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Edward Plunkett papers, circa 1900-2006

Biographical Note

Edward M. Plunkett (1922-2011) was a mail artist, painter, and educator based in New York City. Plunkett was born in Highland Park, Michigan, attended the University of Chicago and the School of the Chicago Art Institute, and went on to teach at The Chicago Art Institute. Plunkett came to New York City in 1949 to pursue graduate studies at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and then the Sorbonne in Paris before settling permanently in New York. Plunkett's mature style as an exhibiting painter and illustrator often included social scenes and city life in a caricature-like style heavily influenced by Surrealism. In a 1977 article in Art Journal Plunkett describes his engagement with the emerging genre of mail art and how he coined the name "New York Correspondence School" in the early 1960s to describe the work he was making with contemporaries such as Ray Johnson. His paintings have been exhibited at The Whitney Museum in New York, in museums in Holland, Switzerland and The Museum of Modern Art in Paris. His work is found in numerous collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and his mail art is featured in many art and manuscript collections of mail artists.