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Arnold Mesches papers, 1939-2015

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Series 5: Project Files , 1950s-2014
5.3 Linear feet
Box 3-8, 15, OV 16-19

Project files date from 1950s-2014 and consist of grant files, activism files, project notebooks, and art projects. Grant files include correspondence and writings for various grant and fellowship applications and awards. Activism files pertain to the Los Angeles Peace Tower, Arts Coalition for Freedom of Expression, and the pardon of muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Peace Tower files contain mailing lists, a prospectus, account statements, petitions, photographic material, printed material, and a large amount of correspondence, primarily between Irving Petlin, one of the work's principal organizers, and other artists and curators including Rudolf Baranik, Jay de Feo, Elaine de Kooning, Leon Golub, Max Kozloff, and Mesches. It is unclear how Mesches came to possess this selection of material, although he was one of the organizers. One file pertains to the restaging of the work at the Whitney Museum in 2006.
Eight project notebooks (disbound) contain preliminary sketches, technical notes including color palette and paint formulas, Polaroids of in-process works, and source material. These detailed notebooks document Mesches' process from source material to finished work.
In addition, over 100 art project files further detail individual works, and include preliminary drawings in pen, pencil and charcoal, as well as collages, source material, and Polaroids. File titles primarily reference titles of works, however a few file titles describe the subject or genre, including murals, illustrations of courtrooms and trials, landscapes, and others. Several of Mesches' serial works are well represented here, including Anomie, Comings Attractions, and The FBI Files. The source material for The FBI Files is also found here, which consists of Mesches' declassified FBI file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request in 1999.
The series is arranged as four subseries.
  • 5.1: Grant Files, 1985-2014
  • 5.2: Activism Files, 1960s-2006
  • 5.3: Project Notebooks, 1977-2015
  • 5.4: Art Projects, 1950s-2010
5.1: Grant Files, 1985-2014
0.2 Linear feet
Box 3-4
DescriptionContainer
Creative Capital, 2002-2004
3
48
Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, 2002-2008
3
49
Golden Foundation, 2003
3
50
Gottlieb Foundation, 1986-1994
3
51
Guggenheim Foundation, 2005-2014
4
1
Percent for Art, 1992-1999
4
2
Pollack Krasner Foundation, 2002-2009
4
3
Grants, Assorted, 1985-2010
4
4
5.2: Activism Files, 1960s-2006
0.3 Linear feet
Box 4
DescriptionContainer
Artist Protest Committee, Peace Tower, 1965-1966
4
5-8
Artist Protest Committee, Peace Tower, Whitney Museum, 2005-2006
4
9
Arts Coalition for Freedom of Expression (ACFE), 1990
4
10
Pardon of David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1960s
4
11
5.3: Project Notebooks, 1977-2015
1 Linear foot
Box 4-5
DescriptionContainer
Notebook, 1977-1983
4
12-13
Notebook, 1984
4
14-15
Notebook, "My First Year in NY", 1985
4
16-17
Notebook, 1985-1987
4
18-19
Notebook (folder 1/2), 1988-1989
4
20
Notebook (folder 2/2), 1988-1989
5
1
Notebook, "The Anomie Series", 1989-1996
5
2-3
Notebook, "Childhood Memories, Sunsets", 1994-1995
5
4
Notebook, "FBI Files, Reflections", 2003-2015
5
5
5.4: Art Projects, 1950s-2010
3.8 Linear feet
Box 5-8, 15, OV 16-19
DescriptionContainer
9 Paintings of Kids, 1995
5
6
Al Parker, 2006
5
7
Anna, A Narrative Essay of Photographs and Paintings, 2000s
5
8
Anomie, Dog Eared, 2006
5
9
Anomie 5, The Mirage, 1999
5
10
Anomie 6, Punta, Bombay, 1990s
5
11
Anomie Series, General, 1990s
5
12
Back Lighting, 1990s
5
13
Bicentennial, 1990s
5
14
The Big Picture, 1990s
5
15
Blind Light, 1990s
5
16
Body Parts, circa 2010
5
17
The Boy's Band, 1990s
5
18
The Brass Ring, 1996
5
19
Brushes, Daily Photo Documentation, 1990s
5
20
Camouflage, 1990s
5
21
Castellani Portrait, 1998
5
22
Coming Attractions 1, Coming Attractions 2, 2005
5
23
Coming Attractions 3, 2005
5
24
Coming Attractions 4, 2005
5
25
Coming Attractions 5, 2005
5
26
Coming Attractions 6, 2006
5
27
Coming Attractions 8, 2006
5
28
Coming Attractions 10, 2006
5
29
Coming Attractions 11, 2006
5
30
Coming Attractions 16, 2007
5
31
Coming Attractions 17, 2007
5
32
Coming Attractions 19, 2008
5
33
Coney, circa 2001
6
1
Contra Posta, 1990s
6
2
Convention and Election Illustrations, circa 1952
6
3
The Curtain, 1997-1998
6
4
Degenerate Art, 1990
6
5
Devil Moon, 1998-1999
6
6
Diaspora, 1999
6
7
The Doll House, 1990s
6
8
Dream of Reason, 1991
6
9
Echoes, 2001
6
10
The Emperor's Way, 1996
6
11
Family Portrait, circa 1993
6
12
FBI Files, 1997-2001
6
13
FBI Files, Source Material, 1990s
6
14-21
Fire and Halloween, 2006
6
22
Fish Out of Water, 2003
6
23
Flamingo, circa 1995
6
24
The Flea Market, 1994
6
25
Flying Buttresses, 1990s
6
26
Flying Down to Rio, 1998
6
27
Full Circle, 1991
6
28
The Gate, 1996
7
1
The Gold Chain, 1996
7
2
The Greatest Show on Earth 2, 2004
7
3
The Greatest Show on Earth 3, 2004
7
4
The Greatest Show on Earth 4, The Greatest Show on Earth 5, 2004
7
5
The Greatest Show on Earth 6, 2004
7
6
The Greatest Show on Earth 7, 2005
7
7
The Greatest Show on Earth Series, General, 2003-2005
7
8
Halos, 1990s
7
9
Hearing Illustrations, circa 1951
7
10
Isometric Perspective, 1985
7
11
It's a Circus, 2004
7
12
Jet Star, 2000
7
13
Landscape Painting, 1992
7
14
Landscape Painting, 2009
7
15
Lead Soldiers, 1996
7
16
Light Source, 2009
7
17
The Lighter, 1995
7
18
The Longest Day of the Year, 1996
7
19
Ma, 1970s-2000s
7
20
Morgan Die Welt, 1990s
7
21
Mural Projects, 1970s
7
22
Nancy Reagan's Dream, 1990s
7
23
Negative Spaces, 1990s
7
24
Noise, 2000s
7
25
Nostalgia, 1991
7
26
The Occupation, 1990s
7
27
The Oompah Band, 1990s
7
28
Paint Series, 2010
7
29
El Paradiso, 1990s
7
30
Pin Ups, 1998
7
31
Portraits, Weisman, 1989-1990
7
32
Portraiture, 2009
7
33
Postcards, 1990s
7
34
Present Tense, 2006
7
35
Read for Knowledge, 1996
7
36
Rosenberg Case, 1960s
8
1
The Salute, 1996
8
2
The School Play, 1990s
8
3
Self Portrait, Triptych, 2006
8
4
Self Portraits, 2000s
8
5
Smoke Time, 1995
8
6
Social Realism, 2009
8
7
Steel, 1990s
8
8
The Training Bout, 1990s
8
9
Trial Illustrations, 1950s
8
10
True Blue, 1991
8
11
Tungsten Light, 1990s
8
12
Under the Tent, 1995
8
13
Waiter, 2006
8
14
Weather Patterns 1 (Chariot), 2008
8
15
Weather Patterns 2, 2008-2009
8
16
Weather Patterns 3, 2007
8
17
Weather Patterns 4, 2009
8
18
Weather Patterns 5, 2009
8
19
Weather Patterns 6, 2009
8
20
Weather Patterns 10, 2009
8
21
Weather Patterns Series, General, 2009
8
22
The Wedding Party, 1997-1998
8
23
The Wedding of the Rails, 1990s
8
24
Windows, 2000s
8
25
Winged Victory, 1991
8
26
Wonder Wheel, 1999
8
27
The Wrestlers, 1990s
8
28
Writing Room Illustrations, 1950s
8
29
Art Projects, Assorted, 1950s-1990s
8
30-31
Oversized Coming Attractions from Box 5, Folders 23, 24, 30
15
1
Oversized The Emperor's Way from Box 6, Folder 11
15
2
Oversized FBI Files from Box 6, Folder 13
15
2
Oversized The Flea Market from Box 6, Folder 23
15
2
Oversized Flying Buttresses from Box 6, Folder 26
15
3
Oversized The Gate from Box 7, Folder 1
15
3
Oversized Lead Soldiers from Box 7, Folder 16
15
3
Oversized Light Source from Box 7, Folder 17
15
4
Oversized The Lighter from Box 7, Folder 18
15
4
Oversized Ma from Box 7, Folder 20
15
4
Oversized Morgan Die Welt from Box 7, Folder 21
15
5
Oversized Nancy Reagan's Dream from Box 7, Folder 23
15
5
Oversized The Oompah Band from Box 7, Folder 28
15
5
Oversized El Paradiso from Box 7, Folder 30
15
6
Oversized Portraiture from Box 7, Folder 33
15
6
Oversized Self Portrait, Triptych from Box 8, Folder 4
15
6
Oversized The Training Bout from Box 8, Folder 9
15
7
Oversized Wonder Wheel from Box 8, Folder 27
15
7
Oversized The Greatest Show on Earth 2 from Box 7, Folder 3
OV 16
Oversized The Greatest Show on Earth 3-7 from Box 7, Folder 4-7
OV 17
Oversized It's a Circus from Box 7, Folder 12
OV 18
Oversized Assorted Project Files from Box 8, Folders 30-31
OV 19

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.