Rat Bastard Protective Association

The Rat Bastard Protective Association was an informal group of Beat and Funk artists who worked and exhibited together in San Francisco, California from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s. The association was founded by and the group's name was coined by Bruce Conner in 1959. [Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Interview with Bruce Conner, Conducted by Paul Karlstrom in San Francisco, California, August 12, 1974:

"Bruce Conner: I sent announcements to eight or nine people, ten people probably, telling them that they were all members of the Rat Bastard Protective Association. I was president. They should pay their dues. The next meeting was scheduled at my house. Then it was scheduled after that for every couple of weeks at Fred Martin's, or Joan Brown's, or Wally's house, or wherever."
] Its original members include: Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Wallace Berman, Jess Collins, George Herms, and Bruce Conner. [Michael Ducan, Art in America, "The Self and Its Symbols", May 2000,
...from 1959 to 1966...the Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Wallace Berman, Jess, George Herms, and Bruce Conner... group was jokingly dubbed by Bruce Conner the Rat Bastard Protective Association."
] Conner coined the name as a play on 'Scavengers Protective Society'. [James Boaden, Ruin of the Nineteenth Century: The Assemblage Work of Bruce Conner, 1957 – 1962 [www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/publications/papers/journal2/acrobat_files/boaden_article.pdf] ]

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