The papers of John Evans, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2000, measure 7.1 linear feet and 1.00 GB and document the collage artist's involvement with mail art. The vast majority of letters are from mail artists, often with embellished envelopes and include and a digital version of Collected Essays by John Held, Jr. Writings include a thesis about mail art by Marya Trianfellos. Subject files concern art stamps, mail art shows and events, Ray Johnson's death and memorial tributes to him. The most thoroughly documented mail art project, "John Evans Fake Collages," is of unknown origin. In addition, there are a few items relating to projects conceived by Evans and more substantial documentation of projects initiated by Christina Behmenburg, Leslie Caldera, Ryosuke Cohen, Peter W. Kaufmann, Angela and Peter Netmail.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of John Evans, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2000, measure 7.1 linear feet and 1.00 GB and document the collage artist's involvement with mail art. The vast majority of letters - many with embelllished envelopes - are from mail artists. There is also a digital version of Collected Essays by John Held, Jr. Writings include a thesis about mail art by Marya Trianfellos. Subject files concern art stamps, Ray Johnson's death and subsequent memorial tributes, mail art shows and other events. The most thoroughly documented mail art project, "John Evans Fake Collages," is of unknown origin. In addition, there are a few items relating to projects conceived by Evans, and more substantial documentation of projects initiated by Christina Behmenburg, Leslie Caldera, Ryosuke Cohen, Peter W. Kaufmann, Angela and Peter Netmail.
Evans's mail art correspondents include: Dr. Al Ackerman (Blaster), Anna Banana (Banana Productions), Roy Arenella, Guy Bleus (The Administration Centre 42.292), buZ blurr, Richard C., Leslie Caldera (Creative Thing), Carl T. Chew, Buster Cleveland, Ryosuke Cohen, Chuck Welch (Cracker Jack Kid), Robin Crozier, Jerome D'Angelo, Irene Dogmatic (Dogmmystique/Dogmatique Misticky), Morris David Dorenfeld, Jerry Dreva, Donald Evans, James Evans, Walt Evans, Fa Ga Ga Ga, A. M. Fine, Bill Gaglione (Picasso Gaglione), John Held, Jr., HICO, E. F. Higgins, III, Rudd Janssen, Dianne Jenkins, Ray Johnson, Tod Jorgenssen, Chester Kasnowski, On Kawara, Gene Laughter, Michael Leigh (A.1. Waste Paper Co., Ltd.), David M. Miller, Minoy, Mohammed, Robert Morilla, Art Nahpro (Paul Jackson), Carlo Pittore, E. M. Plunkett, Steve Random, Robert Rocola, Marilyn K. Rosenberg, Andreas Senser, Skooter, Smegma (Scarlatina Lust, Alex Torrid Zone Igloo, Pardon My Myrth, Alexander Josef Hirka), D. C. spaulding, Lon Spiegelman, John Tostada (Tostdada, Oh Boy Mailart!), Pat Tavenner (Mail Queen), Third Story, Benedict J. Tisa, Sonja Van der Burg (Afzed), Whitson (Peter Whitson Warren), and Robert Warren.
The collectionis arranged as 4 series:
Series 1: Letters, 1957-2012 (Boxes 1-6, OV 8; 5.3 linear feet, ER01; 0.111 GB)
Series 2: Writings, 1983-1991 (Box 6; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1970s-2012 (Boxes 6-7; 0.8 linear feet, ER02-ER03; 0.889 GB)
Series 4: Mail Art Projects, 1986-2012 (Box 7, OV 8; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
John Evans (1932-2012), a collage artist in New York City, was an active participant in mail art.
After attending the Art Institute of Chicago, Evans moved to New York in 1963. He was a member of the Neo-Dada community and interested in Fluxus events. Meeting Ray Johnson and a few other mail artists at a party introduced Evans to mail art and led to many long term friendships.
Between 1964 and 2000, Evans produced a daily collage of found objects collected from the street, pasted onto a sketchbook page, enhanced with watercolor, and stamped with the date. Each collage included the image of a duck's head known as "Ursuline Duck," a reference to his friend Ursule Molinaro (1914-2000). The collages were, in effect, a diary that recorded everyday life and referenced his exhibition activities. John Evans: Collages, a monograph published in 2004, reproduced 364 collages representative of his style over time. His largest mail art project, "Fake John Evans Collages," spanned several years and was in progress at the time of his death.
John Evans died on October 5, 2012 following a heart attack.
Donated by Margaret Evans, widow of John Evans, in 2013.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The John Evans papers, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2012, 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.