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Featured Exhibition

Pushing the Envelope: Mail Art from the Archives of American Art

Mail art (alternatively called “correspondence art” or “postal art”) emerged as a form of artistic practice in which an international network of participants use the mail to make art and share it with others regarding culture and communications, creatively sidestepping the art market and, in many instances, eluding government censors.

Collections on View

  • Organized by Curator of Manuscripts Mary Savig, the exhibition revisits a 1977 exhibition at Los Angeles’ Woman’s Building, a feminist art school, gallery, and community space founded by Judy Chicago, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, and Arlene Raven in 1971. The Archives, which holds the Woman’s Building papers in its collections, will reconsider this exhibition by showing responses from the 1977 show alongside new submissions by both original participating artists as well as a new generation of diverse artists. Approximately 75 works will be on view.
    What is Feminist Art? is now on view at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C.

News

Jan. 29, 2021

The Archives of American Art Journal is planning a special issue showcasing new approaches to oral archives. We invite proposals for manuscripts that ask: What distinguishes oral evidence from other kinds of primary sources? What critical tools do scholars need to interpret that kind of evidence in innovative ways? How have scholars relied on oral narratives to construct histories of American art, and what have been the benefits or limitations of doing so?

Nov. 30, 2020

The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution is pleased to announce the launch of the Pandemic Oral History Project, a series of 85 newly conducted interviews of American artists and art world figures living and working through the seismic events of 2020.

On the Blog

Terra Foundation Center for Digital Collections

A virtual repository of a substantial cross-section of the Archives' most significant collections.

Visit the Terra Foundation Center for Digital Collections

Visit a Research Center

Original material can be consulted by appointment in our Washington, D.C. Headquarters.

Select holdings are available on microfilm at the Archives' offices in Washington, D.C. and at our New York Office.

Copies of unrestricted microfilm materials can be obtained through one of our affiliated research centers.

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