Passionate About History
and the Making of
History: in situ dialogues
with artists and their
assistants about studio
archi...
WE

ARTISTS’ STUDIO ARCHIVES

Funded by:
Artist Support Partners Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation
H.W. Wilson Foundation Re...
STUDIO ARCHIVES help artists:
• increase the visibility of their
work (get it in shows, have it
written about and research...
STUDIO ARCHIVES publication:
• Benefits of organizing & preserving
• Figuring out what you gave &
deciding what to keep
• ...
METHODOLOGY & PARTICIPANTS
Semi-structured
interviews with
artists, studio
assistants,
archivists and art
historians.
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS
DEMOGRAPHICS - ARTISTS
GENDER of ARTISTS

MALE

FEMALE

AGE of ARTISTS
30’S-40’S
50+
DEMOGRAPHICS - ARTISTS
YEARS AS AN ARTIST
< 10 YEARS
10-20 YEARS
30-40 YEARS
40+ YEARS
Mel Chin

“With conceptual work there's a lot of
paper, a lot of digital files, a lot of
research…and the artwork is a hug...
Cai Guo Qiang
“fireworks” & “explosion events”

Closing Rainbow: Fireworks Project for the
Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Be...
THE ARTISTS’ STUDIO
ARTISTS’ STUDIO ARCHIVES
“The archives has to blend in with the working
functions of the studio…”
-Bonnie Huie, Archives A...
STUDIO ARCHIVES
video stills

unsorted slides

personal photos

plans/photos galleries museums
STUDIO ARCHIVES
THE (ART)WORK
THE DOCUMENTATION OF/ABOUT THE (ART)WORK
INSPIRATIONAL & SOURCE MATERIALS
• Artwork inventor...
STUDIO ARCHIVES
Right now it feels like the word “archive” seems a lot
bigger than my practice so far…This is a great thin...
STUDIO ARCHIVES databases
Main Sections
Artworks
CV
Bibliography
Documentation
Acquisitions
Conservation Log
Registrar Log...
STUDIO ARCHIVES digital filing
Juan Logan
Please Save This
STUDIO ARCHIVES physical storage
STUDIO ARCHIVES digital/video
storage & preservation
I also didn't know how to go
through them [artworks on video]
and wha...
READINGS - current favorites
Artists' estates : Reputations in trust, ed. Magda
Salvesen. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Uni...
Why artists keep studio archives…
1. Business needs and goals.
2. To develop and promote artist’s work.
3. Legacy & estate...
THANKS!
Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives
Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives
Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives
Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives
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Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives

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  • In order to define what studio archives are, we should first look at some of the work artists are doing – then you’ll start to see what the challenges are. Contemporary artists enjoy a great deal of freedom in terms of the materials and methods they can use to create new works. The work may be a performance, it may be conceptual and ephemeral, the work may be something that needs to be re-created or re-built each time it is exhibited. Artists may need to include a lot of documentation on hand in order to re-create works at different venues. Without documentation, it is simply not possible to promote or make a living from the work. The other thing to know is that no one else does this for artists. They have to manage it themselves. If they can’t do it all themselves, and if they have the resources, they hire people to help. Galleries do not provide full archival services – not even close.
  • Passionate About History and the Making of History: in Situ Dialogues with Artists and their Assistants about Studio Archives

    1. 1. Passionate About History and the Making of History: in situ dialogues with artists and their assistants about studio archives Heather Gendron, Art Librarian - UNC Chapel Hill hgendron@email.unc.edu
    2. 2. WE ARTISTS’ STUDIO ARCHIVES Funded by: Artist Support Partners Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation H.W. Wilson Foundation Research Award, Art Libraries Society of North America UNC Chapel Hill – University Research Council, Faculty Small Grant
    3. 3. STUDIO ARCHIVES help artists: • increase the visibility of their work (get it in shows, have it written about and researched) • sell their work to collectors and museums, get grants, and manage their fiscal operations • manage their legal rights and estate • create new works • and ultimately maintain control over their image as an artist and their legacy.
    4. 4. STUDIO ARCHIVES publication: • Benefits of organizing & preserving • Figuring out what you gave & deciding what to keep • Studio archives assistants (hiring, managing, etc.) • Managing the artwork (physical & digital) • Managing and preserving digital content (e.g., digital images & video, audio, email, websites, documents, etc.) • Databases • Working with institutional archives & museums • Estate planning Case studies Forms & Worksheets
    5. 5. METHODOLOGY & PARTICIPANTS Semi-structured interviews with artists, studio assistants, archivists and art historians.
    6. 6. SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS
    7. 7. DEMOGRAPHICS - ARTISTS GENDER of ARTISTS MALE FEMALE AGE of ARTISTS 30’S-40’S 50+
    8. 8. DEMOGRAPHICS - ARTISTS YEARS AS AN ARTIST < 10 YEARS 10-20 YEARS 30-40 YEARS 40+ YEARS
    9. 9. Mel Chin “With conceptual work there's a lot of paper, a lot of digital files, a lot of research…and the artwork is a huge part of it…" Rose Candelara, Archives Assistant
    10. 10. Cai Guo Qiang “fireworks” & “explosion events” Closing Rainbow: Fireworks Project for the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Beijing, China 2008 Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project Philadelphia Museum of Art 2009
    11. 11. THE ARTISTS’ STUDIO
    12. 12. ARTISTS’ STUDIO ARCHIVES “The archives has to blend in with the working functions of the studio…” -Bonnie Huie, Archives Assistant (Cai Studio)
    13. 13. STUDIO ARCHIVES video stills unsorted slides personal photos plans/photos galleries museums
    14. 14. STUDIO ARCHIVES THE (ART)WORK THE DOCUMENTATION OF/ABOUT THE (ART)WORK INSPIRATIONAL & SOURCE MATERIALS • Artwork inventories & databases (image & video libraries, sales records, preservation records, exhibition history, etc.) • Artist statements, CVs, websites • Financial and artwork sales records • Correspondence – personal and with “art world” people (collectors, gallery owners, museum staff, art critics & historians, etc.) • Recorded interviews, presentations, materials from courses taught • Personal & studio libraries • Exhibition catalogs and announcements • Source materials (e.g., unedited video used or to be used in final works) • Sketchbooks • Artwork not yet sold • Collections of artwork by other artists
    15. 15. STUDIO ARCHIVES Right now it feels like the word “archive” seems a lot bigger than my practice so far…This is a great thing for me to be talking about because it’s not something that I think about in an extended way. I do my process of creating a digital file and put everything in it…then I go to the next project and that’s it. -early career artist (A) It’s hard for me to apply that word [archive] to myself. I have my computer and my hard drives and I guess that’s my archive. It depends on if it’s my work or other things that led up to the work because then it goes a lot deeper….There’s a lot of flow between my life and my work.” -early career artist (B)
    16. 16. STUDIO ARCHIVES databases Main Sections Artworks CV Bibliography Documentation Acquisitions Conservation Log Registrar Log Video Artwork Entry Title Date Material(s) Location Exhibit Collaborator(s) Dimensions Work type (installation, drawing, etc.)
    17. 17. STUDIO ARCHIVES digital filing
    18. 18. Juan Logan Please Save This
    19. 19. STUDIO ARCHIVES physical storage
    20. 20. STUDIO ARCHIVES digital/video storage & preservation I also didn't know how to go through them [artworks on video] and what to eliminate because formats keep changing so much that I have no idea and I try to ask people and I've gotten nowhere...I have 3/4 inch tapes that most of the work was done on for a period of 15 years...They're cluttering up the whole back [area] there...a space...that used to be my edit(ing) room and now it's just a storage room. - late career artist
    21. 21. READINGS - current favorites Artists' estates : Reputations in trust, ed. Magda Salvesen. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005. The Artist Interview  for Conservation and : Presentation of Contemporary Art, Guidelines and Practice. Lydia Beerkens , et al. Heyningen: Jap Sam Books, 2012. Artists’ records in the archives : Symposium proceedings / New York, NY. Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (2013) – available online Full bibliography available upon request.
    22. 22. Why artists keep studio archives… 1. Business needs and goals. 2. To develop and promote artist’s work. 3. Legacy & estate planning. Challenges… Time, money, and/or skills.
    23. 23. THANKS!

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