The papers of Los Angeles photo and video artist Eileen Cowin measure 14.7 linear feet and date from 1961 to 2015. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, teaching files, project files, exhibition files, printed material, video artwork and sketchbooks, sound and video recordings, an external hard drive and floppy disk, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles photo and video artist Eileen Cowin measure 14.7 linear feet and date from 1961 to 2015. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, teaching files, project files, exhibition files, printed material, artwork and sketchbooks, sound and video recordings, an external hard drive and floppy disk, and photographic material.
Biographical material consists of diplomas, passports, rolodexes, faculty identification cards, legal papers, interview transcripts, and miscellaneous documents. There is one external hard drive containing computer backup files of inventories, grant files, research files, personal photographs, and photographs of artwork.
Personal and professional correspondence is with family, friends, artists, collectors, gallery owners, museums, and universities. Notable correspondents include Carl Chiarenza, Darryl Curran, Maria Gonzalez, Robert Heinecken, Ellen Korsower, William Larson, and Aaron Siskind.
Writings include notebooks, annotated appointment calendars and wall calendars, lectures, essays, drafts and notes, artists statements, guest registers, and some writings by others. A few lectures and one essay are on sound recordings.
Teaching files are mostly related to material from California State University, Fullerton. There are a few documents from Franconia College and other universities where Eileen Cowin taught workshops or had faculty appointments. The files include student evaluations, promotion notifications, and limited correspondence.
Project files include professional files, such as grant applications, artist residencies, and symposiums. Also found are art project proposals, publication agreements for art projects, and commissions,. Files contain correspondence, printed material, application forms, research notes, and photographic material.
Exhibition files include announcements, catalogs, reviews, correspondence, price lists of artwork, and assorted material for Eileen Cowin's group and solo shows. One floppy disk contains exhibition files for Drawing Connections, 1993.
Printed material consists ;primarily of clippings, exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, periodicals, and clippings.
Artwork includes 26 videocassettes of Cowin's artwork, 1 sketchbook, drawings, and a few college art projects.
Photographic material includes press prints, proofs, contact sheets, slides, negatives, transparencies, and test shots. There are photographs of installations and artwork as well as images for exhibition mock-ups. There are also batches of "research photographs" which were used for reference. There is one folder of photographs of Eileen Cowin.
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1961-2015 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1969-2015 (3 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)
Series 3: Writings, 1963-2014 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 4-6)
Series 4: Teaching Files, 1974-2008 (0.3 linear feet, Box 6)
Series 5: Project Files, 1979-2010 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1979-2011 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1966-2014 (2.6 linear feet; Boxes 8-10, 17, OV 20)
Series 8: Artwork and Sketchbooks, 1964-2003 (3.2 linear feet; Boxes 10-13, 17)
Series 9: Photographic Material, 1968-2015 (2.5 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, 18-19, OV 21)
Biographical / Historical:
Eileen Cowin (1947-) is a photographer and video artist who lives in Los Angeles, California.
Eileen Cowin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. She graduated from the State University of New York, New Paltz in 1968 and received her master's degree in photography from the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago in 1970. At IIT, she studied with Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegel.
Cowin was involved in the L.A. experimental photography scene that began in the mid-1970s led by Robert Heinecken and Darryl Curran. In the early 1980s, Cowin gained initial prominence with staged photographs of family and friends in various roles, work in keeping with The Pictures Generation emerging at the same time on the East Coast.
From 1971-1975, Cowin taught photography at Franconia College in New Hampshire, and later became a professor at California State University, Fullerton, where she continued to teach until retiring in 2008.
Cowin's artwork has been featured in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 165 group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. She has received numerous awards for her art and worked on many public art projects.
The Eileen Cowin papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Eileen Cowin in 2015.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
One box of correspondence with Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich and one box of correspondence with Robert Fichter are ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission.
The Eileen Cowin 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.