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Berlin, Brigid.

Collection, including dozens of polaroids, a few trip books, and occasional correspondence.

Brigid Berlin Collection
Brigid Berlin is the daughter of Richard Berlin, who directed the Hearst media empire for 52 years.  Though raised in elite social circles, Berlin became a self-described "troublemaker" and spent most of her life reacting against, and sending up, the social conventions of her youth.  She met Andy Warhol in 1964 and was soon drawn into the downtown social set centered at the Factory. Berlin became a member of Warhol's inner circle and a personal confidante. Speaking to Brigid on the phone was a necessary part of Warhol's morning routine. She, along with Ondine and Gerard Malanga were part of the core group Factory regulars essential to Warhol's artistic production and aesthetic stance in the 1960s and beyond.  
Berlin appeared in several Warhol films, including Chelsea Girls (1966), Imitation of Christ (1967) and The Nude Restaurant (1967), under the name Brigid Polk. Her skill at administering "pokes" (amphetamine injections) to herself and other hangers-on about the Factory earned her this name. She acquired the taste for speed at age eleven when her mother had the family doctor prescribe Dexedrine and amphetamines so that she would lose weight.  Berlin continued to use speed throughout most of the '60s, until revised prescription laws changed her.
Like Warhol, Berlin obsessively used the new technologies of the day to document her own life.  She carried a tape recorder with her everywhere and made tapes of conversations and performances. She documented the artistic milieu with her Polaroid camera and these shots offer a rare glimpse into life at Warhol's Factory. Unlike Warhol, who used the least complicated camera equipment available, Berlin always employed the latest and most innovative technology. She made portraits and still-lifes in double-exposure, a feat not previously achieved with a Polaroid camera. These photographs were the subject of a large exhibition at Heiner Friedrich's gallery in 1971 and later at the Gotham Book Mart.
In the late '60s Berlin was never without her Cock Book, a salesman's sample bible whose blank pages she gradually filled with drawings of male genitalia. Berlin would prevail upon every artist she met at The Factory, Max's Kansas City, and elsewhere to sign and draw phallic imagery on a page of her book. By the early '70s, Berlin's Cock Book had become a notorious underground art project, a lewd version of an autograph book, with pages by Warhol, Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ray Johnson, John Chamberlain, Donald Judd and many others.
Berlin's Polaroids picture Factory luminaries like Warhol, Ondine, Malanga and Candy Darling. Her Trip Books are diaristic collages of clippings, drug labels, drawings by herself and others, and ephemera related to various trips (both drug trips and literal journeys).
This trove includes correspondence with her parents, Polaroids and other photographs, trip books, sketches, scrapbooks, diaries, and printed matter, as follows:
  1. Large Photograph of Very Young Berlin on Phone. Early 1940s.
  2.      10 ¼ x 14 inches; sepia print; pin holes in corners.
  4. Photograph of Young Berlin and Sister. Ca. late 1940s
  5.      7 ½ x 9 ½ inches; vintage silver gelatin print; photographer's studio stamp on verso.
  6.      Image of Berlin and her sister Richie, both attired in fancy long dresses, by society photographer Martin Munkacsi.
  8. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." New York Journal-American. September 2, 1945.
  9.      Sunday newspaper clipping featuring photograph of Honey Berlin and a young Brigid summering in Rye, NY, under a "Smart Set" banner. Page L-8.
  11. Autograph letter signed, to "Dear Mommy and Daddy" from "Brigie." February 18, 1950. New York. One bifoliate leaf, folded vertically; autograph text recto and verso; on Berlin's personal blue stationery.
  12.      A short letter to her absent parents, noting that she and her sister "have been good girls," they were going to see the movie When Willie Comes Marching Home, and that her weight was now "123 and one quarter." She closes with numerous "x" kiss symbols and a poignant sentence: "Write a letter now and then."
  14. Mimeograph of Typescript Interview of Richard Berlin. 1956. 
  15.      5 leaves; stapled upper left corner; one horizontal fold.
  16.      Transcript of an interview of Berlin in Spain by ABC.
  18. Autograph note signed, to "Dear Brigid" from "Dad." n.d. [New York].
  19.      12mo.; two leaves, recto and verso of first, recto only of second; pencil; on stationary printed "From the desk of Richard E. Berlin."
  20.      Angry note from Richard Berlin to his daughter Brigid on the topic of his granting $150 to her, an amount he called an "ADVANCE." He follows this with questions about her lifestyle:
"Did it ever occur to you to get a job? When I was your age I was supporting my mother. Now I am 75 and you and Richie allow me to get up every morning at 7:30 am and spend 10 to 11 hrs. hard work. Will you ever grow up."
7. Typed letter signed, to "Dear Dad" from "Brigid B. Parker" with Three-page Expenses List. October 8, 1962. [New York].
Four leaves, rectos only; first leaf on Hearst Corporation stationary; all pages with autograph notes and emendations.
A formally written note from Berlin to her father, acknowledging and promising repayment of a $9338.81 debt she had incurred from him "for bills which I incurred and you paid for me with the understanding that you were to be reimbursed from my legacy of the Estate of John Coffin." Following is an itemized list of those expenses, with Berlin's autographs notes.
8. Twenty Self-portrait Polaroid Prints. 1960s.
All approx. 3 ½ x 4 ¼ inches; most on stiff mounts; several unmounted and lightly curled; one mounted on foam core; several with inscriptions and notes on verso.
A variety of self-portraits, both clothed and nude, with many created using Berlin's double-exposure photographic technique.
9. Eighteen Polaroid Prints. 1960s.
All approx. 3 ½ x 4 ¼ inches; most on stiff mounts; several unmounted and lightly curled; one mounted on foam core; several with inscriptions and notes on verso.
Numerous examples of Berlin's double-exposure photographic technique, featuring numerous figures associated with Warhol and the Factory.
10. Trip Book: Trip Abroad. 1966.
Narrow 8vo.; lined pages; primarily autograph text, with one large color illustration; printed section at front illustrated with black-and-white drawings; red ribbon page marker; brown leatherette boards, with "Trip Abroad" stamped in gilt on cover; brass corners on front board; spine lightly rubbed.
Features short autograph passages and notes, including one by Ondine.
11. Trip Book. 1966.
8vo.; lined pages; autograph text throughout; illustrated throughout with color and black-and-white drawings and collages; illustrated endpapers; hand painted cloth boards in black, blue, and silver.
Last page lists several phone numbers and addresses, among them ones for Danny Fields and the Factory.
12. Two Photographs of Andy Warhol Photographing Berlin Creating "Tit Prints."
10 x 8 inches; vintage silver gelatin prints; photographer's studio stamps on verso ("Photo Shunk-Kender"); both in glassine sleeves with autograph text in red ink: "Interview 05.67."
13. Photograph of Adult Berlin on Phone. Ca. late 1960s.
9 x 13 ¼ inches; vintage silver gelatin prints; photographer's studio stamp on verso: "Photo Credit Billy Name."
14. Trip Book. Ca. 1968.
8vo.; illustrated throughout with color and black-and-white drawings, with some autograph text; Berlin's ownership stamp on verso of front board; black cloth boards, covered in Air Mail stickers and yellow paper; plain green dust jacket.
With four drawings, loosely held at front and rear boards, one signed and dated.
15. Six Colored Pencil Sketches of Berlin by Viva. October 1, 1971.
4to.; colored pencil on plain white bond; five loose, held with paper clip; one mounted on red construction paper, signed by Viva.
Drawn at the Chelsea Hotel by Warhol Superstar Viva.
16. Large Scrapbook. 1972.
Folio; voluminous original news and magazine clippings, ALS, and ANS written to Berlin from various places and people, including a telegram from Nelson Rockefeller to her father and numerous letters from men responding to a sex ad she placed in Playgirl magazine.
17. Typescript note, signed "Brigid Polk." April 5, 1973. New York.
12mo.; typed on recto only, with one line in red typescript; verso with address stamp; in franked envelope, with address label to Neikrug Gallery and return address stamp.
A brief typescript note to the Neikrug Gallery in New York, stating, "The XL 70 polaroids are for your show! THEY ARE NOT FOR SALE! [in red type] / Would you please send me a receipt for these..." An autograph arrow drawn in the right margin points to Berlin's mailing address stamped on the verso.
18. Brigit Polk: Polaroids and Tapes. Köln: Heiner Friedrich, [1969].
4to.; text only; staple bound; printed wrappers.
Small catalog for an exhibition of Berlin's Polaroids and tapes held at the Heiner Friedrich Gallery in Germany in 1969/1970.
19.  The Pink Scrap Book. 1969.
Folio; copious newspaper and magazine clippings, many annotated in autograph.
A collection of clippings from 1969 concerning Berlin and various Factory figures, as well as pieces on her Cock Book, Andy Warhol, and The Velvet Underground.
20. Envelope from Jasper Johns to Berlin. 1969.
12 x 9; manila paper; franked, with stamps depicting the "First Man on the Moon."
Addressed to Berlin at her room in the George Washington Hotel on Lexington Avenue (#827), with Johns' return address stamped upper left.
21. Two magazine clippings of Warhol Superstars, both including Berlin. Ca. late 1960s/early 1970s.
22. Festival de Cannes 1970: Quinzaine des Realisateurs. Paris: Societe des Realisateurs de Films, [1970].
4to.; text only; staple bound; pictorial one color wrappers.
A program for the 1970 Cannes Film Festival, which featured a screening of Charles Rydell's film, School Play, starring Berlin, Tony Alexander, and Wini Bryan (p.20).
23. New Times. Volume 1, no. 1. April 8, 1970.
Folio; illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs and line drawings; staple bound; pictorial black-and-white wrappers.
The first issue of the counterculture periodical, featuring a segment on Berlin in the article "The New Sexuality" (p.14) and photographs by Peter Hujar.
24. Food Diaries. 1997-2001.
8vo.; blue pages, lined; white ribbon page markers; red leatherette wrappers, stamped in gilt on spine; "BB" stamped in gilt on cover.
Five of the detailed diaries Berlin maintained to document her daily food intake. The entries which include both the type of food eaten and the quantities, begin on June 25, 1997, and continue intermittently over the next five years until August 14, 2001.

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