Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

October 18, 2005-February 24, 2006
Exhibited in AAA's NYC Research Center Gallery

In 1954 when art historian E. P. Richardson and collector Lawrence A. Fleischman founded the Archives, they could not have forseen the enormous changes in store for the American art world, nor the impact of their efforts on the discipline of art history. This exhibit celebrates fifty years of the Archives.

The Archives' collections comprise the world's largest single source for letters, diaries, financial records and unpublished writings, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photographs created by artists, critics, collectors, art dealers, and art societies. What began as a microfilm repository has evolved into a collection of 15 million items strong. By collecting and preserving primary sources that might otherwise be lost, the Archives has been on the scene for the past fifty years, opening new avenues of research for an expanding art world.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Diary

Diary, 1952-1980

Creator: Edgar Preston Richardson

Page from E. P. Richardson’s diary, 1952–80. E. P. (Edgar Preston) Richardson papers, 1893–1994. In 1954, E. P. Richardson (1902–1985), then director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and collector Lawrence A. Fleischman (1925–1997) founded the Archives of American Art. While Richardson’s diary does not mention this significant event, he does note his purchase of two kachina dolls for the Fleischmans.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Barnett Newman letter to Clement Greenberg

Barnett Newman letter to Clement Greenberg, 1955 Aug. 9

Creator: Barnett Newman

Letter from Barnett Newman to Clement Greenberg, 9 Aug. 1955. 2 pp. Clement Greenberg papers, 1937–1984. In his Partisan Review article, “American Type Painting,” critic Clement Greenberg (1909–1994) was the first to group Barnett Newman (1905–1970), Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still together as “color-field painters.” However, in this letter, Newman objects to “errors of fact,” taking issue with the ways Greenberg compared his technique to the others.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Lee Krasner letter to Jackson Pollock

Lee Krasner letter to Jackson Pollock, 1956 July 22

Creator: Lee Krasner

Letter from Lee Krasner to Jackson Pollock, 21 July 1956. 1 p. Jackson Pollock papers, 1912–1975. Unable to convince her husband, Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), to join her in Paris in the summer of 1956, Lee Krasner (1908–1984) corresponded with him in New York. “I miss you & wish you were sharing this with me,” she wrote only three weeks before he died in an auto accident while she was still in Europe.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, 1957

Creator: Arnold Newman

Alexander Calder, 1957. Photograph by Arnold Newman (b. 1918). Arnold Newman photographs of artists, ca. 1940–1960. By 1957, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) was a well-known and prolific sculptor. Pictured here in his Connecticut studio, Calder was no stranger to the camera. Portraits such as this made Calder’s face almost as iconic as his art.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Frank Lloyd Wright to Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) Saarinen

Frank Lloyd Wright to Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) Saarinen, 1958 May 24

Creator: Frank Lloyd Wright

Letter from Frank Lloyd Wright to Aline B. Saarinen, 24 May 1958. 2 pp. Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, 1857–1972. In this letter to the associate art critic for The New York Times, architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1869–1959) sends an “S.O.S.” to save his most recent creation—the Guggenheim Museum building. Wright complains that James Johnson Sweeney, the museum’s director, whom he calls a “picture hanger,” plans to paint the interior “dead-white,” which would destroy the “organic” whole of the building.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Edgar Preston Richardson, N.Y. letter to Rockwell Kent, Detroit, Mich.

Edgar Preston Richardson, N.Y. letter to Rockwell Kent, Detroit, Mich., 1959 June 15

Creator: Edgar Preston Richardson

Letter from E. P. Richardson to Rockwell Kent, 15 June 1959. 1 p. Rockwell Kent papers, ca. 1840–1993. The first director of the Archives wrote to artist Rockwell Kent (1882–1971) asking him to donate his papers. Kent was “naturally flattered” but not interested. Ten years later, Kent lost his home in a fire. The Archives salvaged his papers, which had been six feet under water.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Claes Oldenburg and one of his works in his show The Street at the Reuben Gallery

Claes Oldenburg and one of his works in his show The Street at the Reuben Gallery, 1960 May

Creator: Charles Rapaport

Claes Oldenburg with a figure for his work The Street at the Reuben Gallery, New York, May 1960. Photograph by Charles Rapaport. Rudi Blesh papers, 1909–1983. In the 1960s, Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) and other artists experimented with a new form of theatrical art. They created environments for performances called “Happenings.” Oldenburg's earliest environment, The Street, consisted of grimy figures made of painted cardboard. The Street first appeared at the Judson Memorial Church before being reinstalled at the Reuben Gallery.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hyannis Port, Mass. letter to James Whitney Fosburgh

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hyannis Port, Mass. letter to James Whitney Fosburgh, 1961 Sept. 13

Creator: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Letter from Jacqueline Kennedy to James Whitney Fosburgh, 13 Sept. 1961. 3 pp. James Whitney Fosburgh papers, 1937–1978. Jacqueline Kennedy (1929–1994) resolved to meet the "crying need for some good American pictures" in the White House, as there was "really nothing but late nineteenth-century Presidents in black." She called on painter James Whitney Fosburgh (1910–1978) to oversee the selection of the works, hoping “to acquire permanently … all the finest from this country's past.”

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Harvey Littleton, Clayton Bailey, and Robert Florian among others at a Toledo Museum of Art workshop

Harvey Littleton, Clayton Bailey, and Robert Florian among others at a Toledo Museum of Art workshop, 1962 June

Creator: Robert C. Florian

Participants in the Toledo glass workshop, June 1962. Photograph by Robert C. Florian. Harvey K. Littleton papers, 1946–1975. In 1962, the Toledo Museum of Art hosted glass workshops in March and June. These sessions proved the viability of an artist working alone with a small furnace, which launched the studio glass movement in America.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Alexander Calder's 'Mailbox'

Alexander Calder's 'Mailbox', 1963 Apr.

Creator: Pedro E. Guerrero

Alexander Calder’s studio “mailbox,” April 1963. Photograph by Pedro Guerrero. Howard W. and Jean Lipman papers, 1848, 1916–2000. In 1963, just before this photo was taken, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) donated part of his papers to the Archives including letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, a scrapbook, and writings.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

'The Social Aspects of Nuclear Anxiety'

'The Social Aspects of Nuclear Anxiety', 1964

Brochure, "The Social Aspects of Nuclear Anxiety," 1964. Ben Shahn papers, 1879–1990. Social realist artist Ben Shahn (1898–1969) often lent his art to political causes in the service of peace and tolerance.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Hans Haacke with his 'Wave' sculpture

Hans Haacke with his 'Wave' sculpture, 1965

Creator: Eric Pollitzer

Hans Haacke with his Wave sculpture, 1965. Photograph by Eric Pollitzer. Rudi Blesh papers, 1920–1986. Conceptual artist Hans Haacke (b. 1936) wanted his audience to engage physically with his art, so he made “something the spectator handles, an object to be played with.” 1965 was a significant year for Haacke: he moved permanently to the U.S., and his water sculptures were exhibited in New York to critical acclaim.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Marcel Breuer on the “Today” show

Marcel Breuer on the “Today” show, 1966

Marcel Breuer on the set of the Today show, 1966. Marcel Breuer papers, 1920–1986. Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) is one of the most influential architects and designers of the 20th century. He was interviewed on the Today show about his new building for the Whitney Museum of American Art on Madison Avenue, a dramatic cube-like structure with a tiered overhang above a sculpture court.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Felt

Felt, 1967

Creator: Robert Morris

Robert Morris’s Untitled, 1967; and felt material used in the sculpture. Photograph by Rudolph Burckhardt. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. In the fall of 1967, Robert Morris (b. 1931) was just beginning to investigate the sculptural possibilities of felt. He cut, rolled, stacked, and hung the felt, allowing the pieces to take their own shape as they fell in a random arrangement. A year later, Morris articulated a new post-minimalist concern with the physical manipulation of materials and the effects of external forces, such as gravity and time.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Untitled by Robert Morris

Untitled by Robert Morris, 1967

Creator: Rudy Burckhardt

Robert Morris’s Untitled, 1967; and felt material used in the sculpture. Photograph by Rudolph Burckhardt. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. In the fall of 1967, Robert Morris (b. 1931) was just beginning to investigate the sculptural possibilities of felt. He cut, rolled, stacked, and hung the felt, allowing the pieces to take their own shape as they fell in a random arrangement. A year later, Morris articulated a new post-minimalist concern with the physical manipulation of materials and the effects of external forces, such as gravity and time.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Walter De Maria letter to Robert Scull

Walter De Maria letter to Robert Scull, 1968 Oct. 25

Creator: Walter De Maria

Letter from Walter De Maria to Robert Scull, 25 Oct. 1968. 4 pp. Robert Scull papers, ca. 1968–1983. In 1968, artist Walter De Maria (b. 1935) gained an international reputation as a leader in earthworks, when he filled the Galerie Heiner Friedrich in Munich with dirt. In this letter to collector Robert Scull (1917–1986), De Maria apologizes for mistaken reports of Scull’s patronage in the European press. De Maria indicates his distrust of reporters for their “extensions of fact” and “assumptions.”

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

13 demands

13 demands, 1969 Jan. 28

“13 Demands” of The Art Workers Coalition, submitted to Mr. Bates Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, 28 Jan. 1969. Virginia Admiral papers, ca. 1947–1980. When the kinetic artist Takis removed one of his own art works from the Museum of Modern Art in 1969, he was making the revolutionary claim that although MoMA owned the artwork, the artist had the right to control its exhibition and treatment. This prompted the formation of the Art Workers Coalition, the first act of which was to make “13 Demands” of MoMA, emphasizing artists’ rights.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Lucy R. Lippard, New York, N.Y. letter to Gloria Steinem

Lucy R. Lippard, New York, N.Y. letter to Gloria Steinem, 1972 Feb. 28

Creator: Lucy R. Lippard

Letter from Nancy Spero to Lucy Lippard, 29 Oct. 1971. 1 p. Lucy Lippard papers, 1940s–1995. Artist Nancy Spero (b. 1926) defiantly states her feminist sensibilities in this letter to art writer and activist Lucy Lippard (b. 1937).

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Nancy Spero letter to Lucy R. Lippard

Nancy Spero letter to Lucy R. Lippard, 1971 Oct. 29

Creator: Nancy Spero

Letter from Lucy Lippard to Gloria Steinem, 28 Feb. 1972. 1 p. Lucy Lippard papers, 1940s–1955. In December 1971, Gloria Steinem (b. 1934) launched Ms. magazine as a sample insert in New York magazine. Just two months later, Lucy Lippard (b. 1937), a feminist critic and activist, wrote to Steinem eager for an opportunity to write about women artists. While Lippard never had a column in Ms., she did write articles for the magazine that focused on women in the visual arts.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

U.C. Irvine Art Gallery exhibition catalog for Los Four: Almaraz/de la Rocha/Lujan/Romero

U.C. Irvine Art Gallery exhibition catalog for Los Four: Almaraz/de la Rocha/Lujan/Romero, 1973

Creator: Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine

Exhibition catalog for Los Four: Almaraz/de la Rocha/Lujan/Romero , 10 Nov. – 9 Dec. 1973. UC Irvine and LACMA. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto Research Material on Chicano Art, 1965–2003. In 1973, Carlos Almaráz (1941–1989), Frank Romero (b. 1941), Gilbert Lujan (b. 1940), and Beto de la Rocha (dates unknown) founded the art collective Los Four. Their collaborative murals and public installations brought Chicano street art to the attention of the mainstream art community of Los Angeles. Theirs was the first Chicano exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for which Romero designed the foldout catalog.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Sheet of stamps including John Frederick Peto's Old Time Letter Rack

Sheet of stamps including John Frederick Peto's Old Time Letter Rack, 1974

Page of U.S. postal stamps, issued 1974. John F. Peto and Peto family papers, ca. 1880–1974. In 1974 the U.S. Postal Service issued a 10-cent stamp featuring works by trompe l'oeil, or “fool the eye,” painter John Frederick Peto (1854–1907). His Old Time Letter Rack (1894), in the Manoogian Collection, celebrates the material qualities of letters and stamps.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Flyer “To the American AA Community from Artists meeting for Cultural Changes”

Flyer “To the American AA Community from Artists meeting for Cultural Changes”, 1975

Open letter “To the American Art Community from Artists Meeting for Cultural Change,” 1975. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. This open letter to the American Art Community expresses artist dissatisfaction with the boundaries of cultural institutions in the mid-1970s. These artists were increasingly frustrated with what they perceived as “discriminatory” museum practices, particularly the exclusion of blacks and women from a three-century survey exhibition of American art.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Empire State Building lighted for the Bicentennial

Empire State Building lighted for the Bicentennial, 1976

Empire State Building lighted for the Bicentennial, 1976. Photographer unknown. Douglas Leigh papers, 1903–1999. In 1976, Douglas Leigh (1902–1999), who brought animated billboards to Times Square, introduced colored exterior lighting to New York’s Empire State Building. This photograph shows the iconic tower lighted in red, white, and blue in celebration of the American Bicentennial. Today, the Douglas Leigh Organization remains the building’s lighting consultant.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Stock card for jewelry order

Stock card for jewelry order, 1977 Feb. 17

Creator: Miye Matsukata

Stock Card, 1977. Miye Matsukata papers, 1924–1982. This card shows the plans and price for jewelry designed by Miye Matsukata (1922–1981), a Japanese-American jeweler famed for her multicultural influences and wide assortment of materials. In the mid-1970s, she studied with Arline Fisch at Boston University, where she learned to use textile techniques on metal. The piece planned here features a crocheted necklace and a South American-inspired pendant.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Howard Finster letter to Herbert Waide Hemphill

Howard Finster letter to Herbert Waide Hemphill, ca. 1978

Creator: Howard Finster

Letter from The Reverend Howard Finster to Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., ca. 1979. 1p; and postcard of Howard Finster’s Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1979. Herbert Waide Hemphill papers, 1929–1995. In 1979, self-taught artist Howard Finster (1916–2001) painted a portrait of folk art collector Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. (1929–1998). Finster wrote, “I have your painting about half don [sic] it will take about two more weeks to finish it. I think it is going to be one of the worlds [sic] master pieces.” He dubbed Hemphill, “the man who preserves the lone and forgotten.”

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Postcard with reproduction of portrait of Herbert Wade Hemphill, Jr. by Howard Finster

Postcard with reproduction of portrait of Herbert Wade Hemphill, Jr. by Howard Finster, 1979

Letter from The Reverend Howard Finster to Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., ca. 1979. 1p; and postcard of Howard Finster’s Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1979. Herbert Waide Hemphill papers, 1929–1995. In 1979, self-taught artist Howard Finster (1916–2001) painted a portrait of folk art collector Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. (1929–1998). Finster wrote, “I have your painting about half don [sic] it will take about two more weeks to finish it. I think it is going to be one of the worlds [sic] master pieces.” He dubbed Hemphill, “the man who preserves the lone and forgotten.”

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Christo memorandum to Ellen H. Johnson

Christo memorandum to Ellen H. Johnson, 1980

Memorandum from Christo re: The Gates, 1980. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. This 1980 memo from Christo gives the early specifications for The Gates. Although Christo and Jeanne-Claude (both b. 1935) began developing the project in 1979, it was not installed in New York’s Central Park until February 12, 2005.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Keith Haring button

Keith Haring button, ca. 1986

Creator: Keith Haring

Keith Haring pin, ca. 1981. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. Keith Haring (1958–1990) became an underground celebrity in the 1980s by drawing chalk pictograms on the black paper covering out-dated ads in New York subways. The radiant baby design featured on this button was his signature image.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

The panel 'Artistic Expressions in the Barrio' at the Califas conference on Chicano art and culture in California, held at the University of California at Santa Cruz

The panel 'Artistic Expressions in the Barrio' at the Califas conference on Chicano art and culture in California, held at the University of California at Santa Cruz, 1982 Apr. 16 through 18

Creator: Jim Hess

Panel discussion, “Artistic Expressions in the Barrio,” at the Califas conference, University of California at Santa Cruz, 16–18 April 1982. Photograph by Jim Hess. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto Research Material on Chicano Art, 1965–2003. The Califas conference provided a forum for planning a major traveling exhibition of Chicano art. This panel examined the barrio, or sense of community, as the root of Chicano cultural expression. Participants included Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Jose Montoya, Carmen Lomas Garza, Pedro Castillo, Sue Martinez, and Harry Gamboa, Jr. The conference represents the rise of critical methodologies that focus on race, gender, ethnicity, and social class.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Power, The East Village

Power, The East Village, 1983 Oct. 18

Creator: Kim Levin

Newspaper clipping, “Power, The East Village” by Kim Levin, Village Voice, 18 Oct. 1983. Gracie Mansion Gallery records, 1982–1989. The East Village art scene of the 1980s spawned more than 180 galleries in and around Alphabet City — Avenues A, B, C, and D — an economically depressed and ethnically diverse neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The popular press celebrated the scene, a “baby-boom bohemia,” where one could find the trendiest art at low prices.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Mary Miss letter to Ellen H. Johnson

Mary Miss letter to Ellen H. Johnson, 1985 Feb. 24

Creator: Mary Miss

Letter from Mary Miss to Ellen Hulda Johnson, 24 Feb. 1985. 2pp.; and announcement for reception of the South Cove, Battery Park City, 12 July 1988. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. In this letter to art historian Ellen Hulda Johnson (1910–1992), artist Mary Miss (b. 1944) mentions deadlines for several works including the South Cove, on which she collaborated with landscape architect Susan Child and architect Stan Eckstut. The piece is considered one of the most significant public works of art. It incorporates both natural and constructed elements to create a meditative, ecologically sensitive environment.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Announcement for reception of the South Cove Battery park

Announcement for reception of the South Cove Battery park, 1988 July 12

Letter from Mary Miss to Ellen Hulda Johnson, 24 Feb. 1985. 2pp.; and announcement for reception of the South Cove, Battery Park City, 12 July 1988. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939–1980. In this letter to art historian Ellen Hulda Johnson (1910–1992), artist Mary Miss (b. 1944) mentions deadlines for several works including the South Cove, on which she collaborated with landscape architect Susan Child and architect Stan Eckstut. The piece is considered one of the most significant public works of art. It incorporates both natural and constructed elements to create a meditative, ecologically sensitive environment.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Richard Serra v. United States General Services Administration et al. legal files

Richard Serra v. United States General Services Administration et al. legal files, 1987

Creator: Gustave Harrow

Legal records relating to Richard Serra v. United States General Services Administration et al., 1985–1987. Richard Serra’s (b. 1939) Tilted Arc (1981) sparked an eight-year legal battle, when erected at 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan. Those working in the area demanded that the giant structure be relocated, which Serra viewed as equivalent to destroying it. In 1989, the sculpture was removed. This historic case raised questions about the relationship between the artist and the public space.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Philip Pearlstein letter to Sue (Sue A.) Scott

Philip Pearlstein letter to Sue (Sue A.) Scott, 1988 Jan. 21

Creator: Philip Pearlstein

Letter from Philip Pearlstein to Sue Scott, 21 Jan. 1988. 1 p. Letters to Sue Scott from artists, 1987–1988. Between 1987 and 1988, Sue Scott contacted artists represented in the Ellen and Jerome Westheimer Collection to request descriptions of their works for an exhibition at the Oklahoma Art Center. Philip Pearlstein (b. 1924), who is known for his cool realism, writes: “This work [Reclining Nude on a Leather Couch] from 1969 seems … to have an almost arcahaic [sic] classical quality … since departed from my work.”

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Notes about

Notes about "Make Rice, Not War", 1989

Creator: Roger Shimomura

Part of the script for California Sushi by Roger Shimomura (b. 1939), 1989. Roger Shimomura papers, 1965–1990. Painter, printmaker, and performance artist Roger Shimomura’s California Sushi is a suite of short performance pieces with three components: a large screen TV monitor, projected slides, and a solo performer. Shimomura’s work investigates his own Japanese American identity and issues of tolerance and tension.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Stop Helms stickers

Stop Helms stickers, ca. 1990

Sheet of “Stop Helms” stickers, ca. 1990. Probably produced by ACT-UP. Lucy Lippard papers, 1940s–1995. In 1990, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) launched a yearlong boycott of Philip Morris’ Marlboro cigarettes and Miller beer to protest the company’s support of Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, an outspoken opponent of AIDS funding and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Mamie Deschillie with one of her cardboard cutouts

Mamie Deschillie with one of her cardboard cutouts, ca. 1992

Creator: Chuck Rosenak

Mamie Deschillie, ca. 1990–1992. Photograph by Chuck Rosenak. Chuck and Jan Rosenak Research Material, 1990–1997. In the early 1990s, Chuck and Jan Rosenak searched for Navajo art to include in their book, The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art (1994). Chuck Rosenak photographed the artists. Here, Mamie Deschillie, wearing her finest jewelry, poses with one of her cardboard cutouts at her home in New Mexico. The Rosenaks’ books reflect the expanding audience for American folk art.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Morris Kadish at Stonehenge

Morris Kadish at Stonehenge, 1992

Creator: Ruth Kadish

Reuben Kadish at Stonehenge, 1992. Photographer unknown. Reuben Kadish papers, 1851–1995. In early 1992, Reuben Kadish (1913–1992) visited ancient stone monuments while touring Cornwall and Wales. That summer, a major retrospective of his work, primarily inspired by the ancient sculpture of places like Mexico and India, was held at the Art Gallery of the State University at Stony Brook. Kadish died of complications from chronic leukemia in September 1992.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Guerrilla Girls letter to Arthur Coleman Danto

Guerrilla Girls letter to Arthur Coleman Danto, 1995 May 20

Creator: Guerrilla Girls (Group of artists)

Letter from the Guerilla Girls to Arthur C. Danto, 20 May 1995. Arthur Coleman Danto papers, 1979–1998. Since their founding in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls have been committed to raising awareness of the art world's attitudes toward women. To conceal their identities, they adopt the names of dead female artists and wear gorilla masks for public appearances. They have published several books and other literature to demand recognition and respect for female artists.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Dale Chihuly letter to Arthur Coleman Danto

Dale Chihuly letter to Arthur Coleman Danto, 1996 Jan. 8

Creator: Dale Chihuly

Letter (fax) from Dale Chihuly to Arthur C. Danto, 8 Jan. 1996. Arthur Coleman Danto papers, 1979–1998. In this illustrated New Year’s greeting fax to Arthur Danto (b. 1924), Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) expresses his excitement about the grand finale of his two-year “Chihuly over Venice” project. The architectural glass art project culminated in the hanging of fourteen chandeliers at various sites in Venice.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Dan Dailey letter to William Daley

Dan Dailey letter to William Daley, 1998 Oct. 14

Creator: Dan Owen Dailey

Letter from Dan Dailey to William Daley, 14 Oct. 1998. William P. Daley papers, 1905–2003. Glass artist Dan Dailey (b. 1947) cites William Daley (b. 1925) as his most influential professor at the Philadelphia College of Art. Dailey is currently a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art, where he founded the Glass Department in 1973. In this letter to his mentor, Dan Dailey reflects on the importance of teaching art as both student and professor.

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Fifty Documents from the First Fifty Years of the Archives of American Art, 1954-2004

Wayne Thiebaud letter to Hassel Smith

Wayne Thiebaud letter to Hassel Smith, 1999

Creator: Wayne Thiebaud

Sketch with note from Wayne Thiebaud to Hassel Smith on the reverse, 1999. Hassel Smith papers, 1916–2003. Hassel Smith (b. 1915) is considered a West Coast legend for his role in the Bay Area Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1950s and 60s. This sketch by fellow Californian artist Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) accompanied a note thanking Smith, his longtime friend, for visiting the University of California in Davis, where Thiebaud serves as Professor Emeritus.

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