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William Brice and Richard Diebenkorn were introduced to each other in 1957.  This encounter was fortuitous.  It set the two artists on to a path that would lead to an abiding and vital friendship.

Their meeting was the result of a chain of events that began in 1952.  In that year, LA gallerist, Paul Kantor, went to New Mexico to see Diebenkorn and his work.  He consequently offered Diebenkorn a show that year and then again in 1954.  Actor Vincent Price, who for a short time had his own “Little Gallery” and was an inveterate art collector, loved Diebenkorn’s work and added Diebenkorn works to his collection.  Price also collected Brice and was a close friend of his wife, Shirley, and his mother, Fanny Brice.  Price sensed that Diebenkorn and Brice had a great deal in common and might enjoy each other.  He invited the Diebenkorns and the Brices to his Bel Air home for a day of swimming with their children, and the two families hit it off instantly.

In 1963, Richard Diebenkorn became the artist-in-residence at Stanford where he worked with photographer and graphic designer Ann Rosener (a.k.a. Ann Perls) on a publication for his 1964 Stanford drawings exhibition.  The Diebenkorns and Rosener became fast friends. Coincidentally, Rosener was also a dear, old friend of the Brices. Before moving to Stanford, she lived and worked in Los Angeles, and for a brief time, was married to Frank Perls, who was Brice’s first LA dealer and intimate friend.  Ann and the Brices shared many of the same close LA friends including Vincent Price, Frank Perls, Richard Neutra, Barbara Poe, Rico Lebrun, and Frances and Sidney Brody.

With the Diebenkorns’ move to Northern California there followed many trips for the Brices and Diebenkorns between the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Then, in 1966, Diebenkorn was invited to become a vesting professor at UCLA where Brice had taught since 1953.  The two men’s friendship and that of their wives grew ever closer.  Born one calendar day apart, Diebenkorn and Brice frequently celebrated their birthdays together.  The cards and novelties given to each other, shown below, rejoice in their great love and care for each other and for their families.  (For more on Diebenkorn, please see: Library/Links/Colleagues and Friends/Diebenkorn, Richard).

BIRTHDAY CARDS – BY DEIBENKORN FOR BRICE

BIRTHDAY CARDS – BY BRICE FOR DIEBENKORN

BIRTHDAY CARDS – BY BRICE AND DIEBENKORN FOR RAY STARK