #3 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0019 #4 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0020 #5 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0021 #6 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0022 #7 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0023 #8 metal fold up chair, folded, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 18"l x 3"w x 38"h
 

ms0293_obj_0024 1 metal mesh side chair, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 20"l x 20"w x 31"h
 

ms0293_obj_0025 1 metal mesh garden arm chair, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 24"l x 24"w" x 31"h
 

ms0293_obj_0026 1 metal/wood chair, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 30"l x 14"w x 14"h
 

ms0293_obj_0027 1 table, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 40"l x 25"w x 26"h
 

ms0293_obj_0028 1 metal sign "Biblioteca Memoria", 1997-1999

Physical Description: 36"l x 5"w x 1"h
 

ms0293_obj_0029 1 metal table frame w/o top, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 36"l x 36"w x 30"h
 

ms0293_obj_0030 1 metal school desk, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 24"l x 18"w x 29"h
 

ms0293_obj_0031 1 round metal mesh patio table w/attached book cradle, approx. 24" diameter, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 24" diameter x 30"h
 

ms0293_obj_0032 #1 roll of sheet metal, blue outside, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 48"l x 15"diameter
 

ms0293_obj_0033 #2 roll of sheet metal, blue outside, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 48"l x 15"diameter
 

ms0293_obj_0034 #3 roll of sheet metal, blue outside w/wood grain paper lining, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 48"l x 15"diameter
 

ms0293_obj_0035 #4 roll of sheet metal, blue outside w/wood grain paper lining, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 48"l x 15"diameter
 

ms0293_obj_0036 #1 Metal grate, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 55"l x 30"w x 4"h
 

ms0293_obj_0037 #2 Metal grate, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 60"l x 44"w x 4"h
 

ms0293_obj_0038 1 Metal square pedestal table, 1997-1999

Physical Description: 30"l x 17"w x 28"h
 

ms0293_obj_0039 Metal table/desk w/metal scroll work [ms0293_obj_0006 is the bookshelf made for this table/desk], 1997-1999

Physical Description: 40 1/2"l x 25" w x 25 1/2"h