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Series 4 | A Finding Aid to the Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987

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Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975
1.1 linear feet
Boxes 2-3

Writings consist of drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, and Dan Graham.
The series is arranged as 2 subseries:
4.1: By Robert Smithson, circa 1959-1973
4.2: By Others, 1962-1975
4.1:By Robert Smithson, circa 1959-1973
Writings by Smithson consists of 73 handwritten and typescript outlines, essay drafts, and lectures Smithson wrote from the 1960s to 1973. The majority of these writings explore his thoughts on contemporary art and artists. Through the theoretical frameworks that incorporate history, linguistics, aesthetics, literature, and media studies, Smithson examines historical and contemporary art's evolving concepts of interpretation and meaning, and specifically, the effect capitalism, nature and the environment, minimalism, and conceptual absences were having on his own art.
Essays of note include "The Crystal Land" (1966), "Cultural Confinement" (ca. 1972), "Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape," (ca. 1973), "Incidents of Mirror Travel in the Yucatan" (ca. 1969), and "See the Monuments of Passaic New Jersey" (1970).
The subseries also includes six notebooks that record project ideas, fragments of essays, and letter drafts; a series of 21 poems written by Smithson on Christian/religious themes; and miscellaneous handwritten and typescript notes on art and film. Notebooks I and VI include notes by Nancy Holt.
DescriptionContainer
"Abstract Mannerism,", circa 1966-1967
2
58
"Art and Dialectics,", circa 1971
2
59
"Art and the Political Whirlpool or the Politics of Disgust,", circa 1960s-1973
2
60
"Art and Time,", circa 1960s-1973
2
61
"Art and Truth,", circa 1960s-1973
2
62
"Art Through the Camera's Eye,", circa 1971
2
63
"Artist as Site-Seer,", circa 1966-1967
2
64
"Better Homes and Industries,", circa 1960s-1973
2
65
"Broken Circle, Emmen, Holland,", circa 1960s-1973
2
66
"Can Man Survive?,", circa 1969
2
67
"Cinematic Atopia,", circa 1971
2
68
"Collossal Nullifications,", circa 1966
2
69
"Critoid Menace,", circa 1960s-1973
2
70
"Crystal Land,", 1966
2
71
"Cultural Confinement,", circa 1972
2
72
"Dialectic of Site and Non-Site,", circa 1960s-1973
3
1
"Domain of the Great Bear,", 1966
3
2
"Earth Art and Reclamation,", circa 1960s-1973
3
3
"Earth Projects (A Sedimentation of the Mind),", circa 1960s-1973
3
4
"Ecology and the Incest Taboo,", 1972
3
5
"Economics of Self in Nature and Art,", circa 1960s-1973
3
6
"Establishment,", 1968
3
7
"Esthetics of Disappointment,", circa 1966
3
8
"Fiction and Language in Art,", circa 1960s-1973
3
9
"First Louse on the Tip of a Penis,", circa 1960s-1973
3
10
"Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape,", circa 1973
3
11
"From Ivan the Terrible to Roger Corman or Paradoxes of Conduct in Mannerism as Reflected in the Cinema,", circa 1967
3
12
"Hidden Trails in Art,", 1969
3
13
"Hotel Palenque,", circa 1960s-1973
3
14
"Iconography of Desolation,", 1961
3
15
"Illustrations of Catastrophe and Remote Times,", circa 1960s-1973
3
16
"Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan,", circa 1969
3
17
"Interstellar Flit,", circa 1960s-1973
3
18
"Lamentations of the Paroxysmal Artist,", circa 1959-1961
3
19
Letter to Michael Fried, circa 1960s-1973
3
20
"Look,", circa 1970
3
21
"Minus Twelve,", circa 1968
3
22
"Modular Properties in Structural Art,", circa 1960s-1973
3
23
"Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art,", 1967
3
24
"Nature and Abstraction,", circa 1960s-1973
3
25
"New Monuments and Entropy,", 1967
3
26
"Note on the Division of Esthetics,", circa 1960s-1973
3
27
"Notes for the Tape Recorder,", circa 1960s-1973
3
28
On Donald Judd, Drafts and Fragments, circa 1965
3
29
On Donald Judd, Complete Draft, circa 1965
3
30
On Donald Judd, Copy B, circa 1965
3
31
"Outline for Yale Symposium: Against Absolute Categories,", 1968
3
32
"Paragraph from a Fugitive Artist's Journal,", 1966
3
33
"Pathetic Fallacy in Esthetics,", circa 1966-1967
3
34
"Picturable Situations and Infra-Maps,", circa 1960s-1973
3
35
"Pointless Vanishing Points,", 1967
3
36
"Primary Envelopment,", 1968
3
37
"Production for Production's Sake,", circa 1972
3
38
"Quasi-Infinities and the Waning of Space,", 1966
3
39
"Recent Site Developments,", circa 1960s-1973
3
40
"Refutation of Historical Humanism,", circa 1966-1967
3
41
"Restorations of Prehistory,", circa 1960s-1973
3
42
"Search for the Elusive Edge,", circa 1960s-1973
3
43
"Secrets of the Ambulatories,", circa 1960s-1973
3
44
"Secrets of the Dome,", circa 1960s-1973
3
45
"See the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey," Draft, 1970
3
46
"See the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey,", 1970
3
47
"Shape of the Future and Memory,", circa 1966
3
48
"Sites and Settings,", circa 1968
3
49
"Small Test for Jo Baer,", 1967
3
50
"Some Void Thoughts on Museums,", circa 1967
3
51
"Sonsbeek Unlimited - Art as an Ongoing Development,", circa 1960s-1973
3
52
"Space, The Mirror of Time,", circa 1960s-1973
3
53
"Strata, A Geophotographic Fiction,", 1970
3
54
"Toward the Development of an Air Terminal Site,", circa 1967
3
55
"Towards a Pornographic Art Criticism,", circa 1960s-1973
3
56
"Two Attitudes Toward the City,", circa 1960s-1973
3
57
"What is an Art Show? A Paper Tiger,", circa 1960s-1973
3
58
"What Really Spoils Michelangelo's Sculpture,", circa 1966-1967
3
59
"X Factor in the New Art,", circa 1966
3
60
Notebook I, circa 1960s-1973
3
61
Notebook II, circa 1960s-1973
3
62
Notebook III, circa 1960s-1973
3
63
Notebook IV, circa 1960s-1973
3
64
Notebook V, circa 1960s-1973
3
65
Notebook VI, 1966
3
66
Poems, circa 1959-1961
3
67
Miscellaneous Notes, Typescript, circa 1960s-1973
3
68
Miscellaneous Notes, Handwritten, circa 1960s-1973
3
69
Miscellaneous Notes, On Films, circa 1960s-1973
3
70
4.2:By Others, 1962-1975
Writings by others includes unpublished draft versions of essays and fictional works sent to Smithson and Holt by friends, colleagues, and students of art criticism. Smithson is the topic of two personal reminiscences by Carl Andre and Jack Thibeau and seven academic essays examining his work and influence.
The scholarly essays include Janet Kardon's "Robert Smithson's Unrealized Projects," William Lipke's "Dialectics of Place: Some Reflections on Robert Smithson's Mirror Project," and Joseph Masheck's "Smithson's Earth: Notes and Retrievals." Though there is no attributed author of the essay "Non-Sites," the draft has been edited by Robert Smithson.
Other writings include two project proposals by Dan Graham, a project proposal by Terry Atkinson, writings and a speech by Dan Flavin, and a draft of "Idea Art" (1968) by Howard Junker.
DescriptionContainer
Andre, Carl, [On Robert Smithson], 1975
3
71
Atkinson, Terry, "Three Boxes,", circa 1969-1970
3
72
Baker, Kenneth, "Note on Criticism as Fiction,", circa 1970s
3
73
Fischer, Candace, "Labyrinth,", circa 1968
3
74
Flavin, Dan, [Excerpt from a Letter and a Record Entry], 1963, 1966
3
75
Flavin, Dan, "Speech for the Senior and Graduate School Students at the Rhode Island School of Design,", 1966
3
76
Graham, Dan, "Dislocations,", 1966
3
77
Graham, Dan, "TV Camera/Monitor Performance,", 1970
3
78
Junker, Howard, "Idea Art,", 1968
3
79
Kaprow, Allan, "Where Art Thou, Sweet Muse? (I'm Hung Up at the Whitney),", 1967
3
80
Kardon, Janet, "Robert Smithson's Unrealized Projects,", circa 1960s-1970s
3
81
Kubler, George, [On Prime Objects and Replications], From The Shape of Time, 1962
3
82
Lipke, William C., "Dialectics of Place: Some Reflections on Robert Smithson's Mirror Project" (Cayuga Salt Mine Project), circa 1969
3
83
Masheck, Joseph, [Annotated Chronology of Smithson Projects, 1964-1973], circa 1970s
3
84
Masheck, Joseph, "Smithson's Earth: Notes and Retrievals,", 1974
3
85
Mussman, Toby, "Alchemist,", 1967
3
86
Mussman, Toby, "Pierrot-Le-Fou - Godard as Godard,", 1968
3
87
O'Doherty, Brian, "Less Known and Unknown: An Exhibition of 35 Painters,", circa 1965
3
88
Oster, Gerald, "What's Op?,", 1966
3
89
Robbin, Anthony, "Some Common Misconceptions About Smithson's Conceptual Art,", circa 1968
3
90
Robbin, Anthony, "Zen,", circa 1960s-1970s
3
91
Rubenfeld, Florence, [On Robert Smithson], 1974
3
92
Shafrazi, Tony, "Thats It,", 1972
3
93
Stitelman, Paul, "Light and Video: Contemporary Art and Technology,", circa 1970s
3
94
Swenson, Gene, "Way of Art: A Comedy in Six Scenes,", circa 1960s-1970s
3
95
Thibeau, Jack, "Los Cines,", 1972
3
96
Thibeau, Jack, [On Robert Smithson], circa 1970s
3
97
Unknown, "Non-Sites,", circa 1969
3
98

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.