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R. Eric Gustafson papers

 Part of Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 997

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, professional and personal papers, photographs, printed material, computer and audiovisual media, and other papers documenting the career and life of American author, curator, and gallerist Eric Gustafson. Also included are correspondence, ephemera, and photographs of Navajo artist R. C. Gorman. Among the other correspondents are artists Erté and Toshiko Takaezu, photographer Cecil Beaton, actors Celeste Holm and Ruth Warrick, opera singer Frederica von Stade, and philanthropist Lila Tyng. The collection contains drafts of works by Gustafson including Cinderella is a Man, Expect the Unexpected, India: Paradox and Treasures, Last Guy Waltzing, and My Beloved Southwest, in addition to "The Marchesa la marchetta chronicles," an essay about his friendship with Gorman. Other materials concern the Apollo Muses Center for the Arts, Gustafson's theater design exhibitions and work with galleries in New York and New Mexico, and his lecture series "The Court Theatres of Europe." The collection further contains scrapbooks and photograph albums related to his early life, career, and travels, as well as passports, journals, address and phone books, and calendars.

Dates

  • 1934-2017

Creator

Language of Materials

Chiefly in English, with some materials in French and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 10 (computer media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of computer files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 11-15 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The R. Eric Gustafson Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bolerium Books, 2010. Gift of Eric Gustafson, 2010, 2011. Purchased from Eric Gustafson 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Arrangement

Organized into five series: I. July 2010 Acquisition, 1968-2009. II. November 2011 Acquisition, undated. III. November 2016 Acquisition, 1950-2016. IV. September 2017 Acquisition, 1934-2017. V. January 2019 Acquisition, circa 2011-2013.

Extent

16.33 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.gustafson

Overview

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, professional and personal papers, photographs, printed material, computer and audiovisual media, and other papers documenting the career and life of American author, curator, and gallerist Eric Gustafson. Also included are correspondence, ephemera, and photographs of Navajo artist R. C. Gorman.

R. Eric Gustafson (1935-)

R. Eric Gustafson is an American writer, curator, and gallerist. He is the author of two memoirs, Cinderella is a Man: A Picturesque Passage to Serenity (1998) and Last Guy Waltzing: A Tale of Reinvention (2013). Gustafson was born in 1935 in the Bronx, New York City. He received a B.A. from Queens College in 1957 and an M.F.A. in theater from Carnegie Mellon University in 1960. During the 1960s, he worked at the New York auction house Parke-Bernet Galleries as a consultant to high-profile clients such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Gustafson later managed art galleries, including the American Gallery of Theater Design in New York and the Jamison Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He curated 16 theater design exhibitions in New York, Santa Fe, and Italy, including "International Theater Designs" at Cooper-Hewitt Museum and "Designs for a Prima Donna: Dame Joan Sutherland" at Library for Performing Arts at the Lincoln Center. In 1984, he founded the Apollo Muses Center for the Arts in New Jersey, a non-profit presenting organization to showcase the work of young artists; the group held events and performances at Lu Shan Farm, an estate owned by his longtime friend, philanthropist Lila Hotz Luce Tyng. As a travel writer, he published numerous articles and two books about his journeys to India, India: Paradox and Treasures (2005) and Expect the Unexpected: Adventures of a Westerner Sitting in the Lap of Mother India (2009). Gustafson also authored the historical art book The Court Theaters of Europe (1982), which accompanied his lecture series of the same name. After many years of visiting Santa Fe for professional or personal reasons, he moved to the city permanently in 2006. In 2017, Gustafson published My Beloved Southwest : Scrapbook of articles, essays, photos and art covering a period of almost fifty years in The Land of Enchantment.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, titled according to month and year of acquisition.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the R. Eric Gustafson Papers
Status
Completed
Author
by Brooke McManus
Date
June 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.