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Recent Acquisitions

Stay informed of recently acquired collections, documents, and items that contribute to the Archives of American Art holdings.

January 1 to May 31, 2017

Collecting Highlights

Marc Zimmerman research materials on Chicago area Latino Artists

This collection is entirely composed of born-digital material.  While it contains digital photographs and other digitized documents providing important context, the heart of the collection is a body of more than three dozen lengthy interviews.  Zimmerman conducted most of the interviews with Latino artists in the Chicago area of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritage.  These include conversations with nationally recognized artists such as Jose Antonio Aguirre, Marcos Raya, Diana Solis, and Errol Ortiz.  Interviews cover such topics as the role of immigration in motivating artistic practice, arts and gentrification in the development of various Chicago neighborhoods, questions of formal versus informal training, the development of muralism and public art by Latino communities in the Midwest, and questions pertaining to each artists’ origins and personal artistic practices.  This Midwest acquisition fills a significant geographical gap in the Archives’ Latino holdings.

Loren Madsen papers, 1969–2017

The Loren Madsen papers were donated in March by the artist.  In the 1970s, Madsen (b. 1943) made a name for himself as a sculptor working with suspended bricks and balanced wood planks. In the early 1990s, however, he began making what he terms “historical abstracts,” or data art.  The collection, measuring 5.6 linear feet, includes business correspondence, exhibition files, commission files, files on unrealized projects, slides, sketchbooks, digital scans, and a large autobiographical scroll. Measuring 36 inches high and roughly 30 feet long, Madsen's scroll is the largest document in the Archives of American Art.

Jerry L. Thompson photographs, 1974–2017

Jerry L. Thompson (b. 1945) donated more than 1,000 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 color transparencies and black-and-white 8 x 10 prints documenting his film-based photographic work in the art world for more than 40 years.  The pictures, taken in artists’ studios, collectors’ homes, museums, and galleries large and small, well-known and obscure, include images of Richard Brown Baker’s collection in his Park Avenue apartment; Richard Bellamy’s office and gallery taken shortly after his death in 1998; and photographs of artists Mary Frank, Scott Burton, James Turrell, Lorna Simpson, William Christenberry, Chris Wilmarth, and others.  Thompson photographed works in Ellsworth Kelly’s studio and Lincoln Kirstein homes with regularity in the 1980s and 90s.  Also included is Thompson’s account of his life as a freelance art photographer, “Reflections of a Working Stiff,” with an appendix listing all of his jobs from 1974 to 2007, that he wrote as a guide to this collection.  Total: 4 linear ft.      

William Burroughs and Brion Gysin writings (scrapbooks), 1963–1973

These are rare, spectacular, visual/verbal works by a major figure in the Beat Generation William Burroughs, and his collaborator, painter and performance artist, Brion Gysin (1916–1986).  Gysin reportedly created the "cut-up" technique, which the two developed and experimented with in these scrapbooks and Burroughs also deployed in his novels.  Total: 3 items.

Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers, 1960–2015

Stanley and Elyse Grinstein were collectors, philanthropists, co-founders of Gemini G.E.L., and the social center of the Los Angeles art world for more than forty years.  They received letters and postcards from notable artists, composers, writers and architects, including Joseph Cornell, Ed Ruscha, and Philip Glass.  These comprise the archive, along with printed material and photographs.  Total: 1.5 linear ft.


New Acquisitions

  • John White Alexander papers (addition)
  • Robert Alexander papers and Temple of Man records (addition)
  • Jesse Amado papers
  • William Burroughs and Brion Gysin writings (scrapbooks)
  • Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records (addition)
  • William Ehrich papers
  • Gaspar Enriquez papers
  • Photographs of Mark Tobey
  • Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers
  • Josephine Hopper letters to Lila Harnett
  • Lenore Davis and Harold Helwig papers
  • Lloyd E. Herman papers (addition)
  • Dudley Huppler drawings
  • Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers
  • Loren Madsen papers
  • Mary K. McGuigan and John F. McGuigan Jr. artists' letters collection (addition)
  • Arnold Mesches papers
  • Matt Mullican papers (addition)
  • Horace Pippin notebooks and letters (addition)
  • Fairfield Porter letters to Eliot Porter
  • Fairfield Porter letters to Eliot Porter
  • Roland Reiss papers
  • Miriam Schapiro scrapbooks
  • Victor Spinski papers
  • Jerry L. Thompson papers
  • Richard Tuttle papers
  • Miscellaneous letters, notes and clippings regarding Elihu Vedder
  • William Wyman papers

Oral Histories Conducted

  • AA Bronson
  • Douglas Crimp
  • John Dugdale
  • Lia Gangitano
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Lyle Ashton Harris
  • George Herms
  • Frank Holiday
  • Bill Jacobson
  • Catherine Murphy
  • Jack Pierson
  • Eric Rhein
  • Kenny Scharf
  • James Wentzy