Art and Architecture

Original art donated to the University of California at Davis is often deposited in the Department of Special Collections. In the early 1970’s, the University Art Department donated several hundred oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, and prints to the University Library, several of which currently hang on the Library’s walls. The Department also occasionally receives gifts of original art and realia from private individuals. In general, artwork that comes as part of a manuscript collection is not extracted, but remains with the manuscript collection.

Two collections reflect the research efforts of art historians. Joseph A. Baird, Professor of Art, Emeritus, donated many items of original art to the Library, as well as his personal papers. This noted and popular collection contains research files relating to the art and artists of California and Mexico in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Trudell collection focuses on the architectural history of the Sacramento area and contains background materials relating to historic building preservation.

Private donations range the spectrum of artforms, from the surrealistic etchings of the Doerper collection, to the matted prints of 18th century topographical scenes of England and Wales, to the over 400 pamphlets on paint and varnish materials and procedures. Botanical subjects are represented in the Stones collection of floral oil paintings, the Corti collection of pomological drawings, and the Benson collection of horticultural lithographs.

Commercial artwork is represented by three extensive collections. The Lug Label Collection contains over 3500 lithographed labels created for fruit and vegetable growers. The Counter Culture Poster Collection contsists of over 100 psychedelic advertisements for rock concerts, poetry readings, political gatherings, and other events of the 1960’s, mostly in the Bay area. A large collection of commercial photography from the Gabriel Moulin Studio in San Francisco depicts both city and rural life, primarily in Northern California.

Design, printing, photography, and bookbinding are other areas of interest to the department. The Fine Printing Collection includes examples of small and alternative presswork and typography. Woodcuts, printing blocks, printing and dyeing instructions, and design tool construction information and examples of these art forms have been donated to the department.

Collections in this subject category comprise approximately 125 linear feet and date from 1764 to the present. There are no geographical limitations in regard to artist or content, although the bulk of the materials pertain to California subjects. Collections particularly rich in artwork can be found under the Language and Literature and Performing Arts subject headings.

Art and Architecture Manuscripts