A Treasure Hunt


This week, we will be featuring the thoughts of Jerry Gardner, one of the Curatorial Department's volunteers, on his work with the Fayman Archive.

I was recently given a task by Megan, MOPA’s Collections Manager.  I was to inventory 8 boxes that had been recently donated to MOPA.  Megan called it the “Fayman Archive.”  I had heard of the name Fayman and connected it to the Arts in some way.  Danah Fayman, that name was familiar but this was Lynn, which I usually relate to as a female name.  But no, not a female, Lynn was Danah’s deceased husband who had died unexpectedly in 1968.

Who was this man?  I began to unravel the answer.

I was the first person at MOPA to explore the 8 boxes by making a detailed descriptive list and a count of all those objects inside.  I soon found out I wouldn’t know much about the archive as a whole until I had gone through all 8 boxes and correlated the contents.  It was just “stuff” to me in the beginning of this “Treasure Hunt.”

As I explored each box it was like being a voyeur, reading personal and business correspondence, exploring box after box of colored slides, an envelope of white gloves, a hand drawn color sketch (not signed, but obviously drawn by Dr. Seuss), personal photos of family, an award from the Cannes film festival and an award from the Photographic Society of America.

I learned that Lynn Fayman been had a very active volunteer, benefactor, and community supporter of arts organizations in San Diego.  He had been President and an active member of the Board of La Jolla Museum of Art (now the Museum of Contemporary Art) for many years.  He represented the museum in a variety of volunteer positions.  One of their main galleries in La Jolla is dedicated to the Fayman’s legacy.

He was a photographer who was also tied to film making and much of the material in the archive is related to his artistic talents.  Artistic abstraction was his dominant interest in both color and black and white. He lectured, held slide shows, and educated other artists and the public about his ideas and thoughts on art and abstraction.

Check back in the weeks to come as we reveal more about the treasures we uncover!