A Finding Aid to the Artists Talk on Art Records, circa 1974-2018, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.artitalk
Creators:
Artists Talk on Art
Dates:
circa 1974-2018
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
64.4 Linear feet
317.43 Gigabytes
Repository:
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 317.43 gigabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of events organized by the group featuring artists, critics, historians, dealers, curators and writers discussing contemporary issues in the American art world in hundreds of panel discussions, open screenings, and dialogues held in New York City. Events began in 1975 and continue to the present; recordings in the collection date from 1977 and 2016. A smaller group of records include administrative files, panel flyers, three scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panel discussions and participants.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 317.43 gigabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of events organized by the group featuring artists, critics, historians, dealers, curators and writers discussing contemporary issues in the American art world in hundreds of panel discussions, open screenings, and dialogues held in New York City. Events began in 1975 and continue to the present; recordings in the collection date from 1977 and 2016. A smaller group of records include administrative files, panel flyers, three scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panel discussions and participants.
ATOA's recordings chronicle the American art world, covering critical discussions and significant art world issues over five decades. Thousands of artists such as Will Barnet, Louise Bourgeois, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert De Niro, Agnes Denes, Michael Goldberg, Robert Longo, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Elizabeth Murray, Alice Neel, Philip Pavia, Howardena Pindell, Larry Rivers, Sylvia Sleigh, Kahinde Wiley, Hannah Wilke, David Wojnarowicz, and others speak about their work. The original recordings exist in a variety of formats, including U-Matic and VHS videotape, MiniDVs, sound cassettes and sound tape reels. ATOA digitized most of the video and sound recordings prior to donating the collection.
The collection also includes printed histories, board and program committee meeting minutes, financial statements, general correspondence files of the president and chair, attendance statistics, grant files, panel participant release forms, sixteen panel transcripts, a complete set of panel flyers (many are annotated) and other printed materials, three dismantled scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panels and panel participants.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The records are arranged into nine series.
  • Series 1: Adminstrative Files, 1974-2013 (0.4 linear feet, Box 1)
  • Series 2: Director's and Chairman's Correspondence, 1977-2006 (0.4 linear feet, Box 1)
  • Series 3: Grant Files, 1977-2009 (1 linear foot, Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 4: Panel Release Forms, 1978-2012 (1 linear foot, Boxes 2-3)
  • Series 5: Panel Transcripts, 1981, 1986, 1988, 2017-2018 (1 folder, Box 3; 0.002 GB, ER01)
  • Series 6: Printed Materials, 1975-2015 (0.8 linear feet, Boxes 3-4; 0.434 GB, ER02)
  • Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1975-1989 (0.2 linear feet, Box 4)
  • Series 8: Photographic Materials, circa 1975-circa 2000 (1 linear foot, Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 9: Video and Sound Recordings of Events, 1977-2016 (59 linear feet, Boxes 6-65; 317.43 GB, ER03-ER04)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Established in 1974 and still active in New York, Artists Talk on Art is the art world's longest running and most prolific aesthetic panel discussion series organized by artists for artists. Founded by Lori Antonacci, Douglas I. Sheer, and Robert Wiegand, the forum has presented 6,000 artists in nearly 1,000 documented panels or dialogues. ATOA held its first panel, "Whatever Happened to Public Art," on January 10, 1975 and it drew a "crowd" of 77 people. In the decades that followed, ATOA presented dozens of panels or dialogues a year, tackling such diverse topics as "What is Happening with Conceptual Art," with Louise Lawler and Lawrence Weiner; "Painting and Photography: Defining the Difference," with Sarah Charlesworth, Jack Goldstein, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, and Robert Mapplethorpe; "Organizing Arts Activism," with Lucy Lippard; "The Artist and the Epidemic—an information panel about AIDS"; "Cross-generational Views of Feminism"; and hundreds more.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Most of the video and sound recordings in this collection have been digitized for research access and the digital copies are available in the Archives of American Art research offices. Digital copies of the panel flyers and transcripts are also available in Archives of American Art offices.
Processing Information
Most of the video and sound recordings and panel flyers were digitized by the Artists Talk on Art organization prior to donation. Electronic copies of transcripts for twelve panels were donated in 2017-2018. Video and sound recordings, and their digital surrogates, and electronic records were processed to a preliminary level and an inventory for the finding aid was prepared by Megan McShea in 2017-2018. Individual event recordings were processed and described at the item level in this finding aid in 2019. The paper portion of the collection was processed and described by Barbara Aikens in 2017.
Author
Barbara Aikens and Megan McShea
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) records, including digital files of the video and sound recordings, were donated to the Archives in 2016 by Douglas Sheer, Chairman of ATOA.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Artists Talk on Art records, circa 1974-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Conditions Governing Access
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 born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Historians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christo, 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Denes, Agnes Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Niro, Robert, Sr., 1922-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goldberg, Michael, 1924- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jeanne-Claude, 1935-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Longo, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mendieta, Ana, 1948-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morris, Robert, 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murray, Elizabeth, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Neel, Alice, 1900-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pavia, Philip, 1915-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sleigh, Sylvia Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wilke, Hannah Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wojnarowicz, David Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/