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John Held papers relating to mail art, 1947-2018, bulk 1973-2013

Held, John, 1947-

Mail artist, Performance artist, Librarian

Representative image for John Held papers relating to mail art, 1947-2018, bulk 1973-2013

This site provides access to the papers of John Held in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2014, and total 11,595 images.

Collection Information

Size: 12.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of rubberstamp and artistamp artist, performance artist, collector of mail art, and fine arts librarian John Held, Jr. date from circa 1947 to 2018, with the bulk from 1973 to 2013, and measure 12.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, 18 printed diaries, letters received by Held from mail artists around the world, art work consisting of artistamps designed by miscellaneous mail artists, interview transcripts, writings, project and event files, printed material, and mail art sent for the Gutai Historical Survey Exhibition held at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. There is a 2.0 linear foot addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes biographical material, photographs, correspondence, lecture notes and printed material called "biographical folders" consisting of documents pertaining to the activities of John Held Jr.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Held, Jr. (1947-) of San Francisco, California, is a rubberstamp and artistamp artist, participant in the international mail art network, activist, performance artist, collector of mail art, and a fine arts librarian.


John Held donated his papers relating to mail art in 1999, 2008, 2013 and 2018.

Location of Originals

  • Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.