DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989

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Artist Mary Joan (Jay) DeFeo was born in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1929 and moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area at age three. She earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Fine Arts at UC Berkeley and won a fellowship after graduation that took her to France, Spain, northern Africa and Italy. In Florence she met artist Clinton Hill, with whom she developed a lasting friendship. In the mid-1950s DeFeo settled in San Francisco and met regularly with Beat poets and artists including Joan and William Brown, Sonia Gechtoff and Michael McClure. She became associated with artists such as Wallace Berman, George Herms, Bruce Conner, Ed Kienholz and her husband, Wally Hedrick. Influenced by their experimentation with found images, DeFeo applied a similar aesthetic to her mixed media paintings using newspaper, gouache, graphite and tempera. She later worked with photography and photo-collage. DeFeo had her first solo exhibition in 1954 at The Place, a cafe in San Francisco's North Beach. Her work was also shown in Walter Hopps's Action I group show at the Santa Monica Pier in 1955, and at other venues including Dilexi Gallery in San Francisco and Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Her best-known painting is "The Rose" (1958-1966), a 2,300-pound canvas that took nearly a decade to complete. DeFeo died in 1989.

From the description of Jay DeFeo letters to Clinton Hill and Allen Tran, 1954-1963. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 664395951

Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) was a painter and photographer from the San Francisco Bay area, Calif.

From the description of Oral history interview with Jay DeFeo, 1975 June 3-1976 Jan. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 220181939

Painter, photographer; San Francisco, Calif.

Prominent in Bay Area art scene as painter and "hostess" of numerous parties from mid 1950's to 1960's.

From the description of Jay DeFeo papers, 1948-1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82510045

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sinton, Nell, 1910-. Nell (Eleanor) and Stanley Sinton papers, [ca. 1920]-1993. Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Oral history interview with Jay DeFeo, 1975 June 3-1976 Jan. 23. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Papers, 1947-2004 (inclusive), 1957-2004 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Woods, Gurdon G., 1915-. Gurdon G. Woods papers, 1948-1987. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Brown, Joan, 1938-1990,. Oral history interview with Joan Brown, 1975 July 1-Sept. 9 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Conner, Bruce,. Oral history interview with Bruce Conner, 1974 Mar. 29 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Mark Green papers, 1954-1991, bulk 1954-1978 Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Jay DeFeo papers, 1948-1976. Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Artist file : Jay DeFeo : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA
referencedIn Felver, Christopher, 1946-. Christopher Felver portraits of poets, authors, and artists [graphic] / photographed by Christopher Felver. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Brown, Joan, 1938-1990. Joan Brown interviews, 1975 July 1-Sept. 9. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Jacobs, Mimi. [Photographs of artists taken by Mimi Jacobs, photographer]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Wallace Berman, 1907-1979 (bulk 1955-1979) Archives of American Art
referencedIn Solnit, Rebecca. Interviews for the book Secret exhibition [sound recording]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976. Wallace Berman papers, 1907-1979 (bulk 1955-1979). Archives of American Art
referencedIn Conner, Bruce. Bruce Conner papers, 1956-1975. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Green, Mark, 1932-. Mark Green papers, 1957-1991. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. Dorothy C. Miller papers, circa 1912-1992, bulk 1959-1984. Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Jay DeFeo letters to Clinton Hill and Allen Tran, 1954-1963. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn DeFeo, Jay (Mary Joan), 1929-1989 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf DEFEO, JAY. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Brown, William Theo, 1919-. William Theo Brown papers, 1845-1971. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008. Bruce Conner correspondence concerning Jay DeFeo's "The Rose", circa 1930-1996. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Dorothy C. Miller papers, circa 1912-1992, bulk 1959-1984 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Jordan, Larry, 1934-. Oral history interview with Larry Jordan, 1995 Dec. 19 - 1996 July 30. Archives of American Art
creatorOf DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989. Jay DeFeo : artist file, miscellaneous uncataloged material. Baltimore Museum of Art Library & Archives
referencedIn Martin, Fred, 1927-. Fred Martin papers, 1949-1975. Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Berman, Shirley. person
associatedWith Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976. person
associatedWith Blum, Irving, 1930- person
associatedWith Brown, Joan, 1938-1990. person
associatedWith Brown, William Theo, 1919- person
associatedWith Conner, Bruce. person
correspondedWith Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008. person
associatedWith Felver, Christopher, 1946- person
associatedWith Francis, Sam, 1923-1994. person
associatedWith Gechtoff, Sonia, 1926- person
associatedWith Green, Mark person
associatedWith Green, Mark L., 1932-2004. person
associatedWith Hedrick, Wally, 1928- person
correspondedWith Hill, Clinton, 1922-2003 person
associatedWith Hopps, Walter. person
associatedWith Jacobs, Mimi person
associatedWith Jordan, Larry, 1934- person
correspondedWith Judy Chicago, 1939- corporateBody
associatedWith Karlstrom, Paul J. person
associatedWith Lobdell, Frank, 1921- person
associatedWith Martin, Fred, 1927- person
associatedWith McClure, Michael. person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. person
associatedWith Neri, Manuel, 1930- person
associatedWith Peterson, Margaret, 1903- person
associatedWith Remington, Deborah. person
associatedWith Sinton, Nell, 1910-1997. person
associatedWith Solnit, Rebecca. person
associatedWith Stockwell, Dean, 1938- person
associatedWith Terrill, Ruth. person
correspondedWith Tran, Allen person
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley corporateBody
associatedWith Wallace Berman person
associatedWith Woods, Gurdon G., 1915- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California
California--San Francisco Bay Area
Subject
Jewelry making
Painters
Painters
Pamphlets
Photographers
Photography
Vertical files (Libraries)
Women artists
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1929-03-31

Death 1989-11-11

Americans

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Ark ID: w6z61340

SNAC ID: 57594939