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Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records, 1973-1988

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records, 1973-1988

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art

Collection Information

Size: 18.0 linear ft.

Biographical/Historical Note

Visual arts organization, Los Angeles, Calif. Founded 1974. Closed 1987. Programs included exhibitions, performances, education, and publications relating to contemporary art from Southern California.


Donated 1986 by Judy Spence, 1986, former Chair, Board of Directors of LAICA, and in 1997 by her husband, Stuart Spence.

Scope and Contents

The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records document the founding of the organization, board activities, general operations and administration, exhibitions, programs, events, and publications.

Founding documents and Board of Director's files contained in the collection include the articles of confederation, by-laws, constitution, director's reports, board meeting minutes, and scattered correspondence of Peter Plagens and Judy Spence, both of whom served as Chair of the Board. These records detail the mission, organization, objectives, and goals of LAICA.

More than half of the records are comprised of exhibition, program, and event files covering LAICA's entire history of operation. Included are exhibition announcements and catalogs; correspondence with artists, curators, and organizers; press releases and other publicity; grant applications and proposals; and photographs, contact sheets, negatives, and slides which depict the exhibition's installation and works of art.

Two series of photographs and slides provide additional visual documentation of LAICA's exhibitions and events, including the installations and work of LAICA's Artists-in-Residence program. Slides depicting LAICA's buildings, offices, and staff activities are also found.

LAICA's production of its publications, including material related to their regular periodical, Journal, is well-documented through correspondence, manuscripts, and editorial files. Also found are unedited transcripts of interviews and material that was not used for publication. Meeting minutes and correspondence represent the activities of the publication committee from the mid 1970s to 1987.

The correspondence of LAICA directors Robert Smith (18 folders) and Ben Marks (one folder) contain information on almost all of the organization's activities, including exhibitions, events, funding, staffing, and general operations. General Operations files include Administrative Files and Financial Files that document members and donors, staff, financial activities, fundraising efforts, income, expenses, and grants.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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