Bartmess (Kenneth) masks and photographs Edit


Finding Aid Author
Loni Shibuyama
Finding Aid Date
(c) 2013
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
Description is in <language langcode="eng" scriptcode="Latn">English.</language>
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


  • circa 1979-1985 (Creation)


  • 3.5 Linear Feet (Whole)
    3 flat archive boxes.

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  • Abstract

    Four flower masks, one Don Kilhefner mask, and photographs of Radical Faeries gatherings from gay activist and craftsman, Kenneth Bartmess, circa 1979-1985.

  • Biography

    California native and longtime Los Angeles resident, Kenneth Bartmess, was a volunteer peer counselor at the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center during the 1980s-1990s. He earned a degree from Santa Monica College in the early 1990s, and was involved in theater and dance. Bartmess was also a craftsman, and ran a custom lamp and lighting-fixture business. In 1991, Bartmess lost his lover of 22 years, CJ Meagher, to an AIDS-related illness. He later wrote about his experience in From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection (1996). As a craftsman, Bartmess also made masks for artistic expression.

    Source: Borger, Irene, Ed. From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection. New York, NY.: Washington Square Press, 1996.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

  • Acquisition

    Donated by Kenneth Bartmess, March 21, 2007.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder #, or item name] Kenneth Bartmess Masks and Photographs, Coll2013-008, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Processing Information

    Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, January 2013.

  • Scope and Contents

    The collection, circa 1979-1985, comprises five of Bartmess' hand-crafted masks, as well as a small collection of photographs taken of gatherings of the Radical Faeries, a collective of spiritual gay men. One mask is in the likeness of gay activist and Radical Faerie founder, Don Kilhefner; and the other four flower masks were used in Without Reservations, a theatrical reading of stories from a gay theater group in Los Angeles.

  • Separated Materials

    A pamphlet from Stonewater Circle, the San Diego gathering of Radical Faeries, has been separated from the collection and placed with the "Radical Faeries" file in the ONE Subject Files Collection, Coll2012-001.

  • Arrangement

    This collection is arranged alphabetically.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


  • Type
    Mixed Materials
    Container 1 Type
    Container 1 Indicator