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Finding aid to the John Button Nude Male Drawings, 1966-1976

Finding aid prepared by Jeff Snapp, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Button, John, 1929-1982
Title
John Button nude male drawings
Collection no.
Coll2013.015
Date [inclusive]
1966-1976
Extent
1.5 linear feet., 1 flat archive box
Language
English
Abstract
The collection consists of drawings of nude men made by John Button in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Button's nude drawings are documents of his connections with gay culture which included his presence in the initial stages of the Mattachine Society and the formation of ONE Incorporated.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] John Button Nude Male Drawings, Coll2013.015, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

John Button was born in San Francisco in 1929. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and later taught in Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland and New York. Button and his partner Alvin Novak were involved in the early years of the Mattachine Society and contributed to the formation of ONE Incorporated. However, Button is best known as a Neo-Romantic Realist, "urban intimist," prize-winning painter. He is associated with the New York School of painters and poets, known for his treatment of light in paintings, with urban architectural elements contrasting with large areas of clouded skies. In addition to his works belonging to many museum collections, he also created a large political mural, since destroyed by fire, with Mario Dubsky for the Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse in Manhattan.

Lesser known for his drawings of male nudes, Button proposed a "frankly homosexual" show in 1972 as well as an exhibition titled "The Male Nude" at Hofstra University in 1973. Posthumous exhibitions include  "The Body as Landscape" exhibition at ONE Archives circa 2002 and  "John Button/ Paintings and Drawings from the Estate" at ClampArt in New York City, 2007-2008.

John Button died in New York City in 1982.

Sources:

John Button Drawings, Coll2013-015, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

Button, John. John Button: An American Painter. Kean College; Union, NJ, 1984.

www.artnet.comhttp://www.artnet.com/artists/john-button (accessed May 2013)

http://clampart.com/2012/02/john-button-1929-1982 (accessed May 2013)

http://www.johnbuttonartist.com/ (accessed May 2013)

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 45 drawings of nude men made by John Button from 1966-1976. The subjects are identified as studio models from the School of Visual Arts as well as personal acquaintances.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

The date and method of acquisition are not documented.

Processing Information

Formerly housed in box A134. Collection processed by Jeff Snapp, 2013.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Additional biographical and exhibition information can be found in the "Button (John)" file in the ONE Subject File collection, Coll2012-001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Additional archival materials relating to John Button can be found at the New York Public Library, the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian, and the University of California, San Diego.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Drawings (visual works)

Subject(s)

  • Artists
  • Gay artists--United States
  • Gays--Exhibitions
  • Homosexuality and art--United States

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  John Button nude male drawings 1967-1976 

Box Folder

 Drawings, nude males 1966-1976 

Scope and Contents note

Twenty-three 11" x 13 7/8" drawings which are numbered in a range between 1 and 262. One is titled Figure for Mile Rock, and several are signed  "J Button." Includes three smaller drawings: one 7 5/8" x 12", one 7" x 11 1/2", and one 10 1/2" x 8 1/2".

1 1

 Drawings, nude males 1973-1976 

Scope and Contents note

Nineteen 14" x 17" drawings which are numbered in a range between 40 and 288.

1 2

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