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Happy Birthday Jonathan : original drawing


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American painter, illustrator, and author Joe Brainard was born March 11, 1942, in Salem, Arkansas. Brainard grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended high school with future New York School poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup. At the age of 19 Brainard moved to New York City, where he met and befriended additional New York School poets, including Ted Berrigan and Kenward Elmslie. He became a frequent collaborator with members of the New York School, illustrating more than a dozen books of poetry over his 30 year career. He worked most frequently with Kenward Elmslie, with whom he was in a long-term relationship and spent summers in Vermont.

In addition to working as an illustrator, Brainard also authored over 18 volumes of prose-poems, designed sets for several plays (including LeRoi Jones’s "The Toilet" and Frank O’Hara’s "The General"), and exhibited several collections of collage, watercolor, and painting.

Brainard died from complications of AIDS in Manhattan on May 25, 1994.

Smith, Roberta. "Joe Brainard, Artist, Theater Set Designer And Poet, Dies at 52." New York Times, May 27, 1994, B8.

Includes one original drawing by American painter, illustrator, and author Joe Brainard (1942-1994). The drawing is of a teddy bear with a small bow tied around its neck and the phrase "Happy Birthday Jonathan" written on its chest. Behind the bear is a hand-drawn checkerboard pattern. The drawing, which was done in black marker, is glued to a white backing board. The item is unsigned and undated.

  1. Shelved in SPEC GRA manuscript boxes

Purchase, 2009.

Processed and encoded by Lora J. Davis, October 2009.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2009 October 1
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Happy Birthday Jonathan : original drawing, undated.
Box 1 Item 0005

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