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.
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)
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.
In 2009, the Nam June Paik archive was received as a gift from the Nam June Paik estate.
Access to the archive requires an advance appointment. Please contact Paik Archive staff by email at PaikArchive@si.edu.
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Search this
Videotaped interview with Charles Townes, inventor of the MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). The interview was part of the "Innovative Lives" public program series. Videotapes include VHS and Beta Cam SP formats.
Divided into four series.
Series 1: Original videos
Series 2: Master videos
Series 3: Reference videos
Series 4; Digital images
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Townes was born in Greenville, S.C., July 28, 1915. Graduated from Furman University (1935), Duke University (1936), and the California Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1939). Appointed to faculty of Columbia University, 1948, where he conceived the idea for the maser. Received Nobel Prize for physics for advances in quantum electronics, 1964.
Created by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, 1998.
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. Signed oral history releases on file.
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Search this
6 cu. ft. (6 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of records documenting the administration of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), previously known as the Office of Folklife
Programs, 1978-1991, and the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, 1992-1999, during the tenure of Richard Kurin. Kurin served as the Deputy Director, 1985-1987;
Acting Director, 1987-1990; and Director, 1990-2009. Earlier files were created by Ralph Rinzler, Director, 1978-1983, and Peter Seitel, Director, 1983-1987.
Topics documented within this accession include the Center's relations with other Smithsonian Institution units; Kurin's participation in the joint Smithsonian Institution/United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference held in numerous locations throughout the world; and the production of Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings
products and the Festival of American Folklife (later named the Smithsonian Folklife Festival).
Materials include correspondence and memoranda; clippings; brochures; management and activity reports; meeting minutes, notes, and agendas; and other related materials.
Some materials are in electronic format.