Eleanor Antin 100 Boots feedback

Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Huber and Jessica Gambling
Processing and finding aid creation made possible by a grant from the Getty Foundation as a part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90036
323-857-6118
library@lacma.org

Note

Additional encoding by Jessica Gambling


Title: Eleanor Antin 100 Boots feedback
Identifier/Call Number: ANT.001.001
Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 12.67 Linear feet , 544 leaves, 13 boxes.
Date (inclusive): 1970-1974
Creator: Antin, Eleanor

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Eleanor Antin accompanying the purchase of 100 Boots postcards and the installation 100 Boots in their Crashpad for Antin's retrospective at LACMA in 1999 (EX.2214).

Biographical/Historical note

Eleanor Antin (nee Fineman) was born in New York City on February 27, 1935. She studied at the High School of Music and Art in New York City and received a B.A. in creative writing from the College of the City of New York. She also studied philosophy at the New School of Social Research and acting at the Tamara Daykarhanova School for the stage and dance at the Martha Graham studio. Much of the artist's work focuses on her attempt to find a missing part of her "Self," which is apparent in her "King of Solana Beach", "Ballerina" and her other works involving various personas. She is married to poet and critic David Antin.
For Antin's most well known early work, 100 Boots, the artist photographed 50 pairs of black rubber boots in 51 locations and situations depicting ther journey from the San Diego area, where Antin lived and worked, to the Museum of Modern Art in New York where the boots and photographs displayed in the summer of 1973. Each photograph was sent as a post card to hundreds of individuals and insitutions with many recipients responding by sending letters, postcards, collages, small works of art and other items to Antin through the mail.

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of 544 album leaves, each housed in a sheet protector, five three dimensional objects, and six folders containing oddly shaped or oversized items. Each may consist of letters, postcards, newspaper clippings, journal clippings, mail art, collages, and ephemera sent to Eleanor Antin during the years 1971-1974. Most of the items were sent to Antin in response to the receipt of postcards from the 100 Boots series or inspired by them but also present are a few items related to projects of Antin's, such as postcards for an upcoming “Traditional Art Show” featuring her photograph Portrait of the King and a postcard promoting her video work Representational Painting (1971).
Contributors include artists, writers, art department faculty members of various universities, museum curators and other staff, gallerists and well as friends and acquaintances of Eleanor Antin and her husband, poet David Antin (some letters are addressed to "David and Ely"). Antin received letters and Christmas cards from poet Aram Saroyan and artist Carolee Schneeemann; letters from Stephen Weil from the Whitney Museum of American Art; Robert Flood Jr. of the University Art Collections at Arizona State University; artists Robert Cumming and Stephen Zaima; Judy Farmer of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art Rental and Sales Gallery; Caroline Kent and Rick Herold of Orlando Gallery in Los Angeles; Collin Naylor of Art and Artists magazine; editor of L.A. Artists Publication Fidel Danieli; and Marty Carey describing life at the artists’ commune of the True Light Beavers in Willow, New York, near Woodstock. The collection also includes many letters from the fictional firm Dawson Aircraft signed by the firm’s founder Ira G. Dawson in which he complements Antin’s work and often apologizes for being absent from events due to pressing business obligations. Most of the letters in the collection are positive, praising 100 Boots as as exciting and fun, but Antin also retained letters critical of her work and requests to be removed from her mailing list.
The collection includes examples conceptual art, collage art and especially mail art. General Idea, the Canadian artist group founded in 1969 consisting of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson, is the best represented contributor of collages and postcards. Most notable are their “Boot Splits” made of Antin’s 100 Boots postcards torn in half and taped to half of another 100 Boots postcard or a completely unrelated card. Many of these include additional collage elements and are often stamped “Great Canadian Split Project.” Other particularly well represented contributors are the Canadian Art Writers, sometimes signed by David Zack; John Evans who sent Antin both letters and mail art postcards which include his “e” with a dot stamp, the “Avenue B. School of Art" stamp, and the “More Ursuline Ducks” stamp as well as drawings and collages incorporating the Ursuline Duck motif. Many flyers and collages from Ray Johnson are also present, most including his bunny drawing. Among these is a “Ray Johnson Evaporation,” a photocopied drawing of a milk bottle with instructions to fill it with something and send it on to John Evans. Also present are a large number of “poems” by Richard C. (Richard Craven) that consist of a single line typed onto an index card. Antin also retained a number of mail art postcards that had passed through many artist’s hands and baring their stamps. Mail art identity stamps also present but not mentioned above are the New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver and Flakey Rose Hip (both mail art identities of Glenn Lewis); Mr. Peanut and Marcel Dot (Michael Morris); Hoo Hoo Archives (Russell L. Buttler); School of Art (possibly John Baldessari); and Archive (poet Frank Kuenstler). Examples of conceptual art projects include documentation for several “Fake Events” from the New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver, with instructions for actions one could perform alone and in any location to participate. The final step of many such events is to go back to whatever it was you were doing before you started as if nothing had happened. A few three-dimensional objects are in the collection as well, including a painted sock, an installment of the “Sock of the Month Club” from Fletcher Copp and Ken Friedman (box 13, folder 1), and a box witha purple pine tree painted in it by Brian Buczak (box 12, item 4).
Also present in the collections are ephemeral items such as change of address cards, empty envelopes separated from their contents, pieces of string, and large manila envelopes, usually with the return address for the University of California San Diego and labeled “100 Boots feedback.”

Arrangement note

This collection was arranged by the creator into three large three ring albums. The collection is arranged in 544 sheet protectors each of which contain items originally grouped together on an album leaf by Eleanor Antin. Many items have been removed from the original album pages before being placed into sheet protectors. The original arrangement of these items on each leaf was not recorded but it appears that the original order of the leaves has largely been preserved. Fragile and large items were removed from their sequence in the albums and placed into boxes 12 and 13 at the end of the collection. Except where noted, their original sequence within the albums was not recorded.

Conditions Governing Access note

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment only through the Balch Research Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Telephone 323-857-6118 or email library@lacma.org.

Conditions Governing Use note

Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-856-6535 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission for use from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation note

[Description of item], Eleanor Antin 100 Boots feedback, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, ANT.001.001.

Processing Information note

Original physical processing was performed by interns in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library 1999 and LACMA conservation staff. The original album leaves were removed from Antin's original three binders. Many of the original were trimmed down to fit into sheet protectors. Most items were cut or pulled from the original album pages before being wrapped in glassine and inserted into three hole punched sheet protectors which were replaced into the three original albums and five additional three ring binders. The original arrangement of these items on album pages has not been maintained or recorded. It appears that the original order of leaves has been maintained. Large or fragile items were removed from the binders and housed in archival folders outside of the binders. The position of these items within the sequence of leaves was not recorded. A brief description of the contents of each album or binder was also created at this time.
In October 2011 archivist Jessica Gambling removed the leaves from the binders and rehoused them archivally stable flat storage boxes. The glassine was removed from select items and replaced with mylar sleeves. Some sheet protectors were cut on one side to make removal and examination of individual items easier. Some additional oversized items were removed, there original location within the series of leaves has been recorded in the container list.
This finding aid was created by Elizabeth Huber and Jessica Gambling in July 2011 and Jully 2012.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Antin, Eleanor--100 Boots
Mail art--United States
Postcards--United States

Box 1

Feedback dated in 1971 and 1972.

Scope and Contents note

36 leaves including including postcards, letters, photocopies, flyers, and other materials sent to Antin in the years 1971and 1972, largely in response to receiving a postcard from the series 100 Boots or hearing about the series. Contributing artists include Ray Johnson, John Evans, Richard C. (Richard Craven), Lowell Darling, Roberty Cumming, Cynthia Oxenberg, June Wayne, Barbara Smith, Stephan von Huene, and Stephen Zaima of the Museum Avant-Garde in Davis, California. Writers and poets who sent materials include Jackson MacClow, Ruth Krauss, Aram Saroyan, Kenward Elmslie, and Bill Zavatsky. Other contributors are art collector Diana Zlotnick; Linda Patton of the Anthology Cinema; Judy Hoffberg of the Brand Library in Glendale, Ca; Paul Richard of the Washington Post; Stephen Weil, Administrator of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Henry Flood Robert Jr., Assistant Director of University Art Collections at Arizona State University; and Emily Ohrwall, Director of the Memorial Union Art Gallery at the University of Californiam Davis. Also includes postcards stamped with "Great Canadian Split Project" by the General Idea art collective. As a part of this mail art project, Antin's postcards were torn in half when they were received and taped back together with half of a different postcard.
Two letters are from participating 100 Boots locations. One isletter from G.W. (Bill) Jacox the manager of the Salona Beach branch of Bank of America where 100 Boots at the Bank was shot and one is from Herb Bunker from the Del Mar Drive In Theater in Solano Beach where 100 Boots Parking was shot.
Box 2

Feedback dated in 1971 and 1972.

Scope and Contents note

40 leaves of letters, postcards, and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin during the years 1971-1972, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots. Includes items sent and made by Judy Fiskin, Richard C., Horacio Zabala, Tom Askman, Brian Buczak, John Evans, Michael Gehrke, Janey Washburn and Ruth Kraus. Also includes a letter signed Marcel which was a mail art identity of Michael Morris, a painted box by Brian Buczak, postcards with "The Great Canadian Split Project" stamp that were made with postcards from 100 Boots and a collage made by Carol Berge from 100 Boots at the Pond. Others contributing letters and postcards are writers and poets Amos Vogel, David Ignatow, Theadore Enslin, Larry Eigner, playwright Jack Gelber, and composer James Tenney. Also includes letters from Henry Flood Robert Jr. of Arizona State University, Stephen E. Weil of the Whitney Museum, and Judy Farmer, secretary of LACMA's Art Rental and Sales Gallery.
Box 3

Feedback dated in 1972 and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

60 leaves of letters, postcards, and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1972 and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots including materials sent by the artists John Evans, Fletcher Copp, the New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver (Glenn Lewiss), Ray Johnson, Michael Morris (as Mr. Peanut and Marcel Dot), Ricard C. (Richard Craven), Carolee Schneemann, Ken Friedman, Brian Buczak, Tom Askman, Robert Grosvenor, and Ira G. Dawson (writing as the founder of the fictitious company Dawson Aircraft). There are 10 postcards from "The Great Canadian Split Project," where 100 Boots postcards were torn in half, taped back together and otherwise alterred and mailed back to Antin, by the art group General Idea. Includes postcards from the poet Frank Kuenstler's mail art identity "Archive," and a card with a photograph of Jim Dine painting a tie on his bare chest with the caption "Jim Dine's Tie."
Box 4

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

53 leaves of letters, postcards, and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1972 and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots, including mail art from or with stamps from Ecole des Bozart, Glenn Lewis (as Flakey and New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver), New Era Social Club, Sphinx, Ray Johnson, Plastic Jack, Russell L. Buttler (Hoo Hoo Archives), Robert Cumming, and John Baldessari (with the stamp "School of Art"). Also includes postcards made by the General Idea art collective from 100 Boots postcards, with the stamps "Great Canadian Split Project," "General Idea," "Ave. B School of Art," "Sphinx", "Sphinx West", and the "e" with a dot stamp of John Evens. An installment of the "Sock of the Month Club," a painted sock from Fletcher Copp and Ken Friedman has been moved to the oversize box (box 13, Folder 1) at the end of the collection.
Box 5

Feedback dated in 1968 and 1973. Bulk, 1973

Scope and Contents note

60 leaves of letters, postcards, newspaper clippings and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1972 and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots, including items sent by Al Hansen, Richard C. (Richard Craven), Ray Johnson, Caolee Schneemann, Sol Dewitt, Peter Kennedy, Ruth Krauss, Tom Askman, Russell L. Buttler (Hoo Hoo Archives), Robin Drury, John Evans (as Avenue B. School of Art), as well as an alterred version of 100 Boots Under the Bridge . Also includes a letter from Judy Farmer of the LACMA Art Rental and Sales Gallery and several large empty manila envelopes labeled with variations of “Boots Feedback” or titles of 100 Boots photographs. Most of the envelopes include a return address at the University of California, San Diego.
Box 6

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

49 leaves of letters, postcards, newspaper clippings and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1972 and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots. Includes items sent by Ray Johnson, John Evans, Richard C. (Richard Craven), and Caroline Kent and Rick Herold of Orlando Gallery. Includes Christmas cards from friends and aquaintances of the Antins including Aram Saroyan and Carolee Schneemann. Also includes large empty manila envelopes and change of address postcards.
Box 7

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

56 leaves of letters, postcards, and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1972 and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots. Includes items sent by Ray Johnson, Fletcher Copp, Jim Crawford and John Evans. Also includes a sketch by Carol Eaton Bowen and a photograph by Robert Cumming.
Box 8

Feedback dated in 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

56 leaves of letters, postcards, press clippings announcements and other items (including a length of white string) sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1971, 1972, and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots. Includes 19 unique postcards made by the Canadian Art Writers, a postcard announcing Antin's "Traditional Art Show", a custom made Christmas card from Carolee Schneemann, Anthony McCall, and Kitch, Schneemann's cat and frequent star of her films. Also includes collages and instructions on "How to Draw a Tender Button" by Ray Johnson.
Box 9

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

56 leaves of letters, postcards, press clippings, announcements and other items (including a length of white string) sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin in 1971, 1972, and 1973, largely in response to or pertaining to her work 100 Boots. Includes an announcement from artist Tom Winnett requesting examples of tattoo art for an upcoming project, received in an envelope with "B.A.D. Art", "Certified Esthetic Experiece", and "Dada is Everywhere" stamps. Also includes a postcard from Barbara Straser and a postcard from Stephen Zaima announcing his arrival in Columbus Ohio; a letter from artist Ethel Fisher written soon after her arrival in Los Angeles from New York; a letter from Ira G. Dawson of the fictional firm Dawson Arcraft; a letter from Marty Carey describing life at the commune of the True Light Beavers in Willow, New York; a letter from Fidel Danieli regarding an upcoming issue of L. A. Artists Publication and a letter from Vaughan Rachel, then Vaughan Kaprow.
This box also contains several empty envelopes including two large manila envelopes; one labeled “100 Boots” and the other including the notation “feedback 100 Boots in the Wild Mustard.” Other empty envelopes have the senders Fat City School of Finds Art, Theodore Enslin, and T. Heller. It is possible that letters that received in these envelopes are elsewhere in the collection.
Box 10

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

58 leaves of letters, postcards, announcements, and other material sent to Eleanor Antin through the mail in 1971, 1972, and 1973. Most items were sent in direct response to her work 100 Boots including a picture postcard of Tay Bridge in Scotland with “100 Boots” written in the message area and stamped with “Collage by Ray Johnson.” Other items are not directly related to 100 Boots such as Antin’s own postcards announcing her video work Representational Painting (1971) returned by the post office; documentation of art projects, including an “Evaporation by Ray Johnson,” a drawing of a milk bottle with instructions to put something in it and then send it to John Evans; and letters from from Fidel Danieli inviting Antin to contribute to the second issue of L.A. Artists Publication and Colin Naylor at Art and Artists magazine. This box also contains a large number of photocopied collages, most are copyright The Northwest Mounted Valise and several empty envelopes including two from Theadore Enslin and two from Fletcher Copp.
A large dot-to-dot completed in purple marker to read “Merahl Lows Morin Hypostyle Halls Washington July 1971,” has been removed from this box due to its large size and placed in box 13, folder 7 at the end of the collection. It’s place in the original order is marked by a photocopy of the exterior of the invitation reading in part “White House Next?”
Box 11

Feedback dated in 1971, 1972, and 1973.

Scope and Contents note

24 leaves of postcards, letters and other items sent through the mail to Eleanor Antin, mostly in response to her work 100 Boots, in the years 1971, 1972, and 1973. Included are letters and cards from the artists John Evans, Gloria Kisch, and Robert Cumming; as well as Fidel Danieli the publisher of L.A. Artists Publication. Also present is documentation for a “Fake Event” from the New York Corres-Sponge Dace School of Vancouver, and a list of what appears to be descriptions of 43 mail art postcards, headed “May, 20, 1972 General Ode: Split for Ray Johnson,” from the General Idea collective. Includes a flyer for the exhibition What is Technological Art? At California State College, Hayward with a note from artist Eden Hodara.
Box 12

Feedback [three dimensional objects].

Physical Description: 4 objects in 8 pieces total.
Box 12, Item 1

"Tulip" paint brush.

General Physical Description note: Paint brush painted green and red to look like a tulip and labeled "TULIP" on the handle. Stamped "Fletcher Copp.'
Box 12, Item 2

Wooden signatre broken into three pieces.

Box 12, Item 3

Three "Portable Disposable Shit Scrapers."

General Physical Description note: Three wooden tongue depressors each printed with "PORTABLE DISPOSABLE SHIT SCRAPER" on one side and "WATCH YOUR STEP" on the other.
Box 12, Item 4

Purple Pine and Satin Sky by Brian Buczak.

General Physical Description note: Jewel box with a purple pine tree and grass painted onto the satin lining of the lid and inscribed "Purple Pine and Satin Sky" on the base and signed "Buczak."
Box 12, Item 5

Broken shell.

General Physical Description note: Small seashell broken into seven very small pieces. Is a part of a drawing of a boot by Billy Stuka. See box 13, folder 6 of this collection.
Box 13, Folder 6

Feedback [oversized items].

Box 13, Folder 1

Album leaf with a painted sock (an installment of the sock of the month club, see box 4 of this collection), a "Fake Collage" by Ray Johnson, and a note signed, "Ruth."

Box 13, Folder 2

Collage titled Homage to Eleanor Antin, signed "Black/73."

Box 13, Folder 3

Letter from Bill Patterson. Januray 7, 1972

Box 13, Folder 4

Partial mailing lists. Originally placed at the end of Antin's third album.

Box 13, Folder 5

Cookie box with a painted interior by Brian Buczak.

Box 13, Folder 6

Drawing of a boot by Billy Stuka.

General Physical Description note: A seashell was original affixed to this drawing and attached with tape. At some point it became detached and was broken. Several of the pieces have been retained. See box 12, item 5 in this collection.
Box 13, Folder 7

Dot-to-dot invitation completed in purple marker (see box 10 for original location).