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Nancy Spero papers

Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Names:
A.I.R. Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Extent:
27.5 Linear feet
19.12 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Slides
Sound recordings
Interviews
Transcripts
Photographs
Video recordings
Date:
1940s-2009
Summary:
The papers of painter, collage artist, and printmaker Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political movements and social issues including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and collage artist Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews,writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political and social movements including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, and raising awareness about repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.

Biographical materials include 26 audiovisual recordings about Nancy Spero and her work. Also found are biographical notes, resumes, and her passport. Correspondence concerns exhibitions, projects, travel, general news of family and friends, social events, and fundraising for political and social causes that Spero supported.

Interviews with Spero, conducted for a variety of purposes, include 7 audiovisual recordings, many transcripts, and published versions. Also, there are several joint interviews with Nancy Spero and Leon Golub. Spero's writings consist of notes, artist's statements, and articles. Also included are 7 audiovisual recordings of talks by Spero and her participation in panel discussions.

Subject files document many of Spero's personal and professional projects, relationships, and interests. Especially well documented is A.I.R. Gallery which includes 42 sound cassettes of talks presented in its "Current Issues and Events" series (1982-1984), gallery correspondence, exhibition documentation, and records of the A.I.R. Partnership. Some materials are in digital format.

Personal business records include many inventories and lists. Also documented are gifts, loans, sales, prices, reproduction permissions and fees. Printed material consists of a variety of items such as books, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, periodicals, press releases, digital materials and reproductions. Many items mention Spero and/or include reproductions of her work. Also found with printed material are 22 commercially produced audiovisual recordings about various subjects.

Photographic materials include photographs, digital images, slides, negatives and color transparencies of artwork, exhibition installations, and people. Artwork is mainly by Spero and exhibition installations record some of her solo shows. Images of people include Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, unidentified friends and family members.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1950-2009 (Boxes 1-2, FC 31; 1.5 linear feet, ER01-ER04; 9.58 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2009 (Boxes 2-4; 2 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1973-2007 (Boxes 4-5; 0.8 linear foot)

Series 4: Writings, 1950-2003 (Box 5; 0.8 linear foot)

Series 5: Subject Files, circa 1950-2009 (Boxes 6-18, 29, RD 30; 12.6 linear feet, ER05-ER15; 5.02 GB)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1976-2008 (Boxes 18-19; 1 linear foot)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1949-2009 (Boxes 19-25; 6.1 linear feet, ER16-ER17; 4.36 GB)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1940s-2009 (Boxes 25-26, 29; 1.2 linear feet, ER18-ER19; 0.151 GB)

Series 9: Video Recordings, 1970s-1990s (Boxes 26-28; 1 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Nancy Spero (1926-2009) was a figurative painter, printmaker, and collage artist in New York City whose multi-media work often incorporated text. She was an ardent feminist and activist whose political and social concerns were expressed in her art.

Born in Cleveland, Nancy Spero lived in Chicago from the time she was a very young child until completing her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1949) where she met her future husband, painter Leon Golub (1922-2004). She studied briefly in Paris and lived in New York City, returning to Chicago after her marriage in 1951. The couple and their two sons lived in Italy from 1956 to 1957. In 1959, after a few years in New York, the family moved to Paris where Spero developed an interest in existentialism and produced a series of black paintings. When Spero and Golub returned to New York in 1964, their family consisted of three sons.

Nancy Spero was strongly affected by the war in Vietnam and the many social changes of the period. She became a social activist and feminist, joined various organizations, and participated in a variety of demonstrations. Work such as the War series began to include political and sexual imagery. Spero was among the founding members of the women's cooperative A.I.R. Gallery established in 1972. In 1974 she decided to make women in mythology, history, art, and literature the exclusive subject of her work. Included in this vein are major series and installations, among them Torture of Women, Notes in Time on Women, The First Language, and her 66th Street/Lincoln Center subway station mosaic mural Artemis, Acrobats, Divas and Dancers.

Spero exhibited in the 1950 Salon des Independents and her first solo exhibition (in tandem with Leon Golub) was held at Indiana University in 1958. Thereafter, she showed sporadically until nearly 30 years later when her career flourished and she enjoyed international stature. Beginning in 1986, each year brought multiple solo exhibitions at galleries and museums in the United States and internationally. In addition, she continued to participate in group shows such as "Documenta" and the Venice Biennale. Her work is included in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world.

Awards and honors included the Skowhegan Medal for Works on Paper (1995), Hiroshima Art Prize shared with Leon Golub (1996), The Women's Caucus for Art award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts (2003), and The Women's Caucus for Art Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005). Spero was awarded honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991) and Williams College (2001), and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006).

After several years of declining health, Nancy Spero died from heart failure in New York City, October 18, 2009.
Related Materials:
Also among the holdings of the Archives of American Art an interview of Nancy Spero conducted 2008 Februay 6-July 24, by Judith Olch Richards, and the papers of Spero's husband, Leon Golub.
Provenance:
Gift of Nancy Spero in 1979. The majority of the collection was donated by her sons, Stephen Golub, Philip Golub, and Paul Golub in 2013.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Topic:
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Feminism  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides
Sound recordings
Interviews
Transcripts
Photographs
Video recordings
Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spernanc
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spernanc
Additional Online Media:

Barbara Gross Galerie

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 25-33
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1988-2009
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref100

Barbara Gross Galerie, Spero Inventories

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1987-1994
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref101

Benefits

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 1-4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1991-2008
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref102

Bennington College

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1997
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref103

Berlin/Bonn/Munich

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref104

Bird, Jon

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1986-2008
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref105

The Black and the Red, III

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2002
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref106

Boabab Frames

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2002
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref107

"Boeckl-Preis fur Nancy Spero" (2009), Museum der Moderne, Salzburg

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2009
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref108

Boston Lecture

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2001
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref109

Bourgeois, Louise

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1994-2008
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref110

Brooks, Rosetta

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref111

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Caca

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1113

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Dearest- Fuck You Twice

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1114

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Gayola- Jujube

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1115

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Kahkah- Me-Me

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1116

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Naughty- Q

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1117

Maypole: Take No Prisoners Heads, Riki- Yuksta, Untitled

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2000s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Artwork by Spero
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1118

"Notes on Time," A.I.R. Gallery, New York

Collection Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Extent:
Includes born-digital files, see ER18.
Container:
Box 26, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Collection Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Nancy Spero papers / Series 8: Photographic Material / Exhibition Installations
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spernanc-ref1119

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