Lee Draper, Estate Trustee
HUBER/HOSSNER ESTATE PROJECT
Before James Huber died of AIDS in 1988, he made arrangements for Lee Draper, friend and soulmate since 1968 to inherit his work including paintings, drawings, sculpture, and documentation for the purpose of stewarding the collection. Huber’s lover and mentee, Michael Hossner, did the same before his death in 1990. Draper established and carried forward the Huber Hossner Estate Project.
Its mission is to steward the artwork and archives of James Huber and Michael Hossner in order to establish their art historical value, record the impact of AIDS on the artists and a generation of artists in the Bay Area, and investigate the social cultural context in which the artists worked to better understand issues of LGBTQ+ discrimination and activism.
Primary strategies of the Huber Hossner Estate Project:
Research and documentation:
- Create a comprehensive database of artworks produced by each artist.
Preserve and conserve:
- Preserve the artwork in stable storage facilities until it can be appropriately dispersed.
- Ensure that archival materials and the database are preserved in public collections and are accessible.
Stimulate public appreciation:
- Develop methods of communicating the significance of the artists and their artwork to both art professionals and the public at large by contextualizing their work in the social-cultural issues surrounding their lives.
Disperse the artwork:
- Careful placement of Huber Hossner artworks through donation to historical archives, museums and art centers, and serious collectors in order to preserve and present their legacies long-term and to stimulate future research and appreciation.
Significant progress has been made in the ensuing 32 years including: acceptance of Huber papers as part of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and completion of a website and a digitized database of the artist’s work including high resolution images.