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Robert Kushner papers, 1967-2011

Contents and Arrangement

Collection is arranged in 3 series:

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Series 1: Performances and Artwork , 1967-1988
3.7 Linear feet
Boxes 1-4, FC 6-7

This series includes video recordings, sound recordings, and motion picture films documenting works by Robert Kushner created between circa 1967 and 1982. Most of the video footage documents live performances of Kushner's pageants and fashion shows that took place between 1972 and 1981 at The Kitchen, 98 Greene Street Loft, Holly Solomon Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, Minnesota College of Art and Design, and the Mandeville Gallery at the University of California, San Diego. Works entitled "Robert Kushner and Friends Eat Their Clothes" (1972-1973), "Winter and Spring Lines" (1973-1974), and "Persian Line" (1974-1976) have multiple performances with video documentation in the series.
In addition to performances, the series includes four moving image artworks: a short animated film called "Repetition of a Theme," a live action film called "Greeting" featuring Kushner with Ellen Saltonstall, and short videos entitled "New York Hat Line," directed by David Weinrib, and "Sentimental Fables (I)." A second iteration of Sentimental Fables was performed with live music before an audience in 1981 at the Museum of Modern Art.
Also found are 6 sound recordings of music used in performances including "Persian Line," "One Size Fits All," and "Layers." One reel is labeled "Traveling" and also contains recorded music. A 1973 television broadcast program called "You wear what you eat" for the series AM New York features Kushner demonstrating his wearable artworks and being interviewed. Also found is a compilation video for the Kitchen's 1974-1975 season that includes a clip from Kushner's "Persian Line."
Paper documentation related to the content of the video and film in this series is found in Series 2. Arrangement of this series is chronological within three subseries:
  • Series 1.1: Performances and Artworks
  • Series 1.2: Recorded Music Used in Performances
  • Series 1.2: Publicity
All of the video, film and sound recordings have been digitized for research access.
1.1: Performances and Artwork
Description Container
"Repetition of a Theme", circa 1967
1 film reel
super 8 mm
Stop-motion animation film created with C. Stephens
FC 6
"Man's Triumph over Nature", 1972 September
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
Performance at the University of California, San Diego
1
2
"Robert Kushner and Friends Eat Their Clothes", 1972 December
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
1 videocassettes (betacamsp)
Performance at The Kitchen. Digitized from BetacamSP duplicate created in 1999 due to condition of original video reel.
1
3-4
"The Winter and Spring Lines," Model Warmup, 1973 December 20
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
1
5
"The Winter and Spring Lines," Performance, 1973 December 20
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
1 videocassettes (betacamsp)
duplicate
2 videoreels (1/2 inch)
vintage duplicates; 1 tape is labeled 1974, but content is a poor quality duplicate of the original recording of the 20 December, 1973 performance
Performance at Paula Cooper Gallery. Digitized from BetacamSP duplicate created in 1999 due to poor condition of original video reel and vintage duplicate reels.
1
6-9
"The Winter and Spring Lines," Edited Master with Titles, 1988
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
Titles and credits added to December 20, 1973 recording in 1988.
1
10
"Masque of Monuments (Rocks and Water)", 1973 February
2 videoreels (1/2 inch)
Performance at 98 Greene Street Loft. This event was recorded on two cameras simultaneously; tapes are labeled camera A and camera B.
2
1
"Greeting", circa 1974
1 film reel
super 8 mm
Filmed performance with Robert Kushner and Ellen Saltonstall
FC 7
"Persian Line," Rehearsal, 1974 December
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
duplicate
Digitized from a U-matic videocassette duplicate created in 1988 due to the condition of the original video reel. Also found on this videocassette is the 1988 edited master with titles of the November 1976 performance of the Persian Line, described below.
2
3-4
"Persian Line," Performance, 1975 January 18
2 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
vintage duplicate
Performance at The Kitchen. This event was recorded on two cameras simultaneously, one shooting color and the other black and white, but very litle of the color signal has survived, and the quality of the black and white original tape is superior.
2
5-7
"Persian Line, Part 2," Performance, 1976 March 14
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
1 videocassettes (betacamsp)
duplicate
Performance at Holly Solomon Gallery. Digitized from BetacamSP duplicate created in 1999 due to condition of original video reel.
2
8-9
"Persian Line, Part 2," Edited Master with Titles, 1988
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
Titles and credits added to March 14, 1976 recording in 1988.
2
10
"Persian Line," Performance, 1976 November
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
Performance at the Minnesota College of Art and Design.
3
1
"Persian Line," Performance, Edited Master with Titles, 1988
Content is found on the same tape as the duplicate videocassette of the "Persian Line" Rehearsal of December 1974.
3
2
"That Kushner Look - One Size Fits All", 1977 January 20
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
Performance held at Mandeville Gallery, University of California, San Diego.
3
3
"New York Hat Line", 1978
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
labeled "Weinrib Hats"
3
4
"Layers", 1978 October 25
3 videocassettes (u-matic)
3
5-6
"Sentimental Fables," Performance for Video, 1980 April 12
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
3
7
"Sentimental Fables," Live Performance, 1981 November 19
1 videocassettes (vhs)
Performance at the Museum of Modern Art
3
8
1.2: Recorded Music Used in Performances
Description Container
Music for "The Persian Line" Performance, 1975
2 sound tape reels
3
9
Music for "The Persian Line, Part 2" Performance, 1976
1 sound tape reel
Contains cue sheet
3
10
Music for "Persian Line" Performance, 1976
1 sound tape reel
Box is labeled "Berlin Persian Line Duet"
3
11
Music for "That Kushner Look - One Size Fits All", 1977
1 sound tape reel
4
1
Music for "Layers" Performance, 1978
1 sound tape reel
Contains cue sheets
4
2
Music for "Layers" Performance, 1978 September
1 sound tape reel
Labeled "Layers duet"
Contains cue sheeet
4
3
Unidentified sound recording, 1982 February 25-26
1 sound tape reel
Labeled "Traveling"
4
4
1.3: Publicity
Description Container
"You wear what you eat," segment on AM New York television series, 1973 July 30
1 videoreels (1/2 inch)
original
1 videocassettes (u-matic)
duplicate
Digitized from U-matic copy created in 1988 due to condition of original video reel.
4
5-6
Kitchen Promotional Video, 1974-1975 Season, circa 1995
1 videocassettes (vhs)
4
7

Series 2: Video Documentation and Exhibition Proposal , 1988-2002
0.2 Linear feet
Box 4

Documentation of Kushner's video recordings includes correspondence, notes, lab records, and inventories of Kushner's performance videos. Notes, correspondence, and photocopies of original event programs are found among records related to work performed by Carlota Schoolman in 1988 to restore Kushner's original video recordings and create edited masters and highlight compilation reels. Her notes include detailed content lists and credits for some pieces, as well as documentation of their work at that time. Also found are records of the video conservation work performed in 1999 by Dara Meyers-Kingsley of Vidipax on six of the original video recordings in preparation for a proposed exhibition she planned with Catherine Morris. Videos duplicated by Schoolman and Meyers-Kingsley are found in series 1.
A file documenting a proposed exhibition of Kushner's performance works includes a statement by Kushner about the evolution of his work, a brief biography of Kushner, an exhibition proposal by the curators, and notes and correspondence related to the proposed exhibition, which was entitled "Pret-a-porter: Robert Kushner, performance and fashion, 1970-1980."
Description Container Select
Video Notes and Inventories by Carlota Schoolman, 1988-1998
4
8
Video Lab Records, Vidipax, 1998-2000
4
9
Video Inventories, 1998-2002
4
10
Exhibition Proposal, 1999-2000
4
11

Series 3: Research Material on Amy Goldin , 1971-2011
0.7 Linear feet
Boxes 4-5

Subject files compiled by Robert Kushner regarding critic Amy Goldin (1926-1978), Kushner's former teacher and close friend, contain mainly photocopies and include published and unpublished writings, letters to and from Goldin, photographs, biographical material, and writings. A small amount of original primary sources are found, including letters from Goldin to Kushner, photographs of Goldin, slides of artwork shown at A.I.R. Gallery, and writings.
Arrangement is alphabetical by subject, with published books and a catalog filed at the end of the series.
Description Container Select
A.I.R Exhibition, 1978
Contains a photocopied review and slides of artwork.
4
12
Antin, Eleanor, 2002
Photocopied exhibition announcement with essay by Amy Goldin
4
13
Biographical File, 1971-2009
Contains original photographs dated 1971-1978, photocopies of materials dating from the 1940s through the 1970s, as well as research notes and correspondence from 2007-2009.
4
14
"The Form of the Timurid Miniature", circa 1975
Photocopied typescript of article by Amy Goldin
4
15
Grabar, Oleg and Lavater, Warja, crica 2000
Photocopies of letters dated 1974-1975
4
16
Kushner, Robert, 1971-1979
Contains original letters from Goldin to Kushner.
4
17
McConnell, Kim, circa 2000
Photocopied correspondence between Amy Goldin, Kim McConnell, and Robert Kushner, and an essay by Kushner on Goldin and McConnell.
4
18
Schiff, Naomi, 1978, circa 2000
Contains clipping fom 1978, photocopied letters from the 1970s, and photocopied, undated writings
4
19
Woodman, George, 2007
Photocopies
4
20
Published and Unpublished Writings, 2007
Photocopies and print outs of published and unpublished writings, with annotations by Robert Kushner
4
21-23
Unpublished Letters to Editor by Goldin and Kushner, circa 2000
Photocopies of typescript outgoing letters.
5
1
Reviews by Amy Goldin in Arts Magazine, circa 2000
Photocopies of clippings from the 1960s and 1970s
5
2
Exhibition Catalog for Leger, Our Contemporary, 1978
5
3
The Wonderful World of Food: 50 Funny Recipes by Amy Goldin and Robert Kushner, 1978
5
4
Collective Behavior: A Review and Reinterpretation of the Literature, 1973
5
5
Amy Goldin: Art in a Hairshirt, Art Criticism 1964-1978, 2011
5
6

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.