Jean Brown papers, 1916-1995 (bulk 1960-1985)

Brown, Jean, 1911-1994


ca. 318.7 linear ft. (320 boxes, 8 rolls, 64 flat file folders).
Organized in eight series: Series I. Artists' files; Series II. Announcements and invitations; Series III. Topical ephemera; Series IV. Clippings; Series V. Notes and personal; Series VI. Art objects; Series VII. Audio visual materials; Series VIII. Additional correspondence and notes.
An ensemble of original works and printed matter documenting Brown's intent to build a useable study collection of avant-garde materials, dating from 1916-1995 (bulk 1960-1985). In-depth holdings by artists participating in Fluxus, happenings, concrete, sound and visual poetry, mail art, copy art, rubber stamp printing, new music, and video and performance art underscore her range of interests. The collection's broad scope presents a comprehensive account of alternative movements, distribution networks and exhibition venues of the 1960s and 1970s.
The genesis of the archive can be found within the relatively small, but seminal collection of manuscripts, announcements, letters and clippings of the Dada and Surrealist artists Robert Desnos, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Richard Huelsenbeck, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, and Tristan Tzara.
Brown's interests later expanded to the burgeoning alternative scene influenced by Dada and Surrealism, particularly the Fluxus and mail art artists whose materials comprise the bulk of the collection. Of primary significance are art objects (ca. 500), manuscripts, performance instructions, scores, correspondence, drawings and announcements by Fluxus artists, including Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Albert Fine, Ken Friedman, Dick Higgins, Per Kirkeby, Milan Knízák, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, Benjamin Patterson, Dieter Roth, Takako Saito, Tomas Schmit, Mieko Shiomi, Carolee Schneemann, Daniel Spoerri, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell, Robert Watts and Emmett Williams.
Also notable are large concentrations of mail art, copy art and rubber stamp printing by Anna Banana, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Sas Colby, COUM transmissions, Amelia Etlinger, John Held, E.F. Higgins III, Davi Det Hompson, Stu Horn, Ray Johnson, Mohammed Archive, Carlo Pittore, Bern Porter, Steve Random and Al Souza. Concrete, visual and sound poetry is substantially represented through manuscripts, typescripts, chapbooks and prints by John M. Bennett, Augusto de Campos, Thomas A. Clark, Bob Cobbing, Coracle Press, Ian Hamilton Finlay, John Furnival, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Jackson Mac Low, Opal Nations, Tom Phillips, Fred Truck and Herman de Vries. Scores, performance announcements and reviews highlight the new music works of John Cage and Philip Corner, and Charlotte Moorman's realizations.
Considerable printed matter from galleries, museums and avant-garde artists' spaces, such as the Kitchen, Franklin Furnace and the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, records the exhibition and performance activities of artists and the spaces which held them. Also included are bibliographic notes written by Brown, audio cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, and films.
American collector and supporter of the avant-garde.
Mss. (typescripts, holographs); printed matter; objects; cassette tapes, reel-to-reel audio tapes, videos and films.
Open for use by qualified researchers, except for unreformatted sound recordings in boxes 249-255.
Are available on use copies (CDs). The videos (V1-V2) and films (F1-F4) have been reformatted and have Use copies available.
Finding aid available in the repository: folder level control.
Photographs of ca. 70% of Series VI. Art objects available in the repository.

Related Resources

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