Oral Histories

Interview of Beatrice Gersh

Art collector and wife of Gersh agency founder Phil Gersh. Trustee and advocate for the creation of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Collections Take Shape When Personalities Are Attached
Interviews not in a series, part one
Biographical Note:
Art collector and wife of Gersh agency founder Phil Gersh. Trustee and advocate for the creation of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Goodwin, George M.
Gersh, Beatrice
Place Conducted:
Gersh's home in Beverly Hills, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by George M. Goodwin, freelance consultant, Oral History Program, UCLA; B.A., art history, Lake Forest College; M.A., art history, Columbia University; Ph.D., art education, Stanford University.
Processing of Interview:
Editing was done by Rebecca Andrade, assistant editor, Oral History Program. She checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings and edited for punctuation, spelling, paragraphing, and the verification of proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed.Gersh reviewed and approved the edited transcript, supplying some supplementary names.Mitch Tuchman, senior editor, wrote the introduction.It is somewhat unusual for the Oral History Program in that it is based on notes of a brief followup visit with the interviewee (almost three years after the original interview sessions). Tuchman prepared the rest of the front matter and the index.
4.5 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Growing up in Southern California; education at Stanford University and University of Southern California; husband Phil Gersh; early art purchases; Ernst Kirchner painting from Curt Valentin Gallery; museums and galleries in New York; Museum of Modern Art; Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti, and Willem de Kooning exhibitions; purchase of Henry Moore sculpture; dealing with Gimpel Fils gallery, London; decision to collect American art; Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, Josef Albers, Sam Francis, Frank Stella; pop art; Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol; interest in primitive art; Oceanic sculpture; Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art; Harry Franklin; collectors in Southern California; Jews as supporters of the arts; dealers; Frank Perls and Paul Kantor; Richard Diebenkorn; Ferus Gallery; Contemporary Art Council; Maurice Tuchman; directors and curators, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; museum trustees; Jasper Johns and Isamu Noguchi shows in San Francisco; Norton Simon; Pasadena Museum of Art; Robert A. Rowan; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; museum administration; potential effects of new Museum of Contemporary Art on extant museums.