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Happy Birthday Jonathan : original drawing

Identifier: GRA 0099-F0005

Scope and Content Note

Includes one original drawing by American painter, illustrator, and author Joe Brainard (1942-1994). The drawing is of a teddy bear with a small bow tied around its neck and the phrase "Happy Birthday Jonathan" written on its chest. Behind the bear is a hand-drawn checkerboard pattern. The drawing, which was done in black marker, is glued to a white backing board. The item is unsigned and undated.


  • Creation: undated


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

American painter, illustrator, and author Joe Brainard was born March 11, 1942, in Salem, Arkansas. Brainard grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended high school with future New York School poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup. At the age of 19 Brainard moved to New York City, where he met and befriended additional New York School poets, including Ted Berrigan and Kenward Elmslie. He became a frequent collaborator with members of the New York School, illustrating more than a dozen books of poetry over his 30 year career. He worked most frequently with Kenward Elmslie, with whom he was in a long-term relationship and spent summers in Vermont.

In addition to working as an illustrator, Brainard also authored over 18 volumes of prose-poems, designed sets for several plays (including LeRoi Jones’s "The Toilet" and Frank O’Hara’s "The General"), and exhibited several collections of collage, watercolor, and painting.

Brainard died from complications of AIDS in Manhattan on May 25, 1994.

Smith, Roberta. "Joe Brainard, Artist, Theater Set Designer And Poet, Dies at 52." New York Times, May 27, 1994, B8.


1 item : drawing : marker, black ; image 14 x 9 cm, glued to board 20 x 12 cm


Includes one original drawing by American painter, illustrator, and author Joe Brainard (1942-1994).


Purchase, 2009.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of GRA 0099 Miscellaneous Graphic Materials.

Shelving Summary

  1. Shelved in SPEC GRA manuscript boxes


Processed and encoded by Lora J. Davis, October 2009.

Finding aid for Happy Birthday Jonathan : original drawing
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2009 October 1
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA