The Gemini party photo

Curators love a good mystery, and this one has intrigued us for the past week:

Part of the Kenneth Tyler Collection consists of an archive of over 60 000 photographs that document the activities of Tyler’s print workshops. While most of these photos are of artists at work, sometimes we come across photos of artists at play, such as this incredible snapshot of a party:

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The above photo was taken in February, 1968, at Gemini Graphics Edition Limited (GEL) on 8221 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California. While we have been able to identify quite a few of the people in the photo (including a bespectacled Ken Tyler wearing the white T-shirt in the photo’s centre), we are yet to correctly identify everyone.

But the mystery that remains front-and-centre is who is the photographer?

While this may be a question that can never be answered, we are hopeful that some clues will come to light. While we continue our investigations, we thought it would be best to open the question to the wisdom of the crowd: Can you identify any of the colourful characters in this photo? Do you know who the photographer is?

We are fortunate to have a list of names of the people present. So using the diagram below, please feel free to contribute by matching a face to a name in our comments section.

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Here are some close-ups:


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Please feel free to share, comment and invite friends to contribute.

David Greenhalgh
Curatorial Assistant, Kenneth Tyler Collection



  1. Daniel B. Freeman

    Wonderful photo ,could it have been taken by Malcom Lubliner . It is great to see all the crew together . I had not started working at Gemini until a few months later . Bob De La Rocha and I car pooled to work together . Ken is bursting at the seams ! Rosamund is so young ,wow . I have some great photos from 8221 Melrose days . thanks for showing this picture ! Daniel B. Freeman

  2. LG

    Looks like Jasper Johns on left front (46) and that is definitely Bill Crutchfield (21) in the back right. Lots of smokers. Do not see Frank Stella, Leo Castelli or Rauschenburg.

    • tylercollection

      Hello Lindsay,
      We received another email that identifies 46 as John Altoon (personally I suspect that Johns wasn’t in this photo); I’ll update the record with Bill at 21! Thanks for your help – our latest blog post features some lovely photos you took in 1978. I hope you enjoy it!
      David (Tyler Collection team)

      • Lindsay Green

        OK re JJ. I don’t know Altoon so it could well be. Ken Tyler met Crutchfield very early I think when he was in school in Indiana before Tamarind and Los Angeles. LG >

  3. tylercollection

    Thankyou Lindsay! I’m looking to head over to the US next year. Would you be willing to meet to provide an extended oral history on your time at Tyler Graphics? Would be lovely to get your insights into all the artists and their way of working. My email is if this would be of interest?
    Many thanks again Lindsay! 🙂

  4. Thomas Cvikota

    Okay. Here’s a go at a roll-call in no particular order: 1-Larry Bell, 4-Ken Price, 6-Billy Al Bengston, 7-Dana Ruscha, 9-Ed Ruscha, 10-DeWain Valentine, 13-Tony Berlant, 14-Helene Winer, 15-Arne Glimscher, 17-Sid Felsen, 18-Rosmund Felsen, 19-Stanley Grinstein, 21-Bill Crutchfield, 23-Frank Gehry, 26-Patti Olesko/Oldenburg, 27-Jules Engle, 28-Craig Kauffman, 36-Claes Oldenburg, 38-Ron Davis, 39-Riko Mizuno, 40-Eugenie Butler, 41-Elyse Grinstein, 43- Robert Irwin, 46-John Altoon, 47-John Coplans, 49-Irving Blum, 51-Betty Asher, 52-Margo Leavin, 30-Ken Tyler.

    • tylercollection

      Amazing! Thank you Thomas – we suspect a lot of the names that occur on the printed list don’t appear in the photograph, but this looks like an accurate roll call!

      • Thomas Cvikota

        Leo Castelli, Frank Stella, Bob Rauschenberg and The Keinholz’s are definitely not in the photo. If you remember that the location of Gemini was central to the gallery district at the time, those local art dealers, gallery assistants and patrons make up a portion of the community that was always together when there was a party. I completely forgot to identify Kay Tyler (No.57) sitting down front with the dog.

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