Scope and Contents
The records of the New York artist-cooperative Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. and the Soho contemporary art gallery Paula Cooper Gallery measure 50 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1961 to 2006. The collection documents the founding of the Park Place Gallery and its artists through correspondence, artists' files, photographic materials, financial records, printed and digital materials, and scattered business records. The bulk of the collection is Paula Cooper Gallery records; nearly two-thirds of which are artists' files containing a variety of materials such as correspondence, printed materials, and photographic materials. Also found is additional business correspondence, business records, financial records, and printed materials for Paula Cooper Gallery, as well as a handful of records from Paula Johnson Gallery.
The collection is divided in three series, one series for each gallery represented in this collection. The records in each series are not comprehensive and do not represent the full scope of operations at each gallery. Due to the original arrangement of materials, some records related to Park Place Gallery are found in Series 3, and scattered records related to Paula Cooper Gallery are found in Series 2. Researchers are encouraged to reference both series.
Series 1, Paula Johnson Gallery records, contains six folders and includes an artist file for Bob Thompson; two ledger pages of accounts receivables; scattered exhibition announcements and flyers; two photographs of artwork by Vernon Lobb; tax records, and a handful of legal organizational records.
Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. records are filed in Series 2 and is arranged in five subseries: correspondence, business files, artists' files, financial records, and printed materials. The correspondence is between gallery employees and clients, museums, and other galleries regarding artwork inquiries, sales and exhibitions. Business files are limited in scope and include documents related to the founding of the gallery, a guest book, and one folder of legal and financial records. Artists' Files for eight of the ten Park Place Gallery artists are found: Dean Fleming, Peter Forakis, Tony Magar, Tamara Melcher, Forrest Myers, David Novros, Edwin Ruda, and Leo Valledor. Not present in this collection are files for Mark di Suvero and Robert Grosvenor. Artists' Files contain a variety of materials including artists' statements, bibliographies, biographies, correspondence, exhibition flyers, interview transcripts, clippings and other printed materials, and photographic materials. Financial Records include check ledgers, a general ledger, paid bill receipts, sales invoices, tax forms, and other miscellaneous financial and banking records. Printed Materials include newspaper clippings, gallery announcements, an interview transcript, a handwritten gallery floor plan, and a poster for the 1964 Park Place Invitational Show drawn by Mark di Suvero with artists' names handwritten by Robert Grosvenor.
The bulk of the collection is the records of Paula Cooper Gallery, Series 3. This series contains similar materials as Series 2 and is arranged in the same five subseries. Correspondence includes responses to appraisal requests (1968-1997) and copies of outgoing gallery correspondence from 1985-1999. Business Files contain documentation related to advertising and renovations to the gallery, as well as an artwork inventory book from the early years of the gallery's operation. The bulk of this series is comprised of Artists' Files which contain varied materials such as correspondence with artists, museums, and galleries regarding installations, artwork fabrication, and other business; biographies and bibliographies; exhibition files; printed materials; and photographic materials of artwork and installations. There is considerable documentation for artists Jennifer Bartlett, Peter Campus, Zoe Leonard, Elizabeth Murray, Alan Shields and the estate of Tony Smith. Sales invoices, consignment records, payment ledgers, cancelled checks and other financial materials are found in Financial Records. Printed Materials are comprised of some newspaper and magazine clippings, an interview transcript, and a copy of a manuscript.
Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. records and Paula Cooper Gallery records were donated by Paula Cooper, director of the galleries, in two accessions in 2006 and 2009.
Related collections found among the holdings of the Archives of America include a sound recording of a lecture given by Paula Cooper (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston sound recordings, May 18, 1983-February 8, 1984); audio tapes which include Paula Cooper (Bruce D. Kurtz video and audio recordings and papers, 1966-1995); and two silent 16mm films by Kenny Schneider (Park Place Gallery artists films, 1967.)
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Haug in 2011-2012, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Preservation Fund. 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. Folder titles were transcribed from original folder headings; additional information provided by the processing archivist was written in brackets. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders. Staples and other fasteners were not removed, but materials were removed from binders or damaged binding when necessary.
Where found, Social Security numbers on documents were redacted. Social Security numbers were covered on the original and the document was photocopied. The originals were removed from the collection and replaced with the redacted photocopies.
Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.