A Finding Aid to the Tom Marioni Papers, 1970-2017, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mariotom
Creators:
Marioni, Tom, 1937-
Dates:
1970-2017
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
6.7 Linear feet
7.37 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of conceptual and performance artist Tom Marioni measure 6.7 linear feet and 7.37 GB and date from 1970-2017. The collection documents Marioni's career through photographs, address and appointment books, visitor books from performances, exhibitions, and other gatherings, printed material, and digital sound and video recordings of exhibitions and events.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of conceptual and performance artist Tom Marioni measure 6.7 linear feet and 7.37 GB and date from 1970-2017. The collection documents Marioni's career through photographs, address and appointment books, visitor books from performances, exhibitions, and other gatherings, printed material, and digital sound and video recordings of exhibitions and events.
The bulk of the collection consists of photographs that document Marioni's weekly performances of "The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art," which were held in his San Francisco studio in the 1990s and early 2000s, and digital video recordings of one series of performances at the Hammer Museum in 2010. Also found are snapshots taken at exhibitions, museums, and galleries, and photos of artwork by Marioni.
Printed material includes editions 1-5 of Vision, an art journal published by Crown Point Press for which Marioni served as editor.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as four series.
  • Series 1: Address and Appointment Books, 1970-2011 (Box 1; 11 folders)
  • Series 2: Guest Books, 1991-2017 (Box 1-2; 1 linear foot)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1991-2006 (Box 2, OV 13; 11 folders)
  • Series 4: Photographs, 1970-2012 (Box 2-3, 5-12; 4.5 linear feet, ER01-ER05; 7.37 GB)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Tom Marioni (1937- ) is a conceptual and performance artist in San Francisco, California, known for his role in the emergence of the conceptual art movement in the 1960s to the mid-1970s.
Marioni was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and from an early age had an interest in music, particularly jazz, and played the violin. He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati before moving to San Francisco where his art was included in a juried exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Marioni served in the U.S. Army between 1960-1963 and was stationed in Germany, before returning to pusue a career as an artist and educator.
Through his works "One Second Sculpture" (1969) and "The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art" (1970), and his role in the founding of the Museum of Conceptual Art in 1970, Marioni played a key role in the conceptual art movement, and held several art shows at the Museum of Conceptual Art before its closure in 1984. In weekly Cafe Wednesdays, Marioni's renditions of "The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art" were performance art shows in which guests were both participants and observers who were asked to follow several rules, drink beer, and interact. The show was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1979, and renditions of the performance have since occurred in museums around the world. In 1989, Marioni established an artists club in his San Francisco studio and began holding Cafe Wednesdays again. In 1999 the name "Cafe Wednesday" was changed to the Society of Independent Artists.
Marioni has had many solo shows throughout his career including exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, de Young Museum, and Kunstsaele in Berlin, Germany. Retrospectives of Marioni's work have been held at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati and Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, and he has completed installations and participated in group exhibitions internationally, including at Y1 Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden, Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Lyon Biennale in France, Secession Gallery in Vienna, Austria, and many others. Marioni's work can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stadtische Kunsthalle in Mannheim, Germany, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and elsewhere.

Administration
Author
Christopher DeMairo
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Tom Marioni in 2018.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Christopher DeMairo in 2021. Born-digital material was processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2021 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.

Using the Collection
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.
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.
Preferred Citation
Tom Marioni papers, 1970-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conceptual artists -- California -- San Francisco Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Performance artists -- California -- San Francisco Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Performance art Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conceptual art Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crown Point Press (Oakland, Calif.) Corporate 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/