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Pictures To Be Read/Poetry To Be Seen: Archive / Jan Van Der Marck, curator ; Arakawa ; Baruchello GF ; Bauermeister M ; Fahlstrom O ; Johnson R ; Kaprow A ; Kitaj R ; Knowles A ; Nutt J ; Simonetti GE ; Vostell W ; Cage J ; Duchamp T., 1967

Identifier: CC-04846-4942

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Scope and Contents

This archive, from the collection of Jan van der Marck (1929-2010), who curated it, essentially duplicates the pamphlet that accompanied the limited edition box of the same title. It includes four announcement cards from Language I, II, III & IV exhibitions at the the Dwan Gallery 1967-1970 with artists that might have received his invitation to contribute to the "Pictures..." or "...Telephone exhibitions. The former is not included in the pamphlet catalogue nor is the invitation letter included in the Archive. Other missing elements from the Archive that are depicted in the pamphlet include correspondence from Al Howard & a found advertisement on bottle caps. Bauermeister writes a long rambling letter with her thoughts on her contribution according to van Marck's dictum, viz., an object with no intrinsic value that can be picked up in a dimestore, found on a beach or manufactured with little trouble - expressive of your likes & ideas, an element recurrent in your work or vocabulary. Brecht's letter includes a drawing of a wooden stick for labeling plants & instructions to make a rubber stamp with the text: "CHICAGO MUSTARD EVENT (for John Masturs) Push point of stick into earth, George Brecht." Kaprow contributes a drawing of a painted screw with instructions for mounting it. Kitaj suggests a photo of a print from his NYC Marlborough show with a drawing & instructions for mounting it. Subsequently, Kitaj writes that he misunderstood instructions for the box object and indicates that his contribution will be "A RED CRAYOLA CRAYON (preferably standing upright)." Vostell writes that he chose to contribute a de-coll/aged lightbulb "because i used it as a sound event in the first fluxus happening where i throw about 100 lightbulbs against a big window pane which was put between me and the face of the audience..." Accordingly, van der Marck included the remnants of two smashed lightbulbs in plastic envelopes within the complete plexiglas box. -- Source of annotation: Marvin or Ruth Sackner.


  • Creation: 1967



0 See container summary (1 archive + pamphlet + 4 cards (printed) + Arakawa letter (typed, p) + Baruchello drawing (ink, handwriting, safety pin, tape) + Bauermeister envelope (ink, ink colored, handwriting) + Bauermeister letter (ink, handwriting, 4pp) + Brecht letter (typed, ink, drawing, p) + Teeny Duchamp letter (typed, p) + 2 Ovid Fahlstrom cards (both sides, ink, handwriting) + Johnson letter (typed, p) + Kaprow letter (ink, handwriting, drawing, 2pp) + Kitaj letter (ink, handwriting, drawing, 2p) + Kitaj letter (ink, handwriting, p) + Knowles letter (typed, p) + Nutt drawing (ink) + 2 Simonetti collages (paper, ink) + Simonetti card (both sides, typed) + Simonetti letter (typed, p) + Vostell letter (typed, ink, p) (36 pages)) ; 29.8 x 21 x .2 cm

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Physical Location

portfolio box s

Custodial History

The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, on loan from Ruth and Marvin A. Sackner and the Sackner Family Partnership.


Published: Chicago, Illinois : Museum of Contemporary Art. Signed by: Arakawa (l.r.- letter); Baruchello 1967 (l.r.- drawing); [Mary] Bauermeister (t.c.- envelope verso); Mary Bauermeister (b.c.- letter); George Brecht (l.r.- letter); Teeny Duchamp (l.r.- letter); Ovid Fahlstrom (l.l.- card); Ray Johnson (l.r.- letter); Allan [Kaprow] (l.r.- letter); R.B. Kitaj (b.c.- letter); R.B. Kitaj (b.c.- letter); Alison [Knowles] (b.c.- letter); Gianni Emilio Simonetti (b.c.- card); Gianni Emilio Simonetti (l.l.- letter). General: About 1 total copies. General: Added by: CONV; updated by: MARVIN.

Repository Details

Part of the The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry Repository

125 W. Washington St.
Main Library
Iowa City Iowa 52242 United States