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Athena Tacha papers, 1959-2019

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 10 series.

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Series 1:Biographical Material, 1960s-2000s
0.2 Linear feet
Box 1, OV 37

Biographical materials include resumes and CVs, a handwritten will, wedding planning notes, and a designed floor plan for a home. Personal business records relate to the donation of works of art by Tacha to various institutions. Works of art include handmade cards by Tacha, unsigned doodles and sketches, and computer-generated drawings by Tacha.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Biographical Sketches and Resumes, 1977-2000s
1
1
General, 1960s-1970s
1
2
Honorary Degrees and Awards, 1971-1990
1
3
Honorary Degrees and Awards, Oversized, 1993
37
2
Personal Business Records, 1980-1998
1
4-5
Studio Records, 1990
1
6
Works of Art, circa 1980
1
7

Series 2:Correspondence, 1961-2016
5.3 Linear feet
Boxes 1-6

The bulk of Athena Tacha's correspondence includes letters from artists, art historians, colleagues, and institutions concerning her career as a working sculptor and educator. Notable correspondents include Nimai Chatterji, Jean Cocteau, Jim Dine, Henri Dorra, Marcel Duchamp, Dan Flavin, Franklin Furnace, Ellen H. Johnson, Ray Johnson, György Kepes, Lincoln Kerstein, Les Levine, Jacques Lipchitz, Lucy Lippard, Madame X, Despo Magoni, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Smithson, Edward Steichen, Tom Sudato, Roman Vishniac, Chuck Welch (Cracker Jack King), and Theodore Wolfe. Some letters may include small illustrations, including a letter from Jean Cocteau.
Also, there are a collection of letters written in Greek between Tacha, her parents, and friends in Greece.
Researchers should note additional correspondence concerning commissions, projects, and exhibitions may be found in Series 5 and 6.
DescriptionContainerSelect
A, 1962-2016
1
8-19
B, 1963-2016
1
20-29
C, 1961-2016
1
30-38
C, 2003-2016
2
1-2
Duchamp, Marcel, 1965
2
3
D, 1963-2016
2
4-13
E, 1963-2016
2
14-22
F, 1963-2016
2
23-31
Greek Correspondence, 1964-1992
2
32-34
G, 1962-2016
2
35-44
H, 1962-1967
2
45
H, 1970-2011
3
1-7
I, 1970-2016
3
8-15
Johnson, Ellen, 1964-1980
3
16-17
J, 1970-2016
3
18-25
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1969-1975
3
26
Koukia, Malia, 1985
3
27
K, 1963-2016
3
28-36
L, 1962-2016
3
37-45
Manufacturers, 1966-1972
3
46-47
M, 1962-2016
4
1-10
Noguchi, Isamu, 1962
4
11
N, circa 1963-2016
4
12-20
O, 1968-2016
4
21-31
Panayotidou, I , 1978
4
32
Pending, 1981-2005
4
33-34
Putnam, Peter, 1986-1987
4
35
P, 1962-1979
4
36-37
P, 1980-2016
5
1-7
Q, 1967-2011
5
8-10
Requests for Catalogs, circa 1970s
5
11
R, 1963-2016
5
12-20
Steichen, Edward, 1962-1968
5
21
S, 1962-2016
5
22-32
T, 1940-2016
5
33-40
U, 1967-2011
5
41-47
V, 1963-1967
5
48
V, 1980-2016
6
1-8
W, 1962-2016
6
9-18
Y, 1980-2016
6
19-25
Zabriskie Gallery, 1975-1982
6
26-27
Z, 1967-2002
6
28-31

Series 3:Writings and Notes, 1959-2019
0.6 Linear feet
Boxes 6-7

Found are drafts of articles and writings on art by Athena Tacha, including her thesis entitled Role of Light in Modern Sculpture (1959). Writings by Ellen Johnson are on Athena Tacha. Also found are sound recordings of a lecture and of an interview with Tacha from 1987.
DescriptionContainerSelect
"Movement in Sculpture," by Athena Tacha, circa 1960
6
32
"Pioneers of Modern Sculpture," by Athena Tacha, 1973
6
33
"Role of Artist in Today's Society," by Athena Tacha, 1966
6
34
Role of Light in Modern Sculpture, by Athena Tacha, 1959-1961
6
35
"Structured Light," by Athena Tacha, circa 1970
6
36
"The Value of Representation," by Athena Tacha, circa 1960s
6
37
General, on Art, 1970-1980s
6
38
School Papers, 1960s
6
39-40
Interview of Athena Tacha, by Linda Henderson, 1987
1 Sound cassette
6
41
Interview of Athena Tacha, by Avis Berman, 2009-2019
6
42
Lectures, as Art Historian, 1970s-1990s
1 Sound tape reel
6
43-44
Notecards, circa 1960
6
45
Journals, Excerpts and Photocopies, 1968-2014
7
1-5
On Athena Tacha, by Ellen H. Johnson, 1969
7
6

Series 4:Research and Writing Files, circa 1960-1984
2.7 Linear feet
Boxes 7-9, 37

Files in this series may contain letters, printed material, handwritten and typed drafts, proofs, photographs, and xerox copies of primary sources relating to three works by Tacha: Brancusi's Birds, "The Multiple Styles of Elie Nadelman" from the Allen Art Museum Bulletin, and Rodin Sculpture, a published catalog of an exhibition curated by Tacha at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1967.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Brancusi's Birds, by Athena Tacha, 1960s-1984
7
7-13
Brancusi's Birds, by Athena Tacha, 1960s-1984
8
1-23
Brancusi's Birds, by Athena Tacha, 1960s-1984
9
1-2
"The Multiple Styles of Elie Nadelman," by Athena Tacha, 1971-1976
9
3-7
Rodin Sculpture, by Athena Tacha, 1967
9
8-16

Series 5:Commission and Project Files, circa 1974-2016
9.2 Linear feet
Boxes 9-18, OV 37

Commission and project files may contain the following: proposals and revisions, drawings and plans, governmental and legal communications, materials research, labor deliberations, detailed recommendations on maintenance, drawings and sketches, correspondence, financial records and receipts, contracts, printed material, photographs, and video recordings of Tacha's numerous public art commissions in Ohio, the Washington, D.C. metro region, and throughout the United States. Records include sound and video recordings.
Of note are files on Star Fountain at Muhammad Ali Plaza in Louisville, Kentucky, and Merging at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. General contracts and proposals for works are also found here. Unrealized commission files may be less detailed and are arranged alphabetically by location assigned by Tacha.
This series is arranged alphabetically by state followed by title of the work (if known). In many cases, original titles of files have been maintained. Unrealized commissions may be alphabetized by state or city as originally organized and labeled by Athena Tacha.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Ice Fountain, Anchorage, Alaska, 1983
9
17
Ice Walls, Anchorage, Alaska, 1984-2017
9
18
University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, 1984
9
19
Columns, Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989
9
20
Curving Arcades, Tucson, Arizona, 1981-2003
1 CD-R
9
21-22
Holocaust Memorial, Tucson, Arizona, 1988-1993
10
1
Interactions, Tucson, Arizona, 1980
10
2
Sacramento Airport, Sacramento, California, 2001
10
3
Santa Monica Plaza and Promenade, 1988-1989
10
4-5
Water-Steps, Sacramento, California, 1990-1992
10
6
Waterfall, Department of Transportation, Hartford, Connecticut, 1990-2014
10
7-11
Leaning Arches, Metrorail, Miami, Florida, 1982-1984
10
12-13
Marianthe, Fort Myers, Florida, 1985-2008
10
14-16
Memory Path, Sarasota, Florida, 1999-2010
10
17-19
Memory Path, Sarasota, Florida, 1999-2010
1 Videocassettes (VHS)
11
1-6
Untitled, Manhattan, Kansas, 1981-1986
11
7-8
Star Fountain, Muhammad Ali Plaza, Louisville, Kentucky, 2001-2016
1 CD-R
11
9-13
Encounters II, Palmer Park, Maryland, 1990
11
14
Garret-Augustus Morgan, WMATA, Maryland, 2001-2005
11
15
Garret-Augustus Morgan, WMATA, Maryland, 2001-2005
12
1-2
Hearts Beat, Arts Walk, Strathmore, Maryland, 2000-2005
12
3
Wavefront, Lake Largo, Maryland, 1990
12
4
Wisconsin Place Arcade, Chevy Chase, Maryland, 2002-2009
12
5-8
Charles River Step, Massachusetts, circa 1974
1 Reel
12
9
Bio-Rhythms and Rhythmics, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, 1994-1997
12
10-17
Bio-Rhythms and Rhythmics, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, 1994-1997
13
1-3
Green Acres, Trenton, New Jersey, 1985-2012
13
4-8
Port Authority, New Jersey and New York, 1979-1981
13
9
Riding with Sarah and Wayne, Newark, New Jersey, 2004-2006
13
10-11
Riding with Sarah and Wayne, Newark, New Jersey, Oversized, 2004-2006
37
1
Robert Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1980
13
12
Battery Park, New York City, New York, 1983
13
13-14
Tide Park, Smithtown, Long Island, New York, 1976-1986
13
15-16
Animal Maze, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1987-1990
13
17-18
Link, Omaha, Nebraska, 1986-2010
14
1-2
Chloe, Findlay, Ohio, 1985
14
3
Crossings, Columbus International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, 1982-1992
14
4
Double Star, Cincinnati, Ohio , 1986-2003
14
5-6
Double Tension Arches, Ashland Chemical Co., Dublin, Ohio, 1976-1995
14
7
Merging, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1982-2017
2 CD-Rs
14
8-12
Ottawa Park, Toledo, Ohio, 1989
14
13
Prospective Arcade, Toledo, Ohio, 1980-2004
14
14
Rose Fountain, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio, 1993
14
15
Streams, Vine Street Park, Oberlin, Ohio, 1975-2017
14
16
Swan Waves, Toledo, Ohio, 1995-1996
14
17-18
Tension Arches, Cleveland, Ohio, 1975-1990
15
1
Twist, Cleveland, Ohio, 1980-1996
15
2
Blair Fountain, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1982-2013
15
3-4
Corvalis, Oregon State University, Oregon, 1982
15
5
Department of Human Resources, Salem, Oregon, 1991
15
6
Connections, Franklintown Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1981-2016
15
7-14
Double Scales, V.A. Hospital, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, 1982-1983
15
15
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 2003
15
16
Texattica, Fort Worth, Texas, 1987
15
17
Victory Plaza, Dallas, Texas, 2000-2006
15
18-20
Victory Plaza, Dallas, Texas, 2000-2006
16
1
Interlock, Norfolk, Virginia, 1976-2000
16
2
Ripples, Norfolk, Virginia, 1979-2000
16
3-5
Unspecified, Richmond, Virginia , 1983
16
6
Stepped Boogie-Woogie, Seattle, Washington, 1982-2011
16
7
Drive-Thru Sculpture, Washington, D.C., 1998
16
8
Fannie May, Washington, D.C., 2001
16
9
National Peace Garden, Washington, D.C., 1989
16
10
Vietnam Memorial Competition, Washington, D.C., 1982
16
11
Fountain Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin, 1990
16
12
Water Links, Madison, Wisconsin, 2008
1 DVD
16
13-17
General, Contracts and Proposals, circa 1970-circa 2014
16
18-22
General, Contracts and Proposals, circa 1970-circa 2014
17
1-4
Unrealized Commissions, circa 1970-circa 2014
1 DVD
3 CD-Rs
17
5-38
Unrealized Commissions, circa 1970-circa 2014
18
1-21

Series 6:Teaching Files, 1963-circa 2000
1.2 Linear feet
Boxes 18-19

This series concerns Tacha's career as a professor of sculpture at Oberlin College from 1973 to circa 2000. Found are records relating to her role within the art department, and her role as the curator of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Also found are copies of recommendation letters, seminar syllabi, outlines, and notes further documenting Tacha's role as an educator, and records of her invitations to visiting artists.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Art Department, 1973-circa 2000
18
22-23
Curator of Allen Memorial Art Museum, 1963-1973
18
24
Recommendation Letters, 1970-circa 2000
18
25
Recommendation Letters, 1970s-circa 2000
19
1-3
Seminars, 1974-circa 2000
19
4-13
Visiting Artists, 1973-1996
19
14-17

Series 7:Professional Activity and Organization Files, 1968-2000
2.2 Linear feet
Boxes 20-22

Found are materials relating to Tacha's exhibition of her art, participation with various organizations and other activities. Of note is a reel tape recorded from her exhibition at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio Tape Sculptures (1979) and a file concerning her dual exhibition with Sarah Schuster at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio Fashioning Life and Death (1994). Lecture files include correspondence, travel plans, and possibly transcripts. Also found is material relating to a CD-Rom created by Tacha entitled Human Body as an Ecosystem.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Contracts, 1970s-1980s
20
1
College Art Association, 1972-1996
20
2-10
CD-Rom, Human Body as an Ecosystem, 1997-2000
20
11-15
Dancing in the Land, 2000
20
16
Exhibition, Atlanta Retrospective, 1989
20
17
Exhibition, Fashioning Life and Death, College of Wooster, 1994
20
18
Exhibition, Galleria Show, 1989
20
19
Exhibition, Landmarks, Bard College, 1984-1993
21
1
Exhibition, Light Sculpture Shines, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1968
21
2
Exhibition, Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2004
21
3
Exhibition, Max Hutchinson Gallery, 1984-1986
21
4
Exhibition, Mnimis, Larissa Contemporary Art Gallery, 2000
21
5
Exhibition, Queens Museum, 1999-2000
21
6
Exhibition, Small Wonders, 2006
21
7
Exhibition, Tape Sculptures, Wright State University, 1978
1 Reel
21
8
Exhibition, Vulnerability: New Fashions, Franklin Furnace, 1994
21
9
Exhibition, Reviews, circa 1970s-1990s
21
10
Grant Applications, 1972-2002
21
11
Inventory of American Sculpture, Submissions, 1991
21
12
Lectures, General, 1970s-2008
21
13-14
National Endowment for the Arts, circa 1980
21
15-16
New Organization for the Visual Arts (NOVA), 1973-1989
21
17-19
Ohio Arts Council, 1979
21
20
Public Art Applications, 1996-2000
21
21
Reference Letters, 1988-1990
21
22
Social Art Workers, 1972-1977
22
1-2
Symposium, 1973
22
3
Toronto Waterfront Charrette, 1989
22
4

Series 8:Subject Files, 1960s-2000s
5 Linear feet
Boxes 22-27

Athena Tacha kept extensive files on various artists and subjects. It is unclear if she used the material in her artwork or during her teaching. Source material includes slides and sound and video recordings. It is likely that the sound and video recordings were used by Tacha to design her sculpture.
Original folder titles have been maintained.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Artists Files, A-Z, 1960s-1970s
22
5-14
Artists and Dissent, 1969-1973
22
15
Avant-Garde Film Makers, 1975-1990
22
16-17
Black Artists, 1970s
22
18-19
Ecological Sculpture, 1980s-2000s
22
20-21
Ecological Sculpture, 1980s-2000s
23
1
Fabricators, 1980, 2001
23
2
Hiroshima, 1980s
23
3
Homelessness, 1989-1996
23
4-5
Human Ecosystems, circa 1990
23
6
Light, 1960s-1980s
23
7-8
Massacres, 1983-2008
23
9
Meat Industry, 1990s
23
10-11
Modern Sculptors, A-H, 1960s-1990
23
12-21
Modern Sculptors, I-Z, 1960s-1990
24
1-14
Performance Artists, 1970s
24
15-17
Source Material, 1960s-1980s
6 Reels
24
18-20
Source Material, 1960s-2000s
25
1
Source Material, 1960s-1980s
24 Reels
25
2
Source Material, 1960s-1980s
2 Reels
25
3
Source Material, 1960s-1980s
9 Videocassettes (MiniDV)
5 CD-Rs
1 Sound cassette
11 Film reels
25
4
Travel, circa 2000
26
1
Video Artists, circa 1980s-1997
26
2-4
Waterfront Cities, 1985-2001
26
5
Women and Art I and II, 1960s-1990s
26
6-10
Women Artists, A-H, 1972-1996
26
11-18
Women Artists, H-Z, 1972-1996
27
1-13

Series 9:Printed Material, 1963-2013
3.2 Linear feet
Boxes 27-30, OV 37

Printed material includes art publications, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs concerning Tacha, the exhibition of her artwork, and public sculpture. Press binders were labeled by Tacha and include clippings and exhibition material arranged in chronological order. Also found is Tacha's personally annotated copy of Yoga For Women by Nancy and Michael Phelan.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Art Bulletins and Newsletters, 1960s
27
14
Book, Yoga for Women, 1963
27
15
Clippings, on Athena Tacha, 1960s-2000s
27
16-17
Clippings, on Athena Tacha and Commissions, 1960s-2000s
28
1-6
Clippings, Oversized, 1998
37
4
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1960s-2000s
28
6-17
Press Binders, 1966-1998
29
1-17
Press Binders, 1999-2013
30
1-4

Series 10:Photographic Material, 1960s-2016
6.8 Linear feet
Boxes 30-36, OV 37

Photographic materials include two photo albums of installations and works of art, two vacation video recordings, twenty film reels of images of works of art, and thirty-nine born-digital recordings of works of art, photographs, negatives, and slides. Of note is a project entitled 36 Years of Aging: 1972-2015 consisting of photos of Tacha. Extensive slides are largely unorganized but include labels of works of art. Slides may also have served as source material for Tacha.
DescriptionContainerSelect
Photo Albums (2), Installations and Works of Art, circa 1990-2000
30
5-10
Vacation Videos, 1973
2 Reels
30
11
Films, Works of Art, 1960s-1973
4 Film reels
30
12-14
Films, Works of Art, 1960s-1980
16 Film reels
31
1-5
Works of Art, 1990s
39 Floppy discs
31
6
Works of Art, 36 Years of Aging: 1972-2015, 1972-2015
31
7
Works of Art, 1970-1998
32
1-15
Works of Art, Negatives, 1970s-1980s
32
16-18
Works of Art, Negatives, 1970s-1980s
33
1
Works of Art, Negatives, Oversized, 1970s-1980s
37
3
Works of Art, Slides, 1960s-1990s
33
2-8
Works of Art, Slides, 1960s-1990s
34
1-11
Works of Art, Slides, 1960s-1990s
35
1-9
Works of Art, Slides, 1960s-1990s
36
1-18

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.