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Nam June Paik Papers

Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Extent:
55 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Photographs
Exhibition catalogs
Books
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Date:
1832-2008
bulk 1960-2000
Summary:
The archive is comprised of the papers of the artist (his writings, notes, scores, plans and designs, photographs and assorted print ephemera), his library (books, magazines, trade catalogs, etc.), as well as three dimensional artifacts from his studio (objects, toys, televisions, radios, the artist's desk, etc.) and over 200 videotapes (the artist's single-channel videotapes, installation videotapes, and videotape records of performances and interviews).
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Nam June Paik measure approximately 55 linear feet and date from 1832 to 2008, with the bulk of materials dating from 1960 to 2000. The papers document the artist's global career in video and multimedia art. The collection includes the artist's early writings on art, history and technology, performance scores, production notes for videotape and television products, plans for video installations, and documentation of large-scale television projects such as Guadalcanal Requiem (1977/79) and The More the Better (1988).

Letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes and notes from friends and business associates reflect Paik's association with a wide international circle of artists, including many of those associated with Fluxus. Biographical materials include vintage photographs, an early affidavit of support from Jonas Mekas for Paik's temporary entry into the United States and the transcript of a 1977 interview conducted by Dick Higgins.

Additional materials that provide insight into Paik's career include documentation of early Fluxus performances both before and after Paik's move to New York City in 1964 and printed announcements and programs for exhibitions, festivals, and performances.

Also included in the papers are over 400 books and magazines.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into fourteen series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1957-1999 (Box 1; 10 folders; .20 linear feet)

Series 2. Correspondence, 1959-2002 (Boxes 1-4 and oversize box 51; 74 folders, 1.5 linear feet)

Series 3. Financial and Legal Records,1965-2002 (Boxes 5-6; 27 folders; .8 linear feet)

Series 4. Project Files, ca. 1965-1998 (Boxes 7-10 and oversize boxes 52-53, 66 folders; 2 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1974-2002 (Box 10 and oversize box 53; 19 folders; .3 linear feet)

Series 6: Notes and Writings, ca. 1960-2000 (Boxes 11-15 and oversize box 54; 112 folders; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Sketchbooks and Sketches, 1974-1979 and undated (Box 16 and oversize box 54; 9 folders; .1 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, ca. 1940-2001 (Boxes 16-17 and oversize boxes 55 and 57; 36 folders; .9 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, ca. 1960-2000 (Box 18 and oversize box 55; 17 folders; .5 linear feet)

Series 10: Printed Materials, 1832-2004 (Boxes 19-25 and oversize boxes 56-63; 121 folders; 10 linear feet)

Series 11: Books, 1839-2003 (Boxes 25-40 and oversize box 66; 17 linear feet)

Series 12: Magazines and Newsletters, ca. 1900-2000 (Boxes 41-46; 6 linear feet)

Series 13: Product Manuals, Trade Catalogs and Directories, ca. 1970-2000 (Boxes 47-50; 4 linear feet)

Series 14: Newspapers, 1867-2008 (Oversize boxes 62-65; 9.5 linear feet)
Biographical note:
Nam June Paik (1932-2006), internationally recognized as the "Father of Video Art," created a large body of work, including video sculptures, installations, performances, videotapes and television productions. His art and ideas embodied a radical new vision for an art form that changed global visual culture.

Born in 1932 in Seoul, Korea, to a wealthy industrial family, Paik and his family fled Korea in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, first to Hong Kong, then to Japan. Paik graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956, and then traveled to Germany to pursue his interest in avant-garde music, composition and performance. There he met John Cage and George Maciunas and became a member of the neo-dada Fluxus movement. In 1963, Paik had his legendary one-artist exhibition at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal, Germany, that featured his prepared television sets, which radically altered the look and content of television.

After immigrating to the United States in 1964, he settled in New York City, where he expanded his engagement with video and television, and had exhibitions of his work at the New School, Galerie Bonino, and the Howard Wise Gallery. In 1965, Paik was one of the first artists to use a portable video camcorder. In 1969, he worked with Japanese engineer Shuya Abe to construct an early video-synthesizer that allowed Paik to combine and manipulate images from different sources. The Paik-Abe video synthesizer transformed electronic moving-image making. Paik invented a new artistic medium with television and video, creating an astonishing array of artworks, from his seminal video Global Groove (1973), to his sculptures TV Buddha (1974) and TV Cello (1971); to installations such as TV Garden (1974), Video Fish (1975) and Fin de Siecle II (1989); videotapes Living with Living Theatre (1989) and Guadalcanal Requiem (1977/1979); and global satellite television productions such as Good Morning Mr. Orwell, which broadcast from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and a WNET-TV studio in New York City January 1, 1984.

Paik has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including the major retrospectives: Nam June Paik, organized by Tate Liverpool and museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf (2011); The Worlds of Nam June Paik organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City (2000); and Nam June Paik, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art (1982). He has been featured in major international art exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale, and the Whitney Biennial.
Provenance:
In 2009, the Nam June Paik archive was received as a gift from the Nam June Paik estate.
Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Video art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Exhibition catalogs
Books
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
Identifier:
SAAM.NJP.1
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-saam-njp-1
Additional Online Media:

WIL - WIS Correspondence

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1963-1997 and undated
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Jean-Pierre Wilhelm, Nik Williams and Howard Wise.

Also includes correspondence from the following organizations: Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum (Duisburg, Germany) and William Patterson College (Wayne, New Jersey).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref101

Y - Z Correspondence

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980 - 1997
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Jud Yalkut, Don Yannacito, and Gene Youngblood.

Also includes letters from the following organization: ZDF/Arte (Mainz, Germany).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref103

G to KO (Japanese Correspondence)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983-1999 and undated
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Kunio Gie, Shin Hara (Kyodo News), Konishi, and Kotaro.

Also includes letters from the following organization: Galerie Watari.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref127

T to Y (Japanese Correspondence)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1970 - 1993
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Hideo Uchida, Seigo Yamamoto and Yuriko.

Also includes letters from the following organization: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (Tsuguo Tominaga).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref133

Artifacts and Ephemera

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1960-2000
Scope and Contents:
This series consists of ephemera and artifacts, including calendars, cards and postcards, maps, menus, sheet music and stamps, some of which may have served as source materials for the artist's works. Also included are cards and postcards for various Nam June Paik exhibitions and videos.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
Identifier:
SAAM.NJP.1, Series 9
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref14

K - R and Unidentified (Korean Correspondence)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969-1997
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Sukhi Kang, Soongi Kim, Kuynghee, Kyong Hee Lee, Ye Sook Rhee, and Lee Chan Yong.

Also includes correspondence from the following organization: Tong-A-Ilbo.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref143

P to SE (Japanese Correspondence)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1984-1986 and undated
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Sakane.

Also includes letters from the following organizations: Parco (Pub.) Fuki Nakamura and Seibu Museum of Art (Sawako Hagihare).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref150

Budgets & Price Lists

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972 and undated
Scope and Contents:
Includes two budgets - one, undated, for an electronic video studio; and a budget dated Sept. 22, 1972 for the second stage of the Paik-Abe synthesizer.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref154

Bell Telephone Laboratories Memo and Conference Reprint

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964 - 1967
Scope and Contents:
This file contains a Bell Telephone Laboratories memo on computer graphics in acoustics research; and a reprint of a conference paper by Kenneth C. Knowlton, titled: A Computer technique used for the production of animated movies.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref178

Tribute to John Cage

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971 - 1972
Scope and Contents:
File includes notes from the WBGH project, including script, budget and related correspondence.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref180

KU TO O (Japanese Correspondence)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969-2000 and undated
Correspondence from::
Includes letters from: Shunichi Kurahashi, Tokitomo Matsuzaka, Setsuko Miura, Akira Moriguchi, Tokuzo Okabe and Moyao.

Also includes letters from the following organization: Nagoyo City Art Museum (Kazuo Yamawaki).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref214

Moving Theater No. 3

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 13, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
folder 1 includes handwritten score for Moving Theater No. 3
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref299

Future Program - Electronic Television

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 14, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
ca. 1965
Scope and Contents:
This may be first draft for Projects for Electronic Television, ca. 1965.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref318

Photographs from A Tribute to John Cage

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 16, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1973
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref384

Photographs, Miscellaneous Paik Works

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 16, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1962-1989
Scope and Contents:
Includes vintage print by Peter Moore of robot used in the Nam June Paik exhibition/performance at the New School for Social Research, New York, 1965.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref395

Visiting card designed by George Maciunas

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963 -1965
Scope and Contents:
Contains Nam June Paik name card and Fluxus mailing list card.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref406

Fluxus and Small Publications

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961 - 1997
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
Identifier:
SAAM.NJP.1, Subseries 10.1
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref419

Fluxus Scrolls

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box OV56, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1961-1963
Scope and Contents:
Consists of three (3) scrolls; Fluxus Review (1963), Emmett Williams, An Opera, and unidentified.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref421

An Anthology (ed. by Lamonte Young with layout by George Maciunas)

Collection Artist:
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1963
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Collection Citation:
Nam June Paik Archive, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Gift of the Nam June Paik Estate
See more items in:
Nam June Paik Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-njp-1-ref423

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