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John Evans papers, 1972-2012, bulk 1970s-2012

John Evans papers, 1972-2012, bulk 1970s-2012

Evans, John, 1932-2012


Collection Information

Size: 7.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of John Evans, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2000, measure 7.1 linear feet and document the collage artist's involvement with mail art. The vast majority of letters - many with embelllished envelopes - are from mail artists. Writings include a thesis about mail art by Marya Trianfellos. Subject files concern art stamps, Ray Johnson's death and subsequent memorial tributes, mail art shows and other events. "John Evans Fake Collages" is Evans' most thoroughly mail art documented project. Also found are projects initiated by Christa Behmenburg, Leslie Caldera, Ryosuke Cohen, Peter W. Kaufmann, Angela and Peter Netmail.

Evans's mail art correspondents include: Dr. Al Ackerman (Blaster), Anna Banana (Banana Productions), Roy Arenella, Guy Bleus (The Administration Centre 42.292), buZ blurr, Richard C., Leslie Caldera (Creative Thing), Carl T. Chew, Buster Cleveland, Ryosuke Cohen, Cracker Jack Kid, Robin Crozier, Jerome D'Angelo, Irene Dogmatic (Dogmmystique/Dogmatique Misticky), Morris David Dorenfeld, Jerry Dreva, Donald Evans, James Evans, Walt Evans, Fa Ga Ga Ga, A. M. Fine, Bill Gaglione (Picasso Gaglione), John Held, Jr., HICO, E. F. Higgins, III, Rudd Janssen, Dianne Jenkins, Ray Johnson, Tod Jorgenssen, Chester Kasnowski, On Kawara, Gene Laughter, Michael Leigh (A.1. Waste Paper Co., Ltd.), David M. Miller, Minoy, Mohammed, Robert Morilla, Art Nahpro (Paul Jackson), Carlo Pittore, E. M. Plunkett, Steve Random, Robert Rocola, Marilyn K. Rosenberg, Andreas Senser, Skooter, Smegma (Scarlatina Lust, Alex Torrid Zone Igloo, Pardon My Myrth, Alexander Josef Hirka), D. C. spaulding, Lon Spiegelman, John Tostada (Tostdada, Oh Boy Mailart!), Pat Tavenner (Mail Queen), Third Story, Benedict J. Tisa, Sonja Van der Burg (Afzed), Whitson (Peter Whitson Warren), and Robert Warren.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Evans (1932-2012), a collage artist in New York City, was an active participant in mail art.


Donated by Margaret Evans, John Evans' widow, in 2013.

A Finding Aid to the John Evans Papers, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2012, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
John Evans (1932-2012), a collage artist in New York City, was an active participant in mail art.
After attending the Art Institute of Chicago, Evans moved to New York in 1963. He was a member of the Neo-Dada community and interested in Fluxus events. Meeting Ray Johnson and a few other mail artists at a party introduced Evans to mail art and led to many long term friendships.
Between 1964 and 2000, Evans produced a daily collage of found objects collected from the street, pasted onto a sketchbook page, enhanced with watercolor, and stamped with the date. Each collage included the image of a duck's head known as "Ursuline Duck," a reference to his friend Ursule Molinaro (1914-2000). The collages were, in effect, a diary that recorded everyday life and referenced his exhibition activities.
John Evans: Collages
, a monograph published in 2004, reproduced 364 collages representative of his style over time. His largest mail art project, "Fake John Evans Collages," spanned several years and was in progress at the time of his death.
John Evans died on October 5, 2012 following a heart attack.
Arrangement note
The collectionis arranged as 4 series:
Series 1: Letters, 1957-2012 (Boxes 1-6, OV 8; 5.3 linear feet)
Series 2: Writings, 1983-1991 (Box 6; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1970s-2012 (Boxes 6-7; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 4: Mail Art Projects, 1986-2012 (Box 7, OV 8; 0.8 linear feet)
Donated by Margaret Evans, John Evans' widow, in 2013.
Processing Information note
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2013 by Catherine S. Gaines. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

John Evans papers, 1972-2012, bulk 1970s-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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