Tony Berlant

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Baba's Door by Tony Berlant, Spalding House, Honolulu, collaged metal, 1988

Tony Berlant (born 1941) is an American artist who was born in New York City. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a BA (1961) and MA (1962) in painting and an MFA (1963) in sculpture. He has a large collection of Southwestern Native American art, especially Mimbres pottery and Navajo rugs.[1] He lives and works in Santa Monica, California.

Personal life[edit]

Berlant is Jewish.[2] His daughter is Kate Berlant.


Berlant became known for his collages of found metal objects. More recently, he has used tin of his own manufacture, gaining controle over the color.[3] The Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts (Stanford, California), the Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, California, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, California), the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, California), the Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, California), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Sheldon Museum of Art (Lincoln, Nebraska), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), and the Wichita Art Museum (Wichita, Kansas) are among the public collections holding work by Tony Berlant.[4]

Mimbres pottery[edit]

Berlant was a founding member of the Mimbres Foundation, a Los Angeles-based archaeological conservancy attempting to protect vulnerable Mimbres sites. [5] The Mimbres Foundation also assembled the first photographic archive of all known Mimbres figurative pottery. This archive is currently maintained by the University of New Mexico. [6] Parts of the archive are available online.[7]

Berlant worked with archhaeologist Steven A. LeBlanc and others in attempts to attribute Mimbres painted pottery to specific (but still anonymous) Native artists. Berlant and LeBlanc found that (in their opinions)a relatively small number of Mimbres artists made the majority of the ancient pottery, perhaps as few as 2 or 3 artists per village at any given time. [6] Berlant identified one prolific artist he called the "Rabbit Master," who painted rabbits in Figure-ground reversal. Examples are given in a later paper by Russell and Hegmon, which gives examples and photos of other ancient Mimbreño artists' work.[8]


  • Brody, J. J. et al., Mimbres Pottery Ancient Art of the American Southwest with introduction by Tony Berlant, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1983 ISBN 0933920466
  • Clothier, Peter, Tony Berlant: Recent Work 1982-1987, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1987 ISBN 0936429089
  • Fourcade, Xavier, Tony Berlant New Work 1985-1986, publisher: Xavier Fourcade, 1986
  • Fujinami, Josine & Niriko Fujinami, Individual Realities In The California Art Scene Exhibition, Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, May 11 - June 10, 1991 Text in English and Japanese Artists in the exhibit: Peter Alexander, Carlos Almarez, Tony Berlant, Laurie Brown, Suzanne Caporae Ianco-Starreles, Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1991
  • Holstein, Jonathan & Robert MacDonald, Artist's Quilts: Quilts by ten contemporary artists in collaboration with Ludy Strauss. Peter Alexander / Charles Arnoldi / Tony Berlant / Ron Cooper / Guy Dill / Laddie John Dill / Claire Falkenstein / Charles Garabedian / Craig Kauffman / Ken Price, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, 1981
  • Honolulu Museum of Art, Spalding House: Self-guided Tour, Sculpture Garden, 2014, p. 2.
  • L A Louver Gallery, Tony Berlant: Recent Work, L.A. Louver, Los Angeles, 1988
  • L A Louver Gallery, Tony Berlant New Work 1990-93, L A Louver, 1993
  • Paul, Stella & Cheryl A. Brutvan, Tony Berlant: Recent Work, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas, 1982
  • Plake, Tony, Katherine Plake & Hough Berlant, Navajo Blankets from the Collection of Tony Berlant, Palm Springs Desert Museum, 1991
  • Plous, Phyllis, Sculptural Perspectives : An Exhin=bition of Small Sculptures of the 70s. Joel Shapiro - Judy Pfaff - Don Johnson - Tony Berlant - Thomas Bang, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1979
  • Sachs, Sid, An Inside Place; Interior Spaces of the Mind and Ey By Tony Berlant, Robert Bingham, March Hermansader, Jane Irish, Jess, Irving Perlin, H. C. Westermann, Noyes Museum, Oceanville NJ, 1985
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, Tony Berlant: The Marriage of New York and Athens, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1974


  1. ^ Honolulu Museum of Art, Spalding House: Self-guided Tour, Sculpture Garden, 2014, p. 2.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Honolulu Museum of Art, Spalding House: Self-guided Tour, Sculpture Garden, 2014, p. 2.
  4. ^ L. A. Louver Gallery, Venice, California
  5. ^ J. J. Brody, Mimbres painted pottery. 1977, Santa fe, School of American Research. ISBN 0826304524
  6. ^ a b Stephen A. LeBlanc, Painted by a Distant Hand: Mimbres Pottery from the American Southwest, Peabody Museum Collection Series, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. 2004
  7. ^ Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database
  8. ^ Russell, Will G.; Hegmon, Michelle Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 3, Number 4, November 2015, pp. 358-377.(20) Publisher: Society for American Archaeology. Full text copy (including photos): [1]