About This Website
In addition to teaching, and even after he retired, part of Kurt's daily routine included reading the paper, clipping articles of interest, and making notes throughout the day on lined paper notebooks which he kept in manila folders. He did this for as long as I knew him, 40 years, and well before that. As the years passed, the manila folders accumulated and he would place them in cardboard boxes which when full he'd move into a storage spot on the property. Occasionally I'd ask him "What is going to happen to the Archives of von Meier?" He'd gesture in my direction, shrug and say something like, "Ah, well." Twenty-five boxes have been sitting around for over five years now, and I've finally decided to make their contents public.
It's exciting to bring Kurt's work back to life. He was, in my opinion, a genius and much more. His compulsive self-documentation reveals details of his thoughts and feelings he mostly kept to himself. Kurt lived in the moment, and for him that meant not dwelling on his past accomplishments or personal history. I've learned more biographical information about Kurt by going through his archives than I ever learned from him directly. Sharing Kurt's archives, published and unpublished, that are not otherwise available is an honor and privilege.
--- Larry Barnett, Website Curator
Kurt was a total California Boy, raised on the West Coast from Carmel to Berkeley. Kurt's resume below covers his years of teaching and during it all he was writing, and cooking, laughing, entertaining, and connecting with extraordinary people. The resume below provides a snapshot of his professional life.
KURT von MEIER
EDUCATION AND DEGREES:
BA University of California, Berkeley (1958)
International Relations: Middle East Area (International Law, Arabic).
Hispanic Studies, University of Madrid (1959)
Japanese Language, Stanford University (1960)
MFA Princeton University (1962) Charles Ames Brooks, Jr. Fellow University Wilson Fellow
PhD Princeton University (1966) Fine Arts and Archaeology
Dissertation, "George Kolbe," a monograph and catalog raisonne on the work of the German sculptor, with attention to the problems of art in a totalitarian state. Cum Laude.
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Lecturer, History and Theory of Fine Arts
Instructor, Department of Art
University of California, Los Angeles
Assistant Professor, Department of Art
California State University, Los Angeles
Professor, Department of Art
California State University, Sacramento
Professor, Department of Art
Guest Professor, Chicago Art Institute
1962 "Visionary Architecture," University of Auckland, New Zealand. Installation and original catalog prepared.
1963 "Elam 1: Group Show," University of Auckland, New Zealand. Organization installation and catalog.
1964 "A Computer-based Classification System for the Fine
Arts" University of Auckland, New Zealand
1965 "Painting and Down-Under," Princeton University. Organization and installation.
1966 "Sculpture of Harold Paris," University of California, Los Angeles. Organization included production of the opening which featured four simultaneous rock bands, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of invention, Canned Heat Blues Band, light show and multi-media event.
1966 "Andy Warhol," University of California, Los Angeles. Presentation of films with Warhol, Lew Reed Band and poetry reading by Gerard Malanga.
1967 "Festival of Experimental Arts," University of California, Los Angeles. Co-produced with Joseph Byrd and Barbara Haskell.
1972 "Faculty Show," California State University, Sacramento.
1974 "Private Collection," California State University, Sacramento. Organization and installation of my collection of Navajo weaving, Native American artifacts, and works by contemporary artists.
1975 "Private Collection," University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Selection and opening lecture.
1977 "Noble Richardson: Paintings of the Southwest," California State University, Sacramento. Organization and installation.
1980 "Miniatures," California State University, Sacramento. Organization and installation.
1982 "Ikat: Art of the Ancient Peoples," California State University, Sacramento. Organization, installation and original catalog. Opening included preparation and serving of authentic Indonesian rijstaffel. This exhibition also traveled to University of California, Riverside.
1984 Huichol Art, Witt Gallery, CSU, Sacramento (with Susan Eger Valadez and David Bischoff)
Additional participation and assistance in planning various events including the Watts Festival, Berkeley Folk Music Festival, Aspen Summer Festival, and the Conference on Radical Art at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.
In addition to regular teaching assignments, lectures or papers have been presented before the following associations and institutions:
African Studies Center, UCLA Colloquium, "Critical Standards for the African Arts."
Arica Institute, "The Golden eye: Part 2,: (October 1987).
California State College, Los Angeles: "Aesthetics and Ecology," (1970)
California State College, Los Angeles, "The Ecological Apocalypse and the Native American Tradition," (1970)
California State University, Sacramento, Department of Psychology: Conference: NEW PSYCHOLOGY: PERSPECTIVES ON CONSCIOUSNESS, "The Sacred Mushroom", workshop. (1971)
College Art Association of America, "Marshall McLuhan and the Humanities," "Anatomy of a Freakout: J.F.K. and the Films of Bruce Conner."
Convocation on Higher Education at UCLA.
Davis High School, "Andy Warhol," (February 27, 1987).
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, "SOMA," Weekend lecture and workshop. (1971)
"Esoteric Art," October 5, 1983, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "The Esthetics of Control."
"Mantras and Tarot," October 13, 1983, Sydney School of Art, Sydney NSW, Australia.
Monterey Peninsula College: "The Cultural Revolution and the Native American (Indian) Spirit," public lecture. (1970).
Mount Saint Mary's College: "The Navajo Blanket," (1969)
Northern California Renaissance Society Conference, San Francisco State University, "Games of Chance and the Sibyl's Gaze," (May 2, 1987).
San Francisco State College: "The Fine Arts and Contemporary Legal Concepts of Pornography," English Department Guest Lecture, with Professors Bratsett and LaRue. (1969)
University of California, Berkeley, Committee on Arts and Lectures, "The History of Rhythm and Blues."
University of California at Davis, Department of Art, "The Secret Ball of Twine: A Mysterious Masterpiece by Marcel Duchamp." (October 29, 1986).
University of California at Los Angeles, Faculty Lecture Series, The Human Agenda: Biological Prospects and Human Values, "Prospects for Control of the Brain."
University of California, San Diego Extension: "Contemporary Los Angeles Art," (109)
University of Southern California, Los Angeles: Conference on Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). Workshop leader and panel member. (1970)
United States Department of State, Brazil Student Leader Program, UCLA.
Other lectures and presentations have been offered before private groups associated with higher education, the arts or wine and food appreciation, commercial galleries, various fraternal organizations, civic groups, and the following institutions:
American Institute of Interior Design
American Society for Aesthetics
Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand
California Scholarship Federation
CSU, Fullerton, San Jose
Freshman Honors Forum, UCLA
Jewish Youth Council
Long Beach Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Science and Industry
Los Angeles Founders Guild
Monterey Peninsula College
Newport Beach City Art Gallery
New York School of Visual Arts
New Zealand Society for Aesthetics and Art Criticism
Pasadena Art Museum
Rice Institute, Houston
San Francisco Art Institute
Save the Museum Committee, Los Angeles
School of Architecture, USC
School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UCLA
State University of New York, Buffalo
University of British Columbia
UCLA Experimental College
University of California, San Diego University of Massachusetts
University of Melbourne, Australia University of St. Thomas, Houston University of Sydney, Australia University of Washington
Vancouver City Art Gallery
Westside Jewish Community Center Western Ballet Association
Wilbur Hot Springs
Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio
1964 "Contemporary Painting in New Zealand," Art and Australia, Vol. 2, No. 3 (December, 1964)
1965 "Charles de Tolnay, "The Art and Thought of Michelangelo,", in Good Reading, Vol. 16, No. 2, and reprinted in Princeton Alumni Weekly, Vol. 65, No. 18 (February 1965).
"Art Treasures from Japan," Art Forum, Vol.4, No. 4 (December 1965)
"Funksville: The West Coast Scene," Art and Australia, Vol. 3, No. 3 (December 1965), with Carl I Belz.
1966 "Los Angeles Letter: Matisse, Giacometti, David Smith, Five LA Sculptors," Art International, Vol. 16, No. 3 (March 1966).
"Los Angeles Letter: Peace Tower, Surrealism, Richard Pettibone," Art International, Vol. 10, No. 4 (April 1966).
"Surrealism in Santa Barbara," Art Forum, Vol. 4, No. 9 (May 1966).
"Popping Around the Groves of the Academe," Intro (May 1966).
"Critics Choice," Long Beach Museum of Art (April-May 1966).
"Los Angeles Letter: East Coast - West Coast Art," Art International, (May 1966).
"San Francisco and Los Angeles," Art International, Vol. 10, No. 7 (September, 1966).
"Los Angeles Letter: The Art of Andy Warhol, Robert Irwin and Kenneth Price," Art International, Vol. 10, No. 8 (October 1966).
1967 "Los Angeles Letter: West Coast Sculpture," Art International, Vol. 10, No. 10 (December 1967)
"The New 'Pure' Painting: Los Angles Letter," Art International, Vol. 1, No. 2 (February 1967).
"Recent Sculpture: Los Angeles Letter," Art International, Vol. 11, No. 4, (April 1967).
"The Hot University," Spectra (Daily Bruin), April 25, 1967.
"Houston: Abstract Expressionism at the University of St. Thomas, Art Forum, Vol. 5, No. 9 (May 1967).
"UCLA Book Burning," Los Angeles Free Press, May 5, 1967.
"Sculpture of the Sixties," Living Arts (Los Angeles Free Press), June 2, 1967.
"Six Statements with Extrapolations," Digger NewsAssociation, June, 1967.
"American Sculpture of the Sixties: Los Angeles Letter," Art International, Vol. 11, No. 6 (Summer 1967).
Mixed Masters, University of St. Thomas, Houston, (Summer 1967).
"Sue Bitney," Studio Marconi, Milan (September 1967),
"Olitski, Lichtenstein and Stella: Los Angeles Letter," Art International, Vol. 11, No. 8 (October 1967).
"Love, Mysticism and the Hippies," Vogue, November 15, 1967.
"Kaprow and Rauschenberg: Los Angeles Letter," Art International, Vol. 11, No. 9, (November 1967).
"Anton Ehrensweig: The Hidden Order of Art: A Study inthe Psychology of Artistic Imagination," Review in Los Angeles Free Press, (December 8, 1967).
"Internationalism and Problems of Criticism: Los Angeles Letter, Art International, Vol. 11, No. 10 (Christmas 1967).
1968 "Piles," A Portfolio of Piles: N. E. Thing Co., The Fine Arts Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., January 1968. Introduction for the portfolio.
"Painting to Sculpture: One Tradition in a Radical Approach to the History of Twentieth Century Art," Art International, Vol. 12, No. 3 (March 1968).
"Violence, Art and the American Way," Artscanada, Vol. 25, No. 1 (April 1968).
"Los Angeles: The Failure and Future of Art," Art International, Vol. 11, No. 5 (May 19, 1967). Reprinted in The Idea Institute (Management Education Conferences, Business Administration Extension), University of California Extension, Los Angeles, April, 1968.
"The Sculpture of Bruce Naumann," Southwestern College, May 1968.
"Rock and Roll and the Avant-Garde," Artscanada, Vol. 25, No. 2 (June 1968).
"Elvis Aron Presley and the History of Rock and Roll," The New York Free Press, Series of five articles, July-August, 1968.
"Brian Wilson: The Beethoven of Rock," Eye, Vol. 1, No. 6, August 1968.
"Gemini Rising," Lithographs--Gemini G.E.L.: Josef Albers, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, ClaesOldenburg, Jasper Johns, Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio (October 13-November 10, 1968)
"On Teaching 20th Century Art," Artscanada, Vol. 25, No. 4, (October/November 1968)
"An Interview with De Wain Valentine," Art Forum, (May 1969)
"New York 13," Artscanada (April 1969).
The Erotic Art of Benjamin Rowlandson, London Press, Los Angeles, 1969
"Michael Morris," Artscanada (August, 1969)
"Gemini, Ltd., Lithographs," Catalog, University of Washington, Henry Art Gallery, 1969.
University of British Columbia Art Gallery: "Michael Morris," catalog and text for edition of plates.
1970 San Francisco, 737 Diamond Street: The Diamond Sutra: A One-Year Theater Piece, dedicated to Marcel Duchamp at Monte Carlo.
1971 "Antigone," Program Notes, Napa Valley Players, 1971.
1978 Pyramids, 30 minute interview/documentary, Center for Instructional Media, CSUC, Spring 1978; color video tape, with Charles Vento, Allan Hinderstein, Sandra Ofsenek and Philip van Garick.
From 1969 through 1971 I conducted field research and study with different spiritual leaders of the Hopi, five such expeditions in all. This work concerns especially the Hopi prophesies, the Snake and Antelope Dance, and other instruction particular to the coyote and eagle clans. Publication of this material is now pending (because of the extreme crisis presently confronting the Hopi nation.)
Among works awaiting publication are:
A study of the life/oeuvre of Marcel Duchamp and his influence.
Ethnobotanical studies centered on the Amanita Muscaria in the history of art and mythology.
Historical analysis of Rock and Roll and the Popular music tradition 1954-1966. 300+ pp. manuscript and full sound documentation.
RADIO AND TV, LOS ANGELES:
ABC, KCET, KHJ-TV, KLAC, KNX, KPFK, KTTV
Also in Australia, New Zealand, and with CBC in Canada Radio Interview, September 30, 1983, Radio New Zealand, Rotorua
TRAINING AND RELATED EXPERIENCE:
United States Naval Reserve - Active duty 1954-56, Southeast Asia
Photolithography and Letterpress printing (LI-P 3) Instructor, English Language School, USNTC, San Diego China Service Medal
Travel in Europe and North Africa, Mexico, Afghanistan New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Java, Thailand, India, Nepal, Italy (1983-84)
Rugby Club, UC Berkeley, Princeton
Rugby coaching, Princeton, UCLA
Hopi Indian Reservation
Study with Chief David Monongye (Eagle Clan) and Chief Dan Katchongva (Sun Clan)
Tai Chi Chuan (Master Choy Kam Man)
Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism
Dharma studies with Kagyud-pa Lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tsenjur Rinpoche, Chime Rimpoche, Lamas Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khentze of the Nyingma-pa; and the Sakya-pa Lama Kunga Rinpoche
Initiations from H.H. the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa, and from the present Sharmapa
Esalen Institute workshop, "Soma: The Magic Mushroom."
AUM Conference (John Lilly, Alan Watts, G.S. Brown).
New Physics Conference
Arica Institute trainings: Hypergnostic (40-day) - Domains of Consciousness, Levels, Doors, Tai Chi, Chua K'a, Kensho, Zhikr, Pampas, Protoanalysis, Vortex, 24 Lights, Psychoalchemy, Tarot, Kinerhythms, Pneumorhythms, Couples, Temple, Teamwork, Alpha Heat, Rainbow Eye, Diamond, Octagon, Forum on Health, Education & Research, Golden Eye
Past Service on Board of Directors:
The School of Tai Chi Chuan, New York Arica Institute, San Francisco
Montessori Family Center, Saint Helena Napa County Arts Council
Architectural Board, Wilbur Hot Spring
Honorary Member Phi Eta Sigma (Journalism)
Napa Valley Wine Library Association
Beneficial Plant Research Association
Consultant, Walt Disney Productions and CBS Entertainment
"The Artistic Eye" project (Programming for Children's TV)
Princeton Club of Northern California
Charter Member, Archaeological Society of Central Australia, Alice Springs, NT, Australia, 1983-84
1969 Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, performer: Ralph Ortiz piece (January 24, 1969).
Pasadena, California. Theater piece with Sam Francis (April 6, 1969)
Los Angeles, performer, dance piece by Yvonne Rainer (April 16, 1969).
"New Directions in Education," program, KPFK-FM, Los Angeles (May 22, 1969).
24-hour Theater piece, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles (May 31, 1969).