A Finding Aid to the Printed Matter, Inc., Records, 1970-1990, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.prinmati
Creators:
Printed Matter, Inc
Dates:
1970-1990
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
24.9 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of Printed Matter, Inc., a non-profit artists' book publisher and distributor in New York, measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1970 to 1990. Documentation on this organization includes artist, distributor, and client files; inventory records; legal and administrative records; general correspondence; ledgers, invoices, and other financial records; files arranged by subject; and architectural drawings of the interior office space. The administrative correspondence scattered across the various series shows Printed Matter's philosophy, operations, and relationships to artists. Many early notes and minutes are in Sol LeWitt's handwriting. Among the names to be found in the files are former staff members Edith deAk, Mike Glier, Nancy Linn, Ingrid Sischy, and Nancy Princenthal; founders Sol LeWitt and Lucy Lippard; and contracted artists, such as Douglas Davis, Heidi Fasnacht, Jenny Holzer, Douglas Huebler, Louise Lawler, Richard Nonas, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Art Spiegelman, Michelle Stuart, Athena Tacha, and Lawrence Weiner.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of Printed Matter, Inc., a non-profit artists' book publisher and distributor in New York, measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1970 to 1990. Documentation on this organization includes artist, distributor, and client files; inventory records; legal and administrative records; general correspondence; ledgers, invoices, and other financial records; files arranged by subject; and architectural drawings of the interior office space. The administrative correspondence scattered across the various series shows Printed Matter's philosophy, operations, and relationships to artists. Many early notes and minutes are in Sol LeWitt's handwriting. Among the names to be found in the files are former staff members Edith deAk, Mike Glier, Nancy Linn, Ingrid Sischy, and Nancy Princenthal; founders Sol LeWitt and Lucy Lippard; and contracted artists, such as Douglas Davis, Heidi Fasnacht, Jenny Holzer, Douglas Huebler, Louise Lawler, Richard Nonas, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Art Spiegelman, Michelle Stuart, Athena Tacha, and Lawrence Weiner.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Artist Files, circa 1970-1990 (Boxes 1-3; 3.0 linear feet)
  • Distributor Files, 1976-1988 (Boxes 4-6; 3.0 linear feet)
  • Client Files, 1971-1989 (Boxes 7-8; 2.0 linear feet)
  • Inventory Cards, circa 1970s-1980s (Boxes 9-10; 2.0 linear feet)
  • Legal and Administrative Records, 1976-1989 (Boxes 11-13; 2.6 linear feet)
  • Correspondence, 1975-1986 (Boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Subject Files, 1972-1990 (Boxes 14-20; 6.0 linear feet)
  • Financial Records, 1975-1989 (Boxes 20-25; 5.5 linear feet)
  • Architectural Drawings, circa 1985 (OV 26; 0.1 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Printed Matter, Inc., a non-profit artists' book publisher and distributor in New York was established in 1976 by Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, and others. The organization grew from a small business coalition of artists into the largest facility dedicated to publications made by artists in book form. By 1986, Printed Matter had published or disseminated books by more than 1800 artists. Its history also mirrors the trajectory of the downtown art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, for which it became a matrix, an outlet, and a representative.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimal level shortly after donation. A finding aid was created by Erin Kinhart in 2018.
Author
Erin Kinhart
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2001 by David Platzker for Printed Matter, Inc.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Printed Matter, Inc. records, 1970-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publishers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architectural drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Douglas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DeAk, Edit Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fasnacht, Heide, 1951- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huebler, Douglas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lawler, Louise Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Linn, Nancy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lippard, Lucy R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nonas, Richard, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosler, Martha Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Princenthal, Nancy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ruscha, Edward Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sischy, Ingrid Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spiegelman, Art Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stuart, Michelle, 1933- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tacha, Athena, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weiner, Lawrence. 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/