Michael Warren Several was born in Mt. Kisco, New York in 1941 and moved to California at the age of five. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and continued his education at San Jose State University where he received his teaching credential. Several taught in high school for a number of years and also worked as an insurance underwriter. In 1975, he took a position as a legal assistant at the law firm of McCutchen, Black, Verleger and Shea. Eventually, Several turned his interests to artwork and became a writer and historian specializing in the public art of downtown Los Angeles. He conducted extensive research that included over 200 interviews with artists, architects, city planners, and art administrators in connection with research on the public art in Los Angeles, California.
In 1986, Several formed Urban Art, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to initiate and coordinate projects related to outdoor art located in an urban context. The organization promoted awareness of outdoor public art by sponsoring exhibits and lectures, producing publications, offering educational programs, and encouraging artist involvement in the process of urban design. In addition to Several's duties as president of the organization, he also prepared and led tours to public art sites in downtown Los Angeles, Civic Center, Little Tokyo, and the Bunker Hill areas. The tours explored the relationship between public art and urban design, architecture, politics, social and cultural history.
In 1990, Several received a cultural grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, for publishing a series of guides to the public art of Los Angeles. Several went on to publish multiple guides in relation to public art work in Los Angeles:The Eastern Half of the Civic Center, El Pueblo Historical Monument and its Adjacent Freeway Murals (1991), Little Tokyo (1994), A Guide to the Public Art in Lincoln Part in East Los Angeles, andA Guide to 25 of the Most Significant Works on Public Sculpture Located in Los Angeles County.
In addition, Urban Art, Inc. received a grant from the National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property to identify and conduct a condition survey report by professional conservators of the most significant works of outdoor public sculpture in Los Angeles County. Several served as the historian for the project and helped identify 29 public artworks that should be preserved. Several has written articles for the Public Art Review, the Los Angeles Conservancy organization, and more than 170 comprehensive entries for the web site Public Art in Los Angeles: http://www.publicartinla.com. He has also served as a board member for the Los Angeles Mural Conservancy and the Society of Architectural Historians/Southern California Chapter.