Meredith Monk archive, 1959-2006

Monk, Meredith


130 linear feet (300 boxes).
Arranged in series: I. Correspondence, 1959-2006; II. Clippings, 1963-2006; III. Programs, flyers, and press releases, 1960-2006; IV. Writings, 1969-2006; V. Piece and project files, 1966-2006; VI. Scores, 1972-2005; VII. House Foundation for the Arts, 1959-2006; VIII. Photographs and drawings, 1965-2004; IX. Oversized material, circa 1965-2005.
The Meredith Monk archive contains substantial documentation of both the artistic and business aspects of Monk's career, as well as the workings of her company, the House Foundation For The Arts -- Major elements include personal correspondence, comprehensive collections of concert programs, media clippings, publicity materials and posters, piece and project files (some of which contain Monk's notes and sketches detailing the evolution of certain works), writings by and about Monk, scores, photographs, and drawings, financial and other papers documenting the work and of The House Foundation since its inception in 1968, and a collection of books about Monk and the art forms in which she works. Correspondence mainly consists of short notes and fan letters to Monk, but other correspondents include Bjork, David Byrne, Kenneth King, and Rob McBrien, as well as Monk's family and other close friends. Pieces with substantial historical documentation include Art Performs Life, Atlas, Book Of Days, Education Of The Girlchild, and Quarry. In addition to articles and essays by Monk, the writings include many interviews and interview transcripts with her, as well as academic dissertations and other writings about Monk and her work. While the collection includes some music scores, they do not form a significant portion because written scores have never been an important part of Monk's working method. The House Foundation records constitute another substantial component of the materials and consist mainly of financial and other business records. The touring and activity records document Monk and her company's many tours around the United States and the world and include travel and booking records, as well as itineraries and repertory information.
Meredith Monk (born New York, NY, November 20, 1942) is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films, and installations -- She pioneered what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance." During a career that spans more than forty years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts. In 1968, Monk founded the House Foundation for the Arts, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. Monk is a pioneer in site-specific performance, creating works such as Juice: A Theater Cantata In 3 Installments (1969) and American Archeology #1: Roosevelt Island (1994). She is also an accomplished filmmaker who has made a series of award-winning films including Ellis Island (1981) and her first feature, Book Of Days (1988). A retrospective art exhibition, Meredith Monk: Archeology of an Artist, was held at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 1996. A monograph, Meredith Monk, edited by Deborah Jowitt was published by Johns Hopkins Press in 1997. Monk continues to compose music and create new works for the theater.
See also Audrey Marsh papers (JPB 06-76) in the Music Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.

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