From the SFAI Library and Archives: The Olympics!


There have been plenty of SFAI Artists who have been athletes, even noted athletes, AND there have been plenty of SFAI Artists who have made work about sports, competition, and the OLYMPICS, including Rigo 23 (BFA 1991) whose 22 foot high Victory Salute (2005) on the campus of San Jose State University commemorates SJSU students Tommie Smith and John Carlos who at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics “stood for Justice, Dignity, Equality and Peace,” on the winners’ podium during the playing of the US National Anthem, heads bowed, with raised fists in support of the Black Liberation Movement.


https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/us/29bcintel.html


Rigo’s work has always connected with the real world and the way we view the City, and has always stressed social activism. Last fall Rigo’s monumental sculpture of Native American activist Leonard Peltier was installed on the roof of SFAI’s Cafe, overlooking Alcatraz—the site of the American Indian Movement’s occupation in the early 1970s.




With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


Portrait of George Wallace taken by Don Whyte, 1948.


George Wallace studied in the first photo classes with Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Dorothea Lange at the school in the late 1940s. Wallace was also a self-trained world champion speed skater who made the 1940 Olympic team--an Olympics that was cancelled because of WW2. Wallace invented the Expo-Disc, an aperture/depth-of-field photography tool.


Watch Wallace skate and win in Norway in 1940:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEX32boQr4w


And for more on Wallace, his sporting life, photography and his invention:

https://www.expodisc.com/pages/history-of-the-expodisc


And for more on SPORTS & SFAI see the following link to the SFAI Athletic Department via the UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives Matrix 277 virtual exhibition: Orbits of Known and Unknown Objects: SFAI Histories: Matrix 277 https://matrix277.org/Object-57



With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.


Bruce Conner’s SFAI “Life Drawing” class roll book, Fall 1967


Bruce Conner was a fellow traveler at SFAI from when he first arrived in San Francisco in the 1950s--exhibiting, screening films,and as a faculty member. Conner taught various courses at SFAI in the 1960s including “Life Drawing” where he obviously had a set of gifted students as illustrated in the above grade book, flourished with his attendance markings. Conner also taught an Undergraduate Seminar, "Wasted Time":


Course description in the 1966-67 College Catalog


And the back story: Having been told by SFAI Director Fred Martin that he could teach anything he wanted, Bruce Conner proposed a class titled Wasted Time. Martin shoots down the idea, explaining that he doesn’t want to have to justify the presence of a class with that name on student transcripts, and they compromise by calling the course Undergraduate Seminar (although the course description remains as proposed:“Wasted Time: unproductive activity of no practical application.”)



With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.