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John Held papers relating to mail art

Creator:
Held, John, 1947-  Search this
Names:
Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Ackerman, Blaster Al, 1939-2013  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Bloch, Mark, 1956-  Search this
Braumuller, Hans, 1966-  Search this
Brown, Jean, 1911-  Search this
Cavellini, Guglielmo Achille, 1914-  Search this
Cohen, Ryosuke, 1948-  Search this
Durland, Steve  Search this
Gaglione, Bill  Search this
Higgins, Dick, 1938-  Search this
Janssen, Ruud, 1959-  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Leigh, Michael  Search this
Shimamoto, Shozo, 1928-  Search this
Summers, Rod  Search this
Interviewee:
Cage, John, 1912-1992  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Interviews
Date:
bulk 1973-2013
1947-2018
Summary:
The papers of rubberstamp and artistamp artist, performance artist, collector of mail art, and fine arts librarian John Held, Jr. date from 1947-2018, bulk 1973-2013, and measure 12.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, 18 printed diaries, letters received by Held from mail artists around the world, art work consisting of artistamps designed by miscellaneous mail artists, interview transcripts, writings, project and event files, printed material, mail art sent for the Gutai Historical Survey Exhibition held at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013, and a collection of biographical material presented by Held at a Mail Art Study Day held at the Archives of American Art in 2018.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of rubberstamp and artistamp artist, performance artist, collector of mail art, and fine arts librarian John Held, Jr. date from 1947-2018, bulk 1973-2013, and measure 12.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, 18 printed diaries, letters received by Held from mail artists around the world, art work consisting of artistamps designed by miscellaneous mail artists, interview transcripts, writings, project and event files, printed material, and mail art sent for the Gutai Historical Survey Exhibition held at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013.

Scattered biographical material consists primarily of miscellanous biographical writings and accounts. Eighteen printed diaries provide very brief descriptions of daily activities and more detailed descriptions of art mail events, conferences, and travel experiences.

Letters comprise the largest and most significant series in the collection. Letters received by John Held, Jr. are from an extensive number of national and international mail artists, including Mark Bloch, Hans Braumüller, Jean Brown, William Gaglione (a.k.a. Picasso Gaglione), Dick Higgins, Ray Johnson, Shozo Shimamoto, Ryosuke Cohen, Michael Leigh, Guglielmo Cavellini, and Rod Summers. There are also scattered letters from Carl Andre and Clement Greenberg, typescripts of letters sent by Held, and a file of letters exchanged with Steve Durland.

There are twelve folders of artistamps, non-official or pseudo-postage stamps designed by miscellaneous participants in the international mail art network.

Transcripts are of interviews conducted by John Held, Jr. with some of the more notable artists involved with the mail art movement including Al Ackerman, John Cage, Ray Johnson, and Allan Kaprow. There are also interviews with John Held, Jr., William (Picasso) Gaglione, and Milan Knizak, including an interview with Held conducted by Ruud Janssen.

Extensive writings by John Held, Jr. consist of catalog essays, miscellaneous essays, bibliographies, miscellaneous box set texts, and miscellaneous typescripts. Project and event files concern miscellaneous projects, tours, lectures, and exhibitions with which John Held, Jr. was involved.

Printed material consists primarily of printouts of Bibliozone issues, a newsletter, exhibition catalogs, and press releases concerning mail art.

The Gutai exhibition project files include printed material related to the 2013 Experimental Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the mid-Winter Burning Sun: Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response held at the San Francisco Art Institute. The bulk of the series consists of mail art created by over 135 artists who were asked to submit work inspired by Gutai and the artist Shozo Shimamoto.

The Mail Art Study Day Material consists of mostly biographical material regarding John Held, presented by him at the Archives of American Art's Mail Art Study Day on November 9, 2018. This assortment of largely printed material (news clippings, invitations, and programs) as well as select correspondence and photographs, each representing a year in the life of the artist, accompanied by a key for around 450 items dating from 1947-2018. They serve to document his career with regard to creating and disseminating Mail Art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1990-1999 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Diaries, 1990-2000 (20 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Letters, 1973-2008 (7.9 linear feet; Box 1-8, Box 12)

Series 4: Artwork, 1985-2007 (12 folders; Box 8)

Series 5: Interview Transcripts, 1977-1995 (7 folders; Box 8)

Series 6: Writings, 1984-2000 (0.5 linear feet; Box 8)

Series 7: Project and Event Files, 1982-2000 (11 folders; Box 8)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1989-2000 (11 folders; Box 8)

Series 9: Gutai Exhibition Project Files, 2012-2013 (Box 9-11, Box 13, OV 14)

Series 10: Mail Art Study Day Materials, 1947-2018 (Box 15)
Biographical Note:
John Held, Jr. (1947-) of San Francisco, California, is a rubberstamp and artistamp artist, participant in the international mail art network, activist, performance artist, collector of mail art, and a fine arts librarian.

Jonathan Held was born on April 2, 1947. In the mid-1970s he took the name of the early twentieth century illustrator, John Held, Jr., famous for his images of "flapper girls" in the 1920s. This name change was both in tribute to the older artist as well as an expression of Dada.

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in 1969, Held received a Master of Library Science Degree from Syracuse University School of Information Studies in 1972 and expanded his interests toward participating in the international mail art network and assembling one of the largest archives of mail art in the United States. He was mentored by mail artist Ray Johnson, and Jean Brown, a leading participant in Fluxus, whose interest in the Dada and Surrealism movements promoted emerging art forms including mail art, visual poetry, and artists' books.

From 1981 to 1995, Held was a Fine Arts Librarian at the Dallas Public Library. In 1982, he began making artistamps, pseudo-postage stamps used as an art medium, and opened the Modern Realism Gallery and Archive in Dallas, Texas, with his future wife Paula Barber. The gallery sought to preserve the record of contemporary avant-garde cultural activity.

Held published Mail Art: An Annotated Bibliography, a five-hundred page listing of secondary sources on the field in 1991. In 1996, Held moved to San Francisco, California, where he established the Modern Realism Gallery and acted as curator of the Stamp Art Gallery, an exhibition space devoted to rubberstamp and artistamp works.

John Held, Jr. has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; and at the National School of Art, Prague. He participated in international exhibitions and, since 1986, engaged in international performance work, appearing in Japan, Russia, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia, as well as in the United States. One of Held's more notable performance creations is the Fake Picabia Brothers, in partnership with artist Picasso Gaglione.

John Held, Jr. lives in San Francisco, California.
Provenance:
John Held donated his papers relating to mail art in 1999, 2008, 2013, and 2018.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Mail artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Performance artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Librarians -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Mail art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Interviews
Citation:
John Held papers relating to mail art, 1947-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.heldjohn
See more items in:
John Held papers relating to mail art
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-heldjohn
Online Media:

John Held papers relating to mail art, 1947-2018, bulk 1973-2013

Creator:
Held, John, 1947-  Search this
Subject:
Cavellini, Guglielmo Achille  Search this
Durland, Steve  Search this
Summers, Rod  Search this
Brown, Jean  Search this
Cage, John  Search this
Bloch, Mark  Search this
Braumuller, Hans  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Ackerman, Blaster Al  Search this
Cohen, Ryosuke  Search this
Leigh, Michael  Search this
Shimamoto, Shozo  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Janssen, Ruud  Search this
Higgins, Dick  Search this
Gaglione, Bill  Search this
Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Diaries
Interviews
Topic:
Mail art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6273
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216618
AAA_collcode_heldjohn
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216618
Online Media:

Summers, Rod - Maastricht

Collection Creator:
Held, John, 1947-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 103
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1992-1994
Scope and Contents:
Oversized material housed in Box 10
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
John Held papers relating to mail art, 1947-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John Held papers relating to mail art
John Held papers relating to mail art / Series 3: Letters / Holland
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-heldjohn-ref145

America's Folk Heritage [sound recording]

Performer:
Leadbelly 1885-1949  Search this
Collins, Judy 1939-  Search this
Bikel, Theodore  Search this
Holt, Will  Search this
Brand, Oscar  Search this
McCurdy, Ed 1919-2000  Search this
Odetta 1930-2008  Search this
Williams, Mason 1938-  Search this
Campbell, Glen 1936-2017  Search this
Sandburg, Carl 1878-1967  Search this
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
White, Josh  Search this
Hopkins, Lightnin' 1912-1982  Search this
Broonzy, Big Bill 1893-1958  Search this
Hooker, John Lee  Search this
McKuen, Rod  Search this
Yarbrough, Glenn 1930-2016  Search this
Dillards  Search this
Liner notes:
Seeger, Pete 1919-2014  Search this
Physical description:
5 phonograph records : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Canadians  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
New York (N.Y.)
Missouri
Canada
Nova Scotia
Arkansas
Texas
Topic:
Folksong revival  Search this
Bluegrass music  Search this
Country music  Search this
Blues (Music)  Search this
Guitar  Search this
Banjo  Search this
Local number:
Murray Hill 4196
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. Listening only. No Duplication Allowed
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_359442

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