A Finding Aid to the John Evans Papers, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2012, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.evanjohn
Creators:
Evans, John, 1932-
Dates:
1957-2012
bulk 1970-2012
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
7.1 Linear feet
1 Gigabyte
Repository:
The papers of John Evans, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2000, measure 7.1 linear feet and 1.00 GB and document the collage artist's involvement with mail art. The vast majority of letters are from mail artists, often with embellished envelopes and include and a digital version of Collected Essays by John Held, Jr. Writings include a thesis about mail art by Marya Trianfellos. Subject files concern art stamps, mail art shows and events, Ray Johnson's death and memorial tributes to him. The most thoroughly documented mail art project, "John Evans Fake Collages," is of unknown origin. In addition, there are a few items relating to projects conceived by Evans and more substantial documentation of projects initiated by Christina Behmenburg, Leslie Caldera, Ryosuke Cohen, Peter W. Kaufmann, Angela and Peter Netmail.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of John Evans, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2000, measure 7.1 linear feet and 1.00 GB and document the collage artist's involvement with mail art. The vast majority of letters - many with embelllished envelopes - are from mail artists. There is also a digital version of Collected Essays by John Held, Jr. Writings include a thesis about mail art by Marya Trianfellos. Subject files concern art stamps, Ray Johnson's death and subsequent memorial tributes, mail art shows and other events. The most thoroughly documented mail art project, "John Evans Fake Collages," is of unknown origin. In addition, there are a few items relating to projects conceived by Evans, and more substantial documentation of projects initiated by Christina Behmenburg, Leslie Caldera, Ryosuke Cohen, Peter W. Kaufmann, Angela and Peter Netmail.
Evans's mail art correspondents include: Dr. Al Ackerman (Blaster), Anna Banana (Banana Productions), Roy Arenella, Guy Bleus (The Administration Centre 42.292), buZ blurr, Richard C., Leslie Caldera (Creative Thing), Carl T. Chew, Buster Cleveland, Ryosuke Cohen, Chuck Welch (Cracker Jack Kid), Robin Crozier, Jerome D'Angelo, Irene Dogmatic (Dogmmystique/Dogmatique Misticky), Morris David Dorenfeld, Jerry Dreva, Donald Evans, James Evans, Walt Evans, Fa Ga Ga Ga, A. M. Fine, Bill Gaglione (Picasso Gaglione), John Held, Jr., HICO, E. F. Higgins, III, Rudd Janssen, Dianne Jenkins, Ray Johnson, Tod Jorgenssen, Chester Kasnowski, On Kawara, Gene Laughter, Michael Leigh (A.1. Waste Paper Co., Ltd.), David M. Miller, Minoy, Mohammed, Robert Morilla, Art Nahpro (Paul Jackson), Carlo Pittore, E. M. Plunkett, Steve Random, Robert Rocola, Marilyn K. Rosenberg, Andreas Senser, Skooter, Smegma (Scarlatina Lust, Alex Torrid Zone Igloo, Pardon My Myrth, Alexander Josef Hirka), D. C. spaulding, Lon Spiegelman, John Tostada (Tostdada, Oh Boy Mailart!), Pat Tavenner (Mail Queen), Third Story, Benedict J. Tisa, Sonja Van der Burg (Afzed), Whitson (Peter Whitson Warren), and Robert Warren.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collectionis arranged as 4 series:
  • Series 1: Letters, 1957-2012 (Boxes 1-6, OV 8; 5.3 linear feet, ER01; 0.111 GB)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1983-1991 (Box 6; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Subject Files, 1970s-2012 (Boxes 6-7; 0.8 linear feet, ER02-ER03; 0.889 GB)
  • Series 4: Mail Art Projects, 1986-2012 (Box 7, OV 8; 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Evans (1932-2012), a collage artist in New York City, was an active participant in mail art.
After attending the Art Institute of Chicago, Evans moved to New York in 1963. He was a member of the Neo-Dada community and interested in Fluxus events. Meeting Ray Johnson and a few other mail artists at a party introduced Evans to mail art and led to many long term friendships.
Between 1964 and 2000, Evans produced a daily collage of found objects collected from the street, pasted onto a sketchbook page, enhanced with watercolor, and stamped with the date. Each collage included the image of a duck's head known as "Ursuline Duck," a reference to his friend Ursule Molinaro (1914-2000). The collages were, in effect, a diary that recorded everyday life and referenced his exhibition activities. John Evans: Collages, a monograph published in 2004, reproduced 364 collages representative of his style over time. His largest mail art project, "Fake John Evans Collages," spanned several years and was in progress at the time of his death.
John Evans died on October 5, 2012 following a heart attack.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2013 by Catherine S. Gaines. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed. Born-digital records were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Catherine S. Gaines
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Margaret Evans, widow of John Evans, in 2013.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
John Evans papers, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Conditions Governing Use
The John Evans papers, 1957-2012, bulk 1970s-2012, are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mail art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collage Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Küstermann, Peter, 1950- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leigh, Michael Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miller, David M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morilla, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pittore, Carlo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plunkett, Ed (1922-) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Random, S. (Steven), 1954- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rocola, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosenberg, Marilyn K. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Senser, Andreas, 1942-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tavenner, Pat Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spiegelman, Lon Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tostada, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tisa, Benedict J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Von der Burg, Sonja Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trianfellos, Marya Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaufmann, Peter W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warren, Robert Penn, 1905- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jorgenssen, Tod Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kasnowski, Chester Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Janssen, Ruud, 1959- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, Ray, 1927- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Held, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Higgins, E. F., 1949- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Evans, Walt Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gaglione, Bill Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kawara, K., Japanese Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dorenfeld, Morris David Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
D'Angelo, Jerome, D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crozier, Robin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cleveland, Buster, -1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Ryosuke, 1948- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chew, C. T. (Carl T.), 1948- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caldera, Leslie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bleus, Guy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ackerman, Blaster Al, 1939-2013 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Behmenburg, Christa Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Banana, Anna, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dreva, Jerry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Evans, Donald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Evans, James Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arenella, Roy 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/