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Paul Ryan papers, 1931-2009

Ryan, Paul Louis, 1943-

Writer, Video artist

Collection Information

Size: 19.7 Linear feet

Summary: The Paul Ryan papers measure 19.7 linear feet and document Ryan's education and career as a pioneering video artist, theorist, writer, and educator. Records include school records, family papers, correspondence, writings, project files, video recordings, teaching files, printed materials, scattered photographs, and artwork by others. Organizational records are also found for the Earthscore Foundation, Earth Environmental Group, the Gaia Institute, and the Raindance Corporation, among others. The bulk of Ryan's professional work is documented in his writings and project files.

Biographical/Historical Note

Paul Ryan was a pioneering video artist, writer, teacher, and theoretician based in New York City and the Hudson Valley of New York State. Born in 1943, Ryan spent his early adulthood as a seminarian and later a member of the Roman Catholic order of Passionist monks, which he left in 1965. He eventually received a B.A. from New York University. During the Vietnam War, Ryan received conscientious objector status and studied with Marshall McLuhan at Fordham University as alternative service. It was McLuhan's influence that led Ryan to begin to explore the possibilities of the medium of video.


The papers of Paul Ryan were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ryan in 2008.

Language Note

The collection is in English.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Hidden Collections grant program.