Barbara Aikens and Megan McShea
Scope and Contents
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 317.43 gigabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of events organized by the group featuring artists, critics, historians, dealers, curators and writers discussing contemporary issues in the American art world in hundreds of panel discussions, open screenings, and dialogues held in New York City. Events began in 1975 and continue to the present; recordings in the collection date from 1977 and 2016. A smaller group of records include administrative files, panel flyers, three scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panel discussions and participants.
ATOA's recordings chronicle the American art world, covering critical discussions and significant art world issues over five decades. Thousands of artists such as Will Barnet, Louise Bourgeois, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert De Niro, Agnes Denes, Michael Goldberg, Robert Longo, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Elizabeth Murray, Alice Neel, Philip Pavia, Howardena Pindell, Larry Rivers, Sylvia Sleigh, Kahinde Wiley, Hannah Wilke, David Wojnarowicz, and others speak about their work. The original recordings exist in a variety of formats, including U-Matic and VHS videotape, MiniDVs, sound cassettes and sound tape reels. ATOA digitized most of the video and sound recordings prior to donating the collection.
The collection also includes printed histories, board and program committee meeting minutes, financial statements, general correspondence files of the president and chair, attendance statistics, grant files, panel participant release forms, sixteen panel transcripts, a complete set of panel flyers (many are annotated) and other printed materials, three dismantled scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panels and panel participants.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) records, including digital files of the video and sound recordings, were donated to the Archives in 2016 by Douglas Sheer, Chairman of ATOA.
Most of the video and sound recordings and panel flyers were digitized by the Artists Talk on Art organization prior to donation. Electronic copies of transcripts for twelve panels were donated in 2017-2018. Video and sound recordings, and their digital surrogates, and electronic records were processed to a preliminary level and an inventory for the finding aid was prepared by Megan McShea in 2017-2018. Individual event recordings were processed and described at the item level in this finding aid in 2019. The paper portion of the collection was processed and described by Barbara Aikens in 2017.