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Kenneth Bartmess Masks and Photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2013-008

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.


  • circa 1979-1985


Conditions Governing Access

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

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.


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.


3.5 Linear Feet (3 flat archive boxes.)

Language of Materials



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


This collection is arranged alphabetically.


Donated by Kenneth Bartmess, March 21, 2007.

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.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, January 2013.


Finding aid to the Kenneth Bartmess masks and photographs, circa 1979-1985
Loni Shibuyama
(c) 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771