Scope and Contents
The papers of artist Kenneth Snelson measure 21.8 linear feet and date from 1947-2016. While primarily known for his sculptures incorporating the structural principle of tensegrity, Snelson was also a prolific photographer and forerunner of computer art. The collection document's the artist's life and work through chronological files, correspondence, project files, gallery and exhibition files, photographic material, and printed material.
Chronological files detail seven decades of personal and professional activities, beginning with Snelson's summers at Black Mountain College where he studied with Buckminster Fuller. Files contain a diverse array of material including personal photographs, photographs of artwork, printed material, correspondence, life documents, resumes, exhibition records, drawings and sketches, supply receipts, and professional files.
Correspondence in Series 2 is primarily with artists and friends. Notable correspondents include artists Buckminster Fuller, Anthony Hill, Todd Siler, and Shinkichi Tajiri.
Project files comprise nearly half of the collection and extensively document Snelson's sculptures, towers, atom model, computer art, patents, and cataloging and publishing projects. Files include a great deal of photographic material of artwork, models, and installations, as well as sketches, notes regarding specifications, material samples, supply receipts, invoices, and correspondence with dealers, contractors, institutions, and companies commissioning work.
Exhibition and gallery files document dozens of exhibitions and galleries that have represented Snelson over the years in the Unites States, Europe, and Japan. Items include correspondence, photographic material of artworks, installations, and openings, exhibitions lists, floorplans, shipping receipts, invoices, contracts, and printed material including exhibitions catalogs, announcements, and clippings.
Photographic material includes photographic prints, slides, negatives, contact sheets, and transparencies, as well as notes that Snelson kept about camera types and photographic processes. Although personal photographs are included here, the bulk of the material pertains to Snelson's fine art photography in which he experiments with panoramic photography and stereoscopic photography.
Printed material is predominantly comprised of exhibition catalogs, although a few articles and clippings are filed here as well.