Visitors to the Ransom Center may now experience the creative work and process of artist Edward Ruscha first hand. The materials in the Edward Ruscha papers and art collection, which opens today, cover a selection of works from the 1960s to the present, and include research material, notebooks, sketches, photographic material, publicity and exhibition material, and final editions for Ruscha’s artist’s books, prints, films, and commissioned works.
Ruscha was born December 16, 1937, in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up not far from here in Oklahoma City. In the 1950s he moved to Los Angeles to attend art school and has lived there ever since. He established himself as an artist in the early years of the Pop Art movement and has continued for the last five decades to make art in a range of media, from limited edition artist’s books and prints to large billboard-size paintings. His impressive body of work is present in galleries and museums around the globe. How fortunate then that the Ransom Center was chosen, in the words of Ruscha, as the “home to end all homes” for this collection.
For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and appreciate Ruscha’s work through unpacking the boxes, studying the material, and arranging and describing it for future researchers. The collection opens today for research. I’d like to offer a glimpse of some of the treasures I’ve found along the way.