The collection is arranged as 9 series. Artist Files, circa 1970-1990 (Boxes 1-3; 3.0 linear feet) Distributor Files, 1976-1988 (Boxes 4-6; 3.0 linear feet) Client Files, 1971-1989 (Boxes 7-8; 2.0 linear feet) Inventory Cards, circa 1970s-1980s (Boxes 9-10; 2.0 linear feet) Legal and Administrative Records, 1976-1989 (Boxes 11-13; 2.6 linear feet) Correspondence, 1975-1986 (Boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear feet) Subject Files, 1972-1990 (Boxes 14-20; 6.0 linear feet) Financial Records, 1975-1989 (Boxes 20-25; 5.5 linear feet) Architectural Drawings, circa 1985 (OV 26; 0.1 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The records of Printed Matter, Inc., a non-profit artists' book publisher and distributor in New York, measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1970 to 1990. Documentation on this organization includes artist, distributor, and client files; inventory records; legal and administrative records; general correspondence; ledgers, invoices, and other financial records; files arranged by subject; and architectural drawings of the interior office space. The administrative correspondence scattered across the various series shows Printed Matter's philosophy, operations, and relationships to artists. Many early notes and minutes are in Sol LeWitt's handwriting. Among the names to be found in the files are former staff members Edith deAk, Mike Glier, Nancy Linn, Ingrid Sischy, and Nancy Princenthal; founders Sol LeWitt and Lucy Lippard; and contracted artists, such as Douglas Davis, Heidi Fasnacht, Jenny Holzer, Douglas Huebler, Louise Lawler, Richard Nonas, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Art Spiegelman, Michelle Stuart, Athena Tacha, and Lawrence Weiner.
Printed Matter, Inc. records, 1970-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Printed Matter, Inc., a non-profit artists' book publisher and distributor in New York was established in 1976 by Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, and others. The organization grew from a small business coalition of artists into the largest facility dedicated to publications made by artists in book form. By 1986, Printed Matter had published or disseminated books by more than 1800 artists. Its history also mirrors the trajectory of the downtown art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, for which it became a matrix, an outlet, and a representative.
Donated in 2001 by David Platzker for Printed Matter, Inc.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
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