Joan Hugo

b. January 12, 1930
d. February 7, 2006

Donations will be given to the Otis College of Art and Design

ARLIS-L Notice

7 February 2006

Joan Hugo, a founding member of ARLIS/NA and the Southern California chapter, passed away on Tuesday 7 February. She was the librarian of Otis College of Art for 25 years, having a prescience for that which was important in contemporary art far ahead of most archivists and librarians. She collected the contemporary art ephemera that has now become the resources of major research in the field including artist books, artist periodicals, multiples and so much more. She also was an art critic for Artweek and other publications. She then went to work as assistant to the Provost at Cal Arts for several years, always writing critical essays about performance art, contemporary art and California art. She was a Francophile and spoke French as a native, translating articles, translation interviews, and forwarding the cause of connections between French artists and California artists. More information about a memorial will be forthcoming. I think the Southern California chapter should participate in some way of honoring her.

At ARLIS/NA Conferences, she forwarded the cause of single librarian libraries and art school libraries and created sessions on the subject.

I had the great pleasure of counting her among my colleagues and friends, and wrote about her for Library Journal as one of the most prescient contemporary art librarians in the country. Her clairvoyance made the Otis Library a stellar partner in the preservation of the record of contemporary art in the second half of the 20th century.

Judith A. Hoffberg
Founding Executive Secretary of ARLIS/NA


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