USC Libraries

University of Southern California

skip navigation

Archives at USC

« back to Archives at USC Search

Finding Aid to the Samson DeBrier Papers, 1948-1995

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.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
DeBrier, Samson, -1995
Title
Samson DeBrier papers
Collection no.
Coll2014.005
Date [inclusive]
1948-1995
Extent
1.2 linear feet., 1 archive box + 1 archive carton.
Language
English
Abstract
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.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Samson DeBrier Papers, Coll2014-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biography

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.

Return to Table of Contents »


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.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement

Correspondence is listed first. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2014
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 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.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama with assistance from Sean Wejebe, February 2014.

Return to Table of Contents »


Related Materials

Related Materials

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).

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence

Subject(s)

  • Gay actors
  • Gay artists

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Samson DeBrier papers 

Box Folder

 Correspondence 1954-1995   [21 folders]

1 1-21

 Address books and other personal papers 1948-1973 

2 2

 Biographical material circa 1980-1995 

2 1

 Business cards and contact information circa 1950-1980 

2 3

 Clippings 1960-1975 

2 4

 Financial records 1966-1968 

2 5

 Notes circa 1960-1990 

1 22

 Photographs and negatives circa 1940-1970   6 photographs and 2 negatives (b&w).

2 6

Return to Table of Contents »