Finding Aid to the Samson DeBrier Papers, 1948-1995
Table of Contents
Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama, (c) 2014
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
- ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
- Creator - Creator
- DeBrier, Samson, -1995
- Samson DeBrier papers
- Collection no.
- Date [inclusive]
- 1.2 linear feet., 1 archive box + 1 archive carton.
- Correspondence, notes, photographs, clippings, biographical material, and other personal papers, 1948-1995, from actor, artist, and raconteur Samson DeBrier, also known as Arthur Jasmine. After working as an actor in the 1910s and 1920s, most notably in the film Salome, the eccentric DeBrier remained in Hollywood and literati circles throughout his life and was known for hosting salons with creative locals in his Hollywood home. The bulk of the collection is correspondence sent to de Brier from 1954 to 1995.
[Box/folder #, or item name] Samson DeBrier Papers, Coll2014-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.
Samson DeBrier was born in China in the early 1900s and grew up in New Jersey. He moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a silent film actor, most notably in Alla Nazimova's Salome (1923). During this time, he also lived in Paris and fell in with the literati circles after befriending Andre Gide. Being independently wealthy from a real estate investment, DeBrier eventually settled in a Hollywood bungalow in the 1950s where he remained for the rest of his life. He was known for hosting art salons at his home, attracting the likes of Jack Nicholson, Anais Nin, Steve McQueen, Paul Mazursky, and Dorothy Parker, among others. In 1954, both DeBrier and his Hollywood bungalow were featured in Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. Samson DeBrier died on April 1, 1995.
Scope and Contents
The collection comprises correspondence, notes, photographs, clippings, biographical material, and other personal papers, 1948-1995, of actor and artist Samson DeBrier, also known as Arthur Jasmine. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, mostly Christmas cards, sent to DeBrier from 1954 to 1995. Also included is one biographical file of photocopied articles and photographs documenting de Brier throughout his life.
Correspondence is listed first. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
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.
The correspondence files in this collection were donated by Jean Ferro, September 13, 2006. The photograph file was donated by Kenneth Anger, May 10, 1995. Donor and date of the remaining papers are unknown.
Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama with assistance from Sean Wejebe, February 2014.
Allan R. Ellenberger collection on Ramon Novarro, Coll2008-050, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Separated Materials note
Separated to the ONE periodicals collection:
Spartacus Magazine, No. 5 (November 1982).
Controlled Access Headings
- Gay actors
- Gay artists
Series 1: Samson DeBrier papers
Correspondence 1954-1995 [21 folders]
Address books and other personal papers 1948-1973
Biographical material circa 1980-1995
Business cards and contact information circa 1950-1980
Financial records 1966-1968
Notes circa 1960-1990
Photographs and negatives circa 1940-1970 6 photographs and 2 negatives (b&w).