Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The records of the New York City SoHo Artists Association date from circa 1968 to 1978 and measure 0.4 linear feet. They document the Association's work to lobby for a change in New York City zoning laws that would allow for artists to live and work in SoHo lofts. Found within this small collection are scattered correspondence, reports, founding documents, notes, publicity, printed matter, photographs, and a sound recording of the first official meeting of the Association in 1970.
The records contain documentation of the SoHo Artists Association's relationship with other organizations and city commissions, including Artists Tenants Association, Citizens for Artists Housing, Historic Districts Council, New York City Planning Commission, New York State Commission on Cultural Resources, and Department of Cultural Affairs.
The collection includes a sound recording of the Association's first official meeting held on June 5, 1970 after incorporation. Members discuss the history of negotiations, how to work with commissions and boards, membership growth, the definition of who is an artist, how much minimum space an artist needs, what an artist considers to be adequate living quarters, and how to raise visibility and support. The meeting concluded with a vote, the ballots of which are included in the records.
Publicity records includes festival and tour information, the SoHo Newsletter, clippings, and other materials. Photographs are of the SoHo Artists Association meeting on June 5, 1970.
SoHo Artists Association records, 1968-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
A sound recording in this collection was digitized for research access in 2009 and is available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Artist Tenants Association records, 1959-1976.
The SoHo Artists Association was an organization formed in 1968 to legalize artists' loft residences. The search for suitable, as well as liveable, office space by artists through the SoHo Artists Association did lead to legislation creating the area known as SoHo where artists can legally live in loft buildings. Involved in the efforts was the Artist-Tenant Association, as well.
The records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Gerhardt Liebmann, a member of the SoHo Artists Association, in 1979.
This site provides access to the records of the SoHo Artists Association in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 616 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001