Mail Art collection

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

Partially processed. 18 archival (Paige) boxes of material consisting of  correspondence art from all over the world, some of it donated by long-time mail artist Dorothy Patrick Harris. Among the 360 artists' pieces represented in the collection are envelopes crafted out of brown paper bags, postcards, and magazine images sewn on recycled envelopes.

Biographical Historical Note

Mail art (also known as Postal art and Correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered around sending small scale works through the postal service. Initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 60s, it has developed into a global movement that continues to the present.