Articulated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art

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Since 1958, the Archives of American Art’s oral history program has preserved the distinct voices and human memory of the American art world in more than 2,500 interviews.  Articulated draws on those interviews of the famous and the forgotten, featuring firsthand accounts from artists, dealers, writers, and other key figures, in dialogue with today’s thought leaders. Their expansive conversations and often surprising memories challenge us to see the world and our shared history in new and unimagined ways.

Ben Gillespie, Arlene and Robert Kogod Secretarial Scholar for Oral History
Michelle Herman, Head of Digital Experience
Deanna Luu, Graphic Designer
Musical Theme: “Sound and Smoke," composed by Viet Cuong and performed by the Peabody Wind Ensemble with Harlan Parker conducting

Articulated is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

  • Digital art has surged in recent years, but its current flash builds on decades of innovation in computing, video, and other technologies in which women played a central role. In this episode, we focus on the overlooked history of women who pioneered the new media art genre and discuss issues of visibility and representation surrounding technology.

  • Listen to the members of fierce pussy describe their approach to direct action, lesbian visibility, and allyship along the arc of their careers and collaborations. This episode delves into questions of queer community and representation, particularly the ways in which art can knit people together across time. 

  • What makes an activist group, how do they come together, and how are they most effective? This episode traces the rise and impact of ACT UP, or the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, how it grew from other queer activist groups while engendering more, and how its influence remains with us today. 

  • Art in America was forever altered by the New Deal, and its sweeping significance is palpable throughout infrastructure, public art, photography, and cultural institutions. In recent years, new initiatives to preserve and study the New Deal have emerged, as have new conversations as to how the United States should nurture the arts. This episode considers the longevity and exemplariness of the New Deal in its cultural and social influence.

  • The WPA (Works Progress Administration) was designed as an open relief roll, operating without discrimination based on sex or race and only mandating that participants fall below a specific income threshold. While advancing equity, however, the WPA still faced hurdles from systemic sexism and racism, and it also ran into issues of support for laborers.

Photograph of an artist's easel side table with paints and other materials
Donating Papers

The Archives of American Art collects primary source materials—original letters, writings, preliminary sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, financial records and the like—that have significant research value for the study of art in America.


Find out how to give your papers, records, recordings, or other primary source material to the Archives of American Art.