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Adrian Piper papers, 1966-1990

Piper, Adrian, 1948-

Conceptual artist, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 10 Linear feet

Summary: Papers related to Piper's dual careers as conceptual artist and philosophy instructor. Personal letters and financial material are also included.
The Adrian Piper papers contain material related to Piper's art career includinc correspondence (1968-1988) with editors, curators, critics and others regarding museum and gallery exhibitions; lectures and panel discussions; and publications by and about Piper, mainly concerned with race and gender in art. Correspondents include Lawrence Alloway, Nancy Buchanan, Nina Felshin, Hans Haacke, Donald Kuspit, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, Rosemary Mayer, William Olander (The New York Museum), Philip Redican, Sam Samore, Terry Wolferton, and others. Subject files on the American Association of Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts panels and the New York State Council on the arts, and printed material including exhibition announcements and clippings are also included. Philosophy career related papers include correspondence (1974-1987) kept while teaching at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and Georgetown University; and graduate school class notes, many with sketches. Personal papers include letters (1965-1990) from friends and family; and financial material such as tax returns and household expenses.

Biographical/Historical Note

Adrian Piper (1948-) is a conceptual artist and philosopher. She taught philosophy at numerous institutions and was the first female African American philosophy professor to receive academic tenure in the United States. Piper moved to Berlin, Germany in 2005 where she now runs the Adrian Piper Research Archive (APRA). In 2012, Piper "publicly retired from being Black."


Donated 1990 by Adrian Piper.

Language Note

Some letters are in German.

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Adrian Piper papers, 1966-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.