Size: 18.9 Linear feet
Summary: The records of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art measure 18.9 linear feet, date from 1973 to 1988, and document the brief thirteen-year history of LAICA's activities as a Southern California visual arts organization and exhibition space for contemporary art. Records detail the founding of the organization, operations and administration, exhibitions, events, and publications. More than half of the collection is comprised of exhibition, program, and event files that include correspondence with artists, curators, and others; printed materials; and photographs, negatives, and slides. There is a 0.9 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2021 that includes slides; performance and exhibition notes and supplements; newsletters and other printed material; a chronology of exhibitions, projects, publications and activities. Materials date from 1974- 1987.
The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art was formed between 1973-1974 to provide a permanent exhibition venue for the visual contemporary arts in the Los Angeles area. The founding principle was to establish an arts organization that operated democratically and spoke with a multiplicity of voices. In order to remain flexible and minimize operating expense, LAICA did not establish a permanent collection.
The bulk of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art records were donated by Judy Spence, the former Chair of the LAICA Board of Directors, in 1986. Additional material was donated in 1997 by her husband, Stuart Spence and in 2021 by Robert Smith, founding director of LAICA.
Found in the Archives of American Art are the Peter Plagens papers, 1941-1987, which include meeting minutes and correspondence relating to LAICA.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Foundation.