Joy Goodwin and Ryan Evans
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor and environmental artist Aleksandra Kasuba measure 12.4 linear feet and date from circa 1900-2019, with the bulk of the material from 1960-2010. The collection documents Kasuba's career through biographical material, correspondence, interviews, lectures and writings, extensive project files, printed material, a scrapbook, artwork, and photographs.
Biographical material includes artist's statements and letters of recommendation. Biographical data consists of curriculum vitae, bibliographies, checklists of commissioned work and biographical entries; also found are drafts of biographical accounts used for press releases. Included is a citation to Kasuba from the Women's Architectural Auxiliary, New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in honor of her participation in a West Side urban renewal project. Digital biographical materials include a CV and preserved copies of Kasuba's various websites.
General correspondence mostly consists of invitations to lecture at academic institutions and professional associations. There are letters between Kasuba and interior design firms, publishers, museums, and academic institutions. Included are letters from Columbia University, Museum of Modern Art, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. Correpondence relates to commissioned projects, proposed exhibitions, and the scheduling of workshops and speaking engagements. Also found is correspondence with Thomas Whitridge about the publication of a monograph by Kasuba, extenisve family correspondence in Lithuanian, and correspondence with Algirdas Julien Greimas later organized for a publication.
Writings include various manuscripts and complementary visual schematics that Kasuba worked on throughout her career. Also included are Aleksandra Kasuba's lectures on the effects of alternative living environments on human behavior presented at academic forums and corporations. Writings include an essay by Kasuba and a typescript of an article on Kasuba that was published in Woman's Art Journal (Fall 1988/Winter 1984). Also included is a subseries of journals kept by Kasuba since the 1940s, before her successful emigration to the United States. Many of the earlier journals throughout the 1960s are of mixed Language content, much of them being written in Lithuanian.
Project Files document Kasuba's installations, exhibitions, tensile-fabric dwellings, shell dwellings, and live-in environments. Included are correspondence, artist's statements, project notes, plans, sketches and diagrams, business-related materials including agreements and cost estimates, printed material, clippings, and exhibition installation photographs and slides of artwork. There are files on Aleksandra Kasuba's professional activities, including teaching positions, speaking engagements, and publishing projects. Digital Project Records related to many of Kasuba's projects including digital video recordings are found in this series, as well as one super 8 mm film reel and two 8 mm motion picture film reels.
Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, and brochures; news and magazine clippings document various projects, including Kasuba's wall mosaics, shell dwellings, and alternative living environments. Many of the later tiles in this series are self-published. A scrapbook consists mainly of news clippings and reviews on Kasuba's work.
Artwork consists of sketches and drawings used as preliminary designs for Kasuba's projects. Also included are prints and elements used in the creation of the Jetty print series. Photographs are of Kasuba's wall mosaics, reliefs, space shelters, and live-in environments. Also found are slides and three slide binders of wall installations, shell dwellings, and environments made of tensile fabrics; included are slides used for lectures. Also included are photographs of Kasuba's New York City and New Mexico homes and studios, many in digital format.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2013 by Aleksandra Kasuba. Additions were donated in 2018 by Aleksandra Kasuba and in 2019 by Guoda M. Burr, Kasuba's daughter.
This collection was processed in 2014 by Joy Goodwin. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2016-2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. 2018 and 2019 additions, as well as born-digital content was processed by Ryan Evans in 2019.