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Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers

Creator:
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Holt, Nancy, 1938-2014  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Extent:
67.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Moving images
Documentary films
Date:
1905-1987
bulk 1952-1987
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and author Robert Smithson and sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 18.9 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. Also included is Smithson's personal library of books, vinyl records, and magazine, measuring 48.4 linear feet. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's motion picture film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and author Robert Smithson and sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 18.9 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. Also included is Smithson's personal library of books, vinyl records, and magazine, measuring 48.4 linear feet. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.

Biographical material includes Robert Smithson's curriculum vitae, personal identification and medical documents, eight engagement/day planners Smithson and Holt maintained from 1966 to 1973, and Smithson's funeral register.

Correspondence is primarily with Smithson's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, proposed art projects, and exhibitions. Correspondents of note include Carl Andre, the Dwan Gallery (Virginia Dwan), Dan Graham, Will Insley, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, and Dennis Wheeler. There is also substantial correspondence received by Holt upon Smithson's death in 1973, and between Holt and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art regarding Smithson's retrospective exhibition in 1982.

There are nine interview transcripts with Smithson discussing his works and his general philosophy on art, and one transcript of the Andrew Dickson White Museum's Earth Art Symposium (1969) featuring the following artists: Mike Hiezer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Neil Jenney, Gunther Uecker, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, and Hans Haacke.

Writings are substantial and include 73 drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, and Jack Thibeau.

Project files contain correspondence, project instructions, diagrams and sketches, research materials, photographic material, and maps related to over 50 of Smithson's artworks. These include concepts, proposed projects, sculptures, non-sites, and earthwork projects, including Spiral Jetty, Broken Circle, and Spiral Hill.

Personal business records include gallery related loan arrangements and receipts for miscellaneous art supplies. Financial records include tax forms and preparation documents, including cancelled checks, receipts, statements, and related correspondence.

Printed materials include books, clippings, and periodicals related to Smithson, either containing writings or sketches by him, or containing articles reviewing his work. There are also exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smithson's group and solo shows from 1959 to 1985.

The scrapbook contains clippings of Smithson's published articles from 1966 to 1973 with annotated shorthand notes.

Artwork consists of Christmas cards collaged by Smithson, and sketches by Smithson and Leo Valledor.

Photographic materials include prints and negatives of Smithson with friends, promotional Hollywood movie stills, and original prints and copyprints of other artists' artwork.

Artifacts consist of a paper bag silkscreened with a Campbell's soup can (Warhol), promotional buttons (N.E. Thing Co.), various organic materials, and two art kits.

Nancy Holt's papers consist of correspondence, a grant application, printed materials, and project files and audio visual material related to her motion picture film Pine Barrens (1975) and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels (1975).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 14 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1974 (Box 1; 14 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1987 (Boxes 1-2, OV 21; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 1966-1973 (Box 2; 11 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975 (Boxes 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Project Files, circa 1950s-1982 (Boxes 4-5, Boxes 17-18, OV 20, OV 22-26, OV 36, RD 28-30, RD 32-35; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1967-1970s (Box 5; 4 folders)

Series 7: Financial Records, 1962-1972 (Box 6-7; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1955-1985 (Boxes 7-11, Box 18, RD 31; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbook, 1966-1973 (Box 11, Box 16; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11; 4 folders)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 18; 5 folders)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 14, OV 19; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 13: Nancy Holt Papers, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 12-13, 15, OV 27, FC 37-38; 1.9 linear feet)

Series 14: Robert Smithson Personal Library (Boxes 39-87; 48.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was a sculptor, painter, author, and lecturer who was known as a pioneer of land and earthworks art, based primarily in New York City. Nancy Holt (1938-2014) was a land artist, conceptual artist, and filmmaker. Smithson and Holt were married from 1963 until Smithson's death in 1973.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson expressed an early interest in art, enrolling in classes at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Art Student's League in New York while still attending high school. Smithson's early works were primarily paintings, drawings, and collages. In 1959, he exhibited his first solo show of paintings at the Artists' Gallery in New York and had his first solo international show in Rome with the Galleria George Lester in 1961.

During the early to mid-1960s, Smithson was perhaps better known as a writer and art critic, writing numerous essays and reviews for Arts Magazine and Artforum. He became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist movement, such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and others. In 1963, Smithson married sculptor and filmmaker Nancy Holt and a year later started to create his first sculptural works. In 1966, Smithson joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work.

Smithson's interest in land art began in the late 1960s while exploring industrial and quarry sites and observing the movement of earth and rocks. This resulted in a series of sculptures called "non-sites" consisting of earth and rocks collected from a specific site and installed in gallery space, often combined with photographs, maps, mirrors, or found materials. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists. Soon thereafter, he began creating his own large scale land art and earthworks.

From 1967 to 1973, Smithson's productivity was constant as he wrote, lectured, and participated in several solo and group shows a year, both at home and abroad. He explored narrative art as essay in "The Monuments of Passaic" and fully committed to his idea of visiting sites and using them as the basis for creating non-sites, Non-Site, Pine Barrens, (1968); incorporated and documented the use of mirrors at sites in Mirror Displacement, Cayuga Salt Mine Project (1968-1969); and created his first site-specific works through liquid pours of mud, asphalt, and concrete, including Asphalt Rundown (1969). In 1969, he also completed his first earth pour at Kent State University with his project Partially Buried Woodshed. Later that year, he created the sculptural artwork for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty (1969) on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This was the first of his pieces to require the acquisition of land rights and earthmoving equipment, and would be followed two years later by Broken Circle and Spiral Hill in 1971.

On July 20, 1973, while surveying sites in Texas for the proposed Amarillo Ramp, Smithson died in a plane crash at the age of 35. Despite his early death, Smithson's writings and artwork had a major impact on many contemporary artists.

Nancy Holt began her career as a photographer and video artist. Today, Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental works, Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park. Holt has also made a number of films and videos since the late 1960s, including Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), and Swamp (1971) in collaboration with her late husband Robert Smithson. Points of View: Clocktower (1974) features conversations between Lucy Lippard and Richard Serra, Liza Bear and Klaus Kertess, Carl Andre and Ruth Kligman and Bruce Brice and Tina Girouard. In 1978, she produced a film about her seminal work Sun Tunnels.
Related Material:
The Archives also holds several collections related to Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, including an oral history interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972; an interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Tony Robbin in 1968; Robert Smithson letters to George B. Lester, 1960-1963; an oral history interviews with Nancy Holt conducted by Scott Gutterman in 1992 and Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz in 1993; and the Nancy Holt Estate records, circa 1960-2001.
Provenance:
The papers of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt were donated by Nancy Holt in several accretions between 1986 and 2011.
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. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, holds the intellectual property rights, including copyright, to all materials created by Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt with the exception of the following items: two holiday cards found in box 11, folders 22-23. For these two items, copyright held by Holt/Smithson Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Requests for permission to reproduce should be submitted to ARS.

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:
Conceptual artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women filmmakers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Moving images
Documentary films
Citation:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smitrobe
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96b7b3eff-59b4-4fed-a5db-394ea8d534bf
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitrobe
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Martha Rosler, 2019 December 17-18

Interviewee:
Rosler, Martha, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
Schwartz, Stephanie  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)21736
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)398657
AAA_collcode_rosler19
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_398657

Oral history interview with Lyle Ashton Harris

Interviewee:
Harris, Lyle Ashton, 1965-  Search this
Interviewer:
Fialho, Alex, 1989-  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome -- Students  Search this
California Institute of the Arts -- Students  Search this
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project  Search this
Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.) -- Students  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Baker, Houston A., Jr., 1943-  Search this
Barton, Nancy, (Artist)  Search this
Basquiat, Jean-Michel, 1960-1988  Search this
Butler, Cornelia H.  Search this
Carby, Hazel V.  Search this
Collier, Jim  Search this
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.  Search this
Geer, Tommy  Search this
Goldin, Nan, 1953-  Search this
Gonzalez-Torres, Felix, 1957-1996  Search this
Gray, Todd, 1954-  Search this
Grayson, John, 1943-  Search this
Hemphill, Essex  Search this
Julien, Isaac  Search this
Lord, Catherine, 1949-  Search this
Mapplethorpe, Robert  Search this
Mays, Vickie M.  Search this
O'Dench, Ellen  Search this
O'Meally, Jackie  Search this
O'Meally, Robert G., 1948-  Search this
Riggs, Marlon T.  Search this
Seeley, J.  Search this
Sekula, Allan  Search this
Tate, Greg  Search this
Tilton, Jack  Search this
Watson, Simon  Search this
Wilson, Millie  Search this
Woodman, Francesca, 1958-1981  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files (8 hr., 6 min.), digital, wav)
95 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
England -- London -- Description and Travel
Ghana -- Description and Travel
Netherlands -- Amsterdam -- Description and Travel
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and Travel
Tanzania -- Description and Travel
Date:
2017 March 27-29
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Lyle Ashton Harris, conducted 2017 March 27 and 29, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Harris's studio and home in New York, New York.
Harris speaks of his childhood in the Bronx; his family's influence on his race-consciousness; living in Tanzania for two years as a child and the effects on his understanding of race and sexuality; his grandfather's extensive photographic archive; contact with the South African diaspora through his step-father; attending Wesleyan University; formative experiences in London, Amsterdam, and New York in the mid-1980s; his education and development as a photographer; attending CalArts and encountering West Coast AIDS activism; encountering systemic racism in Los Angeles; close friendships with Marlon Riggs and Essex Hemphill; exhibitions of his work in New York in the early 1990s; the production of his Ektachrome Archive and his impulse to photograph daily life; his work on the Black Community AIDS Research and Education (Black C.A.R.E.) project in Los Angeles; participating in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program; being diagnosed with HIV and remaining asymptomatic; attending the Dia Black Popular Culture Conference in 1992; photographing and mounting "The Good Life" in 1994 and "The Watering Hole" in 1996; issues of blackness and queerness in his photographic work; his residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2000; moving to Accra, Ghana for seven years in 2005; his pedagogy as an art professor; his thoughts on the lack of voices of color in the Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic Oral History Project and in the larger power structures of the art world; and his hope that his artistic legacy will be evaluated in its proper context. Harris also recalls Jackie and Robert O'Meally, Jay Seeley, Ellen O'Dench, Francesca Woodman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jim Collier, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allan Sekula, Hazel Carby, Isaac Julien, Catherine Lord, Millie Wilson, Todd Gray, John Grayson, Tommy Gear, Marlon Riggs, Essex Hemphill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nancy Barton, Vickie Mays, Connie Butler, Greg Tate, Henry Louis Gates, Houston Baker, Nan Goldin, Jack Tilton, Simon Watson, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Lyle Ashton Harris (1965- ) is an artist who works in video, photography, and performance in New York, New York. Alex Fialho (1989- ) is a curator and arts writer and works as Programs Director for Visual AIDS in New York, New York.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
AIDS activists  Search this
AIDS (Disease) and the arts  Search this
Racism  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Artists (LGBTQ)  Search this
Gay artists  Search this
African American art -- African influences  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American photographers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.harris17
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9559d7597-04b4-4644-b6ae-bca2bdb27f88
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-harris17
Online Media:

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H.  Search this
Names:
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Anderson, David K., 1935-  Search this
Benglis, Lynda, 1941-  Search this
Benyon, Margaret, 1940-  Search this
Bochner, Mel, 1940-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chase, Doris, 1923-  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth, 1941-  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Extent:
20.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Date:
1943-1975
bulk 1964-1975
Summary:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.
Scope and Contents:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.

Administrative records include records relating to the general operation of the Contemporary Wing concerning fundraising, professional associations, budget, contact information for artists, donors, and lenders to exhibitions. Also found are records of the permanent collection of artworks acquired by the museum between 1964 and 1975 from contemporary artists and collectors of contemporary art.

Artist files contain basic biographical information on over 150 contemporary artists, with scattered correspondence, photographs, technical information about artworks, artist statements, and other writings. Artist files also include an incomplete run of artist questionnaires gathered by the New York Arts Calendar Annual for 1964.

Elayne Varian's personal papers include curatorial records, a course schedule and syllabus related to her teaching activities, and various writings. Curatorial projects documented in Varian's papers include three programs produced outside of Finch College, including a juried show at the New York State Fair in 1967, a film series at Everson Museum of Syracuse University, and an exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 1973. Several of Varian's writing projects involved interviews, which are also found in this series in the form of sound recordings and transcripts. Interview-based writing projects include individual profiles on Brian O'Doherty and Babette Newberger, and interviews conducted for an article on the artist-dealer relationship published in Art in America (January 1970). Dealers interviewed for the latter project include Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, John Gibson, Richard Feigen, Arnold Glimcher, Fred Mueller, Martha Jackson, Sidney Janis, Betty Parsons, Seth Siegelaub, and Howard Wise. Artists interviewed include Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb, and Charles Ross.

Exhibition files, comprising the bulk of the collection, document exhibitions held in the Contemporary Wing during its existence from 1964 to 1975. Types of records found in the series include exhibition catalogs, correspondence, loan agreements, lists, contact information, insurance valuations of artworks, photographs, biographical information on artists, clippings, posters, press releases, and other publicity materials. In addition to the rich textual and photographic records found for exhibitions, numerous audiovisual recordings are also found, some of which were made in preparation for an exhibition, some document mounted exhibitions, and others are artworks themselves or components of artworks exhibited in the galleries. Interviews with artists, dealers, and others involved in exhibitions include Alan Sonfist, Mel Bochner, Hans Richter, Ruth Richards, James Brooks and Janet Katz, Margaret Benyon, Irwin Hollander (transcript only), David Anderson, Doris Chase, Will Insley, Michael Kirby, Les Levine, Ursula Meyer, Brian O'Doherty, Charles Ross, Tony Smith, Douglas Davis, Jane Davis, Russ Connor, Les Levine, Michael Mazur, Paul Gedeohn, and physicists Lloyd G. Cross, Allyn Z. Lite, and Gerald Thomas Bern Pethick. Video artworks, recordings of performances, or components of multimedia artworks are found by artists Vito Acconci, Kathy Dillon, Douglas Davis, Dan Graham, Les Levine, Bruce Nauman, Michael Netter, Eric Siegel, and Robert Whitman. A film of the Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Structure (1966) exhibition is found, and video recordings of artists Lynda Benglis, Michael Singer, and Sam Wiener form as part of the documentation for the Projected Art: Artists at Work (1971) exhibition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1950-1975 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 22, OV 23)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1958-1975 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 22, OV 23, FC 27-28)

Series 3: Elayne Varian Personal Papers, 1965-1970 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1943-1975 (14.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-22, OV 24-25, FC 26)
Biographical / Historical:
The Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, later called simply the "Contemporary Wing," was established in 1964 by the president of Finch College, Roland De Marco, as an extension the Finch College Museum of Art in New York City.

Its mission was to educate art history students at the Manhattan women's college who were interested in working with contemporary art. DeMarco, himself an art collector, hired Elayne Varian as director and curator of the contemporary wing. DeMarco met Varian in the New York office of the prominent international art dealership Duveen Brothers, where she had worked since the mid-1940s, most recently as an art dealer. Varian received her art education in Chicago, where she studied art history and education at the University of Chicago, and took classes in film at the Bauhaus and in fine art the Art Institute of Chicago. Sensitive to emerging art movements in galleries and studios around the city of New York, as the contemporary wing's curator, Varian quickly established a reputation for thoughtfully conceived, cutting-edge exhibitions which were consistently well-received by the press.

Under Varian, the Contemporary Wing carried out a dual mission of showing work of living artists and educating students and the public about the artwork and museum work in general. Varian used the galleries to provide practical training to students interested in a gallery or museum career throughout its existence. For several years, she also maintained an assistantship position for post-graduate museum professionals to gain experience in the field, many of whom went on to careers in museums across New York State.

The Contemporary Wing's best-known exhibitions formed a series of six shows called Art in Process, held between 1965 and 1972. Each of the Art in Process shows took a different medium, including painting, sculpture, collage, conceptual art, installation art, and serial art, and brought the process of art-making into the gallery with the artworks in various ways. For example, for Art in Process V (1972), the show about installation art, the galleries were open to the public for the entire process of its installation, allowing visitors to watch the works take shape. Another show entitled Documentation (1968) exhibited artworks with documentation such as artist's notes, sales records, and conservation records, bringing to light the value of record-keeping in the visual arts. Two exhibitions entitled Projected Art were also innovative, with the first (1966-1967) bringing experimental films from the cinema to the galleries, and the second (1971) showing artists' processes via footage and slides of artists working. Another show, Artists' Videotape Performances (1971), involved both screening of and creation of works in the gallery using a range of experiments with recent video technology. The museum also participated in an experimental broadcast of an artwork entitled Talk Out! by Douglas Davis, in which a telephone in the gallery allowed visitors to participate in its creation while it was broadcast live from Syracuse, NY. Other exhibitions that showcased experimentation in art included N-Dimensional Space (1970), on holography in art, Destruction Art(1968), on destructive actions being incorporated into contemporary art-making, and Schemata 7 (1967), a show about the use of environments in contemporary art, whose working title was "Walk-in Sculpture."

Other popular exhibitions at the Contemporary Wing included shows on Art Deco (1970) and Art Nouveau (1969). Several shows mined the private collections of prominent contemporary art collectors including Martha Jackson, Betty Parsons, George Rickey, Paul Magriel, Jacques Kaplan, Josephine and Philip Bruno, and Carlo F. Bilotti. A number of exhibitions featured contemporary art from overseas including Art from Belgium (1965), Art from Finland (1973), Seven Swedish Painters (1965), and Art in Jewelry (1966), which featured mainly international jewelry artists. Retrospective exhibitions of Hans Richter, Hugo Weber, and James Brooks were also held.

Hundreds of contemporary artists were shown at the Contemporary Wing in the eleven years of its existence, including many who came to be leading figures in contemporary art, and some who already were, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Lynda Benglis, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Smithson, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, Philip Pearlstein, and Yayoi Kusama, to name just a few.

The Contemporary Wing and the entire Finch College Museum of Art shut its doors in 1975, when Finch College closed due to lack of funds. The permanent collection was sold at that time, and the proceeds were used to pay Finch College employee salaries. Elayne Varian went on to the position of curator of contemporary art at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. She died in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with curator Elayne Varian conducted by Paul Cummings, May 2, 1975.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art acquired these records from the Finch College Museum of Art after it closed permanently in June 1975.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Citation:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.finccoll
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ed5f13a2-eeb3-452a-8735-204ff25576b5
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-finccoll
Online Media:

Research material on Ronald Bladen and Les Levine

Creator:
Berkson, Bill  Search this
Names:
Bladen, Ronald, 1918-1988  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
1931-1991
Scope and Contents:
Material gathered by Berkson in preparation for exhibitions on sculptors Ronald Bladen and Les Levine.
The Bladen material, compiled for a retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1991, includes: biographical material; an unpublished artists' statement, 1946; interviews of Bladen; material from the California School of Fine Art's archives, and the Whitney Museum of American Art; Bladen correspondence, 1931-1956; Berkson correspondence, 1990-1991; a painting checklist; writings by and about Bladen; photographs of Bladen's paintings and sculptures; exhibition announcements 1941-1983; and clippings and reviews, 1941-1987.
Files on Les Levine include photographs, slides, correspondence, articles, announcements, and clippings. Included are information on his media projects Subway Project (1989) and Diamond Mind.
Biographical / Historical:
Berkson is an art historian, curator; San Francisco, Calif. Bladen, a painter and sculptor, worked in San Francisco in the mid-1950s, and later moved to New York. Levine, a conceptual and video artist, and a curator, works in New York.
Related Materials:
Papers of Bill Berkson, 1960-1988, are also located at the University of Connecticut's Archives & Special Collections.
Provenance:
Donated 1991 and 1995 by Bill Berkson.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art museum curators  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Mass media and art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.berkbill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw971d4d9ad-7159-4c95-ad06-be117b641612
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-berkbill

Oral history interview with Martha Rosler

Interviewee:
Rosler, Martha  Search this
Interviewer:
Schwartz, Stephanie  Search this
Extent:
115 Pages (Transcript)
27 Items (sound files (6 hrs., 20 min.) Audio, digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2019 December 17-18
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Martha Rosler conducted 2019 December 17 and 18, by Stephanie Schwartz, for the Archives of American Art at Rosler's home and studio, in Brooklyn, New York.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Martha Rosler (born 1943) is video, performance and installation artist, photographer, and critic in New York, New York. Interviewer Stephanie Schwartz is a Lecturer in American Modernism at University College in London, England.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This interview is access restricted; written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rosler19
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91f1bc931-31e6-4d73-884d-410845cd80a7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rosler19

Oral history interview with James Wentzy, 2017 January 23-March 31

Interviewee:
Wentzy, James, 1952-  Search this
Interviewer:
Carr, C.  Search this
Subject:
Arena, Tony  Search this
Brown, Arch  Search this
Buckingham, David  Search this
Carlomusto, Jean  Search this
Dee, James  Search this
Ellis, Darrel  Search this
Farber, Robert  Search this
Heiss, Alanna  Search this
Maletta, Lou  Search this
Moore, Patrick  Search this
Santinire, Vincent  Search this
Schnabel, John  Search this
Tam, Ho  Search this
ACT UP (Organization)  Search this
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System)  Search this
ACT UP New York (Organization)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
AIDS activists  Search this
AIDS (Disease) and the arts  Search this
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Motion pictures -- Production and direction -- Study and teaching  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17464
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)387864
AAA_collcode_wentzy17
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_387864
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Les Levine, 1972 July 21-Aug. 2

Interviewee:
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12931
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212837
AAA_collcode_levine72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212837

Oral history interview with Keith Sonnier, 1972 August 3

Interviewee:
Sonnier, Keith, 1941-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculpture -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13001
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213106
AAA_collcode_sonnie72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213106

Oral history interview with Mary Lucier, 1990 Apr.-Nov

Interviewee:
Lucier, Mary, 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
Nadelman, Cynthia  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Theme:
Photography  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12867
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215847
AAA_collcode_lucier90
Theme:
Photography
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215847

Oral history interview with Keith Sonnier, 2009 September 22- October 20

Interviewee:
Sonnier, Keith, 1941-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
United States. General Services Administration. Design Excellence and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15736
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)286034
AAA_collcode_sonnie09
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_286034
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Michael Smith, 2018 July 30-August 1

Interviewee:
Smith, Michael, 1951-  Search this
Interviewer:
Zapol, Liza, 1978-  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Installations (Art)  Search this
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17596
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)396436
AAA_collcode_smith18
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_396436
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Lyle Ashton Harris, 2017 March 27-29

Interviewee:
Harris, Lyle Ashton, 1965-  Search this
Interviewer:
Fialho, Alex, 1989-  Search this
Subject:
Baker, Houston A., Jr.  Search this
Barton, Nancy, (Artist)  Search this
Basquiat, Jean-Michel  Search this
Butler, Cornelia H.  Search this
Carby, Hazel V.  Search this
Collier, Jim  Search this
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.  Search this
Geer, Tommy  Search this
Goldin, Nan  Search this
Gonzalez-Torres, Felix  Search this
Gray, Todd  Search this
Grayson, John  Search this
Hemphill, Essex  Search this
Julien, Isaac  Search this
Lord, Catherine  Search this
Mapplethorpe, Robert  Search this
Mays, Vickie M.  Search this
O'Dench, Ellen  Search this
O'Meally, Jackie  Search this
O'Meally, Robert G.  Search this
Riggs, Marlon T.  Search this
Seeley, J.  Search this
Sekula, Allan  Search this
Tate, Greg  Search this
Tilton, Jack  Search this
Watson, Simon  Search this
Wilson, Millie  Search this
Woodman, Francesca  Search this
American Academy in Rome  Search this
California Institute of the Arts  Search this
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project  Search this
Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
England -- London -- Description and travel
Ghana -- Description and travel
Netherlands -- Amsterdam -- Description and travel
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and travel
Tanzania -- Description and travel
Topic:
AIDS activists  Search this
AIDS (Disease) and the arts  Search this
Racism  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Artists (LGBTQ)  Search this
Gay artists  Search this
African American art -- African influences  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American photographers  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17456
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)387759
AAA_collcode_harris17
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_387759
Online Media:

Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994, 1953-1994

Creator:
Wiegand, Robert, 1934-1993  Search this
Subject:
Browne, Vivian E.  Search this
Stockwell, Pamela  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee  Search this
Chernow, Burt  Search this
Rose, Alexandra  Search this
McLeon, James  Search this
Larson, Susan  Search this
Horowitz, Leonard  Search this
Foreman, Laura  Search this
Brown, Trisha  Search this
Phoenix Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Video recordings
Topic:
Video art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6151
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216376
AAA_collcode_wiegrobe
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216376
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Vito Acconci, 2008 June 21-28

Interviewee:
Acconci, Vito Hannibal, 1940-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Installations (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15850
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)292693
AAA_collcode_acconc08
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_292693
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Charles Atlas, 2016 May 31-June 1

Interviewee:
Atlas, Charles, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yablonsky, Linda, 1948-  Search this
Subject:
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
AIDS (Disease) and the arts  Search this
Motion picture producers and directors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17344
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)380477
AAA_collcode_atlas16
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_380477

Oral history interview with Dara Birnbaum, 2017 May 30-31

Interviewee:
Birnbaum, Dara, 1946-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yablonsky, Linda, 1948-  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Installations (Art)  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17472
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)388185
AAA_collcode_birnba17
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_388185
Online Media:

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975, bulk 1964-1975

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley), 1913-1987  Search this
Subject:
Acconci, Vito  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Benglis, Lynda  Search this
Anderson, David K.  Search this
Bochner, Mel  Search this
Benyon, Margaret  Search this
Janis, Sidney  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Brooks, James  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Insley, Will  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Graham, Dan  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth  Search this
Richter, Hans  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Chase, Doris  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Feigen, Richard L.  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Mazur, Michael  Search this
Meyer, Ursula  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Levine, Les  Search this
Type:
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums  Search this
Art Gallery Records  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8114
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210285
AAA_collcode_finccoll
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210285
Online Media:

Research material on Ronald Bladen and Les Levine, 1931-1991

Creator:
Berkson, Bill, 1939-2016  Search this
Subject:
Bladen, Ronald  Search this
Levine, Les  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Mass media and art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Audio - Visual  Search this
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10813
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214548
AAA_collcode_berkbill
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Audio - Visual
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214548

Holly Solomon Gallery records

Creator:
Holly Solomon Gallery  Search this
Names:
98 Green St. Loft  Search this
Anderson, Laurie, 1947-  Search this
MacConnel, Kim  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-  Search this
Patkin, Izhar  Search this
Solomon, Holly  Search this
Wegman, William  Search this
Zucker, Joe, 1941-  Search this
Extent:
200.6 Linear feet
0.002 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Diaries
Interviews
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Daybooks
Date:
circa 1948-2003
Summary:
The records of Holly Solomon Gallery, a New York City gallery specializing in contemporary American art, measure 200.6 linear feet and 0.002 GB and date from circa 1948-2003. The gallery's activities are documented through dealer files, subject files, artists' files, inventories, sales and loan records, administrative and financial records, printed and digital materials, photographic materials of artwork and exhibitions, and sound, video, and film recordings. Also found are records of the alternative space, 98 Greene Street Loft, as well as Holly Solomon's personal papers.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of Holly Solomon Gallery, a New York City gallery specializing in contemporary American art, measure 200.6 linear feet and 0.002 GB and date from circa 1948-2003. The gallery's activities are documented through alphabetical files, dealer files, subject files, artists' files, inventories, sales and loan records, administrative and financial records, printed and digital materials, photographic materials of artwork and exhibitions, and sound, video, and film recordings. Also found are records of the alternative space, 98 Greene Street Loft, as well as Holly Solomon's personal papers.

Alphabetical files span from 1991-2000 and contain correspondence with clients, galleries, and museums, as well as related documentation regarding loans, inquiries, sales, exhibitions, and travel plans. These general files were maintained separately from the gallery's subject and artists' files but may overlap in subject matter.

The dealer files contain gallery correspondence to and from art dealers regarding inquiries on works and artists. These files are sparse and particular to the early 1980s. Subject files are mainly comprised of correspondence but also include printed materials, slides, and other related documents. Subjects include dealers, organizations, museums, clients, art fairs, travel, and projects that the gallery or Holly Solomon worked with.

Artists' files consist of correspondence, printed material, slides, photographs, and scattered inventory records, regarding the sale of artwork, as well as shipping records and insurance claims. Also included is correspondence between the gallery and the artist. There is substantial documentation on artists Kim MacConnel, Nam June Paik, Izhar Patkin, William Wegman, and Joe Zucker. Inventory records include inventory lists created by Holly Solomon Gallery as well as an art inventory card file. Inventory cards note the title, date, and size of the work as well as the dates and movements of the work, and may include a photograph. Some documents are also found in digital format in series 14, Born-digital records.

Administrative records contain general office materials such as phone messages books, staff notebooks, exhibition guest books, and business diaries, exhibition documentation, notes, and mail from prospective artists. Records primarily cover the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to business diaries, Holly Solomon also created "Dear Diary" binders which contain a collection of contact information and notes on clients and events. Some of these diaries were maintained for specific events. Some documents are also found in digital format in series 14, Born-digital records.

Sales and loan records consist of in and out sheets, consignments, and sales invoices. Also in this series are sales and loan logs and files that track the same information but from different access points, including sales by artist. Financial records document the financial activities of the galleries, apart from sales, and include shipping records, tax and insurance information, and accounting statements and reports. Also in this series are sales and loan logs and files that track the same information but from different access points, including sales by artist. Some documents are also found in digital format in series 14, Born-digital records.

Printed material consists of artist clippings, gallery exhibition catalogs, press releases, posters, and miscellaneous books, magazines, and clippings regarding the gallery. Included are clippings pertaining to the Pattern and Design art movement. Photographic material includes photographs and slides documenting artists' work and gallery exhibitions. Sound, video, and film recordings include artworks created by gallery artists, performances recorded live at the gallery, and the publicity Holly Solomon, the gallery and its artists received. The work of video artist Nam June Paik is highly represented through some of his video artworks, as well as television interviews with him. Prominent artists William Wegman and Laurie Anderson are also represented through original artworks and publicity. Publicity videos include Holly Solomon herself, being interviewed for television and documentaries.

The records of 98 Greene Street Loft include a large quantity of sound, video, and film recordings of poetry readings, live music, art, and theatrical performances that took place from 1971-1973, as well as scattered paper records such as play scripts, photographs, a guest book from 1971, printed material, and posters.

Holly Solomon's personal papers consist of biographical documents, correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, motion picture film, and photographs collected by Holly Solomon throughout her life. Included are school records, letters, notes and cards from friends and artists she represented at her gallery, photographs, invitations, event fliers, and other mementos. Printed material, mostly magazines and newspapers document her accomplishments.

Sound and video recordings include recordings collected by the Holly Solomon Gallery documenting the gallery itself and the artists it represented. Recordings include artworks created by gallery artists, performances recorded live at the gallery, and the publicity Holly Solomon, the gallery and its artists received. The recordings range from before the gallery's opening in 1975 until after its closure in 2002, with most recordings coming out of the 80s and 90s. The work of video artist Nam June Paik is highly represented within the series through some of his actual video artworks, as well as through numerous documentaries and television interviews with him. Prominent artists William Wegman and Laurie Anderson are both represented through original artworks and publicity.

Born-digital records consist of documents recovered from floppy discs included in the collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 14 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, 1991-2001 (Boxes 1-9; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Dealer Files, 1980-1990 (Box 9-10; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Subject Files, circa 1975-2002 (Boxes 11-25; 15.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists' Files, circa 1975-2002 (Boxes 26-47; 22.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Inventory Records, 1975-2001 (Boxes 48-66, 157-162; 25.0 linear feet)

Series 6: Administrative Records, circa 1980-2003 (Boxes 67-81, OV 202; 15.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Sales and Loan Records, circa 1975-2001 (Boxes 82-87; 6.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Financial and Legal Records, circa 1969-2001 (Boxes 88-114, 191, 192; 27.7 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Material, circa 1968-2002 (Boxes 115-135, 193-194, OV 203-222, RD 223; 23.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1969-2000 (Boxes 136-156, 194-196, 201, OV 224; 22.2 linear feet)

Series 11: 98 Greene Street Loft, circa 1969-1973 (Boxes 166-169, 194, FC 197-200, FC 228-236, OV 225-227; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 12: Holly Solomon Personal Papers, circa 1948-2002 (Boxes 170-182, 194, FC 237-241; 13.6 linear feet)

Series 13: Sound and Video Recordings, circa 1966-2001 (Boxes 183-190; 7.6 linear feet)

Series 14: Born-Digital Records, (ER01-ER04; 0.002 GB)

The collection has been minimally arranged into series based on the found arrangement upon receipt, assumed to be the original arrangement of the gallery. Folders have been arranged within series and general folder contents verified, but in most cases, item level arrangement has not been completed.
Historical Note:
The Holly Solomon Gallery was established in 1975 by Holly Solomon and her husband, Horace Solomon, at 392 West Broadway in New York City's SoHo area. The gallery focused on contemporary art.

The gallery represented artists such as William Wegman, Nam June Paik, Laurie Anderson, and Robert Kushner. In 1983, the gallery moved uptown to 724 Fifth Ave at 57th, but then moved again in the early 1990s back downtown to SoHo at 172 Mercer Street. After the gallery closed Holly Solomon continued to deal art from the Chelsea Hotel until her death in 2002.

Holly Solomon was born Hollis Dworken in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1934. She started college at Vassar College, and later transferred to Sarah Lawrence College where she graduated in 1955. In 1953 she married Horace Solomon. Holly Solomon was an aspiring stage actress and was enrolled at Lee Strasberg's Actor's Studio shortly after moving to Manhattan. Although she was not a successful actress she and her husband began collecting art and were fans of the Pop Art movement. In 1969 the couple opened an alternative work and performance space for artists named 98 Greene Street Loft. The space provided a venue for poets, actors, and artists to work and perform. Solomon wrote and produced a five part documentary from performances at 98 Greene Street, and in 1972 it was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. 98 Greene Street Loft closed in 1973. Holly Solomon was also a proponent of the Pattern and Decoration, or "P and D", art movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Many of the artists featured in her gallery were involved in the P and D movement including Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, Ned Smyth, and Brad Davis.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2010 by Thomas and John Solomon, Holly Solomon's sons.
Restrictions:
This collection is access restricted. Use requires written permission. Financial and Legal Records (Series 8) are closed to researchers until they can be processed to a more detailed level. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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.
Topic:
Visitors' books  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Notebooks  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Video art  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State)
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Interviews
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Daybooks
Citation:
Holly Solomon Gallery records, circa 1948-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hollsolg
See more items in:
Holly Solomon Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b3fbe722-ce35-4577-b82a-1e3469c1317d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hollsolg

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