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Artists Talk on Art records, circa 1974-2018

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A Finding Aid to the Artists Talk on Art Records, circa 1974-2018, in the Archives of American Art
Barbara Aikens and Megan McShea
Scope and Contents
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 43.9 terabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of 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 from 1975 to 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, Larry Rivers, Sylvia Sleigh, 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 the complete collection of video and sound recordings and the digital files are now part of 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.
Processing Information
The video and sound recordings and flyer panels were digitized by the Artists Talk on Art organization prior to donation according to the Archives of American Art's standards and guidance provided by staff archivists Megan McShea and Robin Holladay Peak. 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. Additional processing of the audio and video recordings is planned, to eventually provide more granular access to the hundreds of events and participants recorded in the collection. The paper portion of the collection was processed and described by Barbara Aikens in 2017.