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Thread Waxing Space records, 1980s-2001, bulk 1991-2001

Thread Waxing Space records, 1980s-2001, bulk 1991-2001

Thread Waxing Space (Gallery)

Collection Information

Size: 36.7 linear feet

Summary: The records of the New York City gallery Thread Waxing Space measure 36.7 linear feet and date from 1980s-2001 (bulk 1991-2001). Exhibitions and events held at the gallery are documented through correspondence, artists' bios, printed materials, shipping records, photographic materials, audiovisual materials, scattered electronic records, and other administrative records. Also found are a handful of artist research files, clippings, and press books.

Program Files provide a nearly comprehensive documentation of the exhibitions, performances, lectures and other programs held at Thread Waxing Space. Materials include correspondence, contracts, administrative records, printed materials, photographic materials, audiovisual materials, and scattered electronic records.

Research Files include a handful of folders containing materials related to artists, such as resumes, biographies, printed materials, clippings, and scattered correspondence. Press books containing photocopied newspaper and magazine articles, scattered clippings and scattered printed materials are found in Press Files. Audiovisual Materials contain sound and video recordings presumably of artists found in the Program Files series.

Exhibitions and performances for which there is considerable documentation in the collection include, "Post-IZUM Moods Music Series" (1993), "Garbage!" (1995), "Beyond Ars Medica: Treasures from the Mutter Museum" (1995-1996), "European Comics: Another Image" (1997), "Celluloid Cave" (1997), "Ascent of Western Civilization: American Independent Rock, 1976-1991" (1997), "Jump Cut (Faust)" (1997), "Sanctuary: A Spiritual Music Festival" (1998), "Conceptual Art as Neurobiological Praxis" (1999), "Foul Play" (1999), and "Mr. Fascination" (1999-2000); and traveling exhibitions "Archigram: Experimental Architecture 1961-1974" (1998-1999), "Spectacular Optical" (1998-1999), "After the Gold Rush" (1999), and "Achieving Failure: Gym Culture 2000" (2000).

Biographical/Historical Note

Thread Waxing Space (est. 1991-closed 2001) was a not-for-profit exhibition space located at 476 Broadway in New York City. Curators and independent curators organized solo and group exhibitions, performances, readings, musical events, film screenings, lectures, and discussion panels. In addition to their exhibition program, music/performance program and a special Project Room, Thread Waxing Space also maintained an active education program including workshops for students from elementary and secondary schools, a two-semester course for high school students with special needs, research projects for students and teachers to examine the history of their various communities, and classes for creating artists portfolios.


The Thread Waxing Space records were donated in 2008 by Thread Waxing Space founder Tim Nye.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund

A Finding Aid to the Thread Waxing Space Records, 1980s-2001, bulk 1991-2001, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Founded by Tim Nye, Thread Waxing Space opened in September 1991 on the second floor of 476 Broadway in New York City. Named after the building's previous occupants -- a factory which produced waxed thread -- the non-profit gallery and performance space explored the interdisciplinary nature of the arts and expanded the boundaries of a traditional gallery through diverse programming.
Thread Waxing Space had multiple exhibition spaces, including the main gallery where the gallery's curators and independent curators organized solo and group exhibitions of contemporary artists working in all types of mediums; the Project Room, a space typically showing works of emerging or under-represented artists; and the Kitchenette, showing works by video artists. In addition to solo and group exhibitions, dance performances, readings, musical events, film screening, lectures, discussion panels, benefits, and arts education programs for students were all frequently held at Thread Waxing Space.
Exhibitions in the main gallery and the Project Room typically ran concurrently for 4-6 weeks. One of the more prominent exhibits held at Thread Waxing Space was "Beck & Al Hansen: Playing With Matches," an exhibit of artworks by musician and songwriter Beck and his grandfather, Fluxus artist Al Hansen. Other artists with solo exhibitions at Thread Waxing Space include Leonardo Drew and Virgil Marti. Thread Waxing Space closed in 2001.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 4 series:
Series 1: Program Files, 1980s-2001 (Boxes 1-38; 35.7 linear feet)
Series 2: Research Files, 1993-2000 (Box 35; 8 folders)
Series 3: Press Files, 1991-circa 2001 (Boxes 35, 38; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 4: Audiovisual Materials, 1989-1993, undated (Boxes 35-36; 0.6 linear feet)
The Thread Waxing Space records were donated in 2008 by Thread Waxing Space founder Tim Nye.
Processing Information note
Portions of the collection were processed at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College prior to accession at the Archives of American Art. The collection was minimally processed, arranged, and described by Sarah Haug in 2011 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
The goal for minimal-level processing at the Archives of American Art is to provide access to collections as quickly as possible while maintaining our high standards for arrangement, description and preservation. Generally, materials are minimally rearranged, existing folder titles are retained, and all materials are rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Staples and other fasteners are not removed, but materials are removed from binders or damaged binding when necessary.
As best as possible, the processing archivist integrated separated audiovisual materials into the corresponding Program Files based on the item's label. The materials were not viewed for verification. Audiovisual materials for which the processing archivist was not able to determine the content by existing labels were arranged in an audiovisual materials series.
Where found, Social Security numbers on documents were redacted. Social Security numbers were covered on the original and the document was photocopied. The originals were removed from the collection and replaced with the redacted photocopies.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Thread Waxing Space records, 1980s-2001, bulk 1991-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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