Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 5B: Artwork, Gifts, and Other Materials Collected By Ruth Bernhard, 1910s-2005 (mostly 1962-2005)

23 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This subseries includes fine art photographs and artwork by others, gifts, personal effects, and other memorabilia collected by Ruth Bernhard for sentimental value. The majority of materials in this subseries consist of photographs and artwork given to Bernhard by others, often personally inscribed to her and occasionally accompanied by related correspondence. Prominently featured are photographers Michael Kenna and Saïd Nuseibeh, both of whom worked as printers for Bernhard for many years and whose independent photographic careers she followed. Works by friends and students Abraham Aronow, Norman Jensen, Peter Adams, and Alfonso Malato de Sousa also appear frequently.

Included additionally are reproductions of work by Bernhard's photographer friends on calendars and posters, unattributed photographs, a small reference slide collection, her personal video tapes, several guest books with comments from exhibitions, gifts such as decorative boxes and assemblages, photograph albums, birthday presents, and albums of love notes from her companion, Price Rice. Other personal objects include stamps bearing Bernhard's signature, address, and insignia, a jacket she can be seen wearing in many snapshots present in the collection, her San Francisco mailbox, and two ceramic "life-masks" made by artist Beverly Toyu in the 1980s from a cast of Bernhard's face.

Some of the more fragile objects present in this subseries are wrapped in layers of tissue paper, archival polyester batting, and bubble wrap. Researchers are asked to take care when returning these materials to their boxes to preserve this arrangement.


Items within this subseries are not arranged according to any arrangement scheme. Though legacy item description provided by the Princeton University Art Museum exists for many individual items in this subseries, the materials remain physically unsorted below the box or folder level.

Collection History


Nothing was discarded or transferred in the processing of this collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in January - February, 2014. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in February - March, 2014, using item description provided by Emily McVeigh of the Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding in 2016

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright and literary rights for materials in this collection that were created by Ruth Bernhard are held by the Trustees of Princeton University. Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Subseries 5B: Artwork, Gifts, and Other Materials Collected By Ruth Bernhard; Ruth Bernhard Papers, C1468, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 27, 35, 56, 76

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Related Materials

Ruth Bernhard's photographic archive is held by the Princeton University Art Museum. Her working library is available in the Rare Books Collection.

Margaretta K. Mitchell Working Files on Ruth Bernhard (C1591)