Confronting Your Professional Legacy: David Paul Bayles (Podcast)

Last fall I received an email from David Paul Bayles, who was a member of my class at the time. The email read, in part:

Recently The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley (third largest special collections library in the U.S.) created The David Paul Bayles Photographic Archive to create a home for my life’s work.

I am driving down to meet with them on Monday to place a large number of prints and oral history audio files into the Archive.

Whoa. How cool is that? A major institution deemed David’s work worthy of saving forever - all together under a single roof.

After peppering David with questions, I knew that his was a story that needed to be shared with you.

I have been concerned about artists’ legacies and what they are doing to prepare themselves and their loved ones for their passing. What happens to the work and the records after they’re gone?

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, David tells us what his professional archives consist of, including his photos, writings, records, and audio files.

He also gives us insight into the process of negotiating with the Library - fascinating stuff. And, yes, it includes lawyers.

Of course, we also talked about his art and why he chose to focus on photographing trees throughout his career. A better way to frame the question is how the trees chose him.

And we ended with a discussion of David’s next big goals. What comes after finding a permanent home for your entire life’s work? For David, it’s an artist residency and a traveling exhibition.

As you listen, pay careful attention to all of the people David has connected with along the way. His story is one of finding and nurturing connections.

And it all started with a fire ...

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