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Modern Art Department Art and Technology records, 1967-2007, Bulk 1967-1971. MOD.001.001
MOD.001.001  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Processing Information
  • Terms of Access
  • Related Materials
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Contents
  • Historical Note
  • Permission to Publish or Reproduce
  • Acquisition Information

  • Title: Modern Art Department Art and Technology records
    Identifier/Call Number: MOD.001.001
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.5 Linear feet 6 boxes
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1967-1971
    Date (inclusive): 1967-2007
    Abstract: The Art and Technology program was initiated at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 1967, when curator Maurice Tuchman proposed the idea of formulating a relationship between contemporary artists and high-tech corporations that would lead to experiments conjoining art and industry and possibly produce new works of art. The program attracted the participation of some of the most renowned artists of the period--Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Robert Irwin, to name just a few--who were paired with "Patron Sponsors" who hosted some of the artists at corporate facilities and in some cases collaborated on projects. In March 1970, several works resulting from these pairings were shown in the American Pavilion at Expo '70 (the world's fair in Osaka, Japan) and in an exhibition at LACMA from May 16 to August 29, 1971. This archive consists of documentation relating to the Art and Technology program, including correspondence between LACMA curators, artists, and corporate participants, notes and drafts of essays written for a report on the A&T Program by curators Jane Livingston and Tuchman, transcriptions of interviews and conversations with artists, and drawings, photographs, and negatives of artists' works.
    creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Modern Art Department.

    Processing Information

    The Art and Technology records were initially processed in 2006 by Sarah Sherman, who rehoused the papers, created the series arrangement, and made a complete inventory. In 2010, with grant funding from the Getty Foundation's special initiative "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980," Suzanne Noruschat wrote the descriptive notes and prepared the finding aid under the supervision of Jessica Gambling.

    Terms of Access

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

    Related Materials

    Media coverage of the Art and Technology program is available in bound volumes of press clippings in the Balch Research Library at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: N582 L7 A86 1970 (January-May) N582 L7 A86 1971 (volume 3)
    Also available online and in the Balch Research Library is the now out-of-print report on the Art and Technology program: http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mweb/archives/artandtechnology/at_home.asp Tuchman, Maurice. A Report on the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1967-1971. Los Angeles: LACMA, 1971.

    Arrangement

    Organized in three series:
    Series I. Administrative
    Series II. Corporate Sponsors and Contributors
    Series III. Artists

    Preferred Citation

    [Description of item], Modern Art Department Art and Technology Records, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, MOD.001.001.

    Scope and Contents

    The Modern Art Department Art and Technology records, covering 2.5 linear feet, comprise a major portion of the program's documentation held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While much of the information contained in these records is included in the published Report on the Art and Technology Program at LACMA 1967-1971, by curators Maurice Tuchman and Jane Livingston, a rich range of materials provides insight into the program's planning and execution, and into the experiences of those artists and companies who participated. These materials include administrative files, correspondence, curatorial notes and drafts of essays on artists, transcripts of artist interviews, and some sketches and photographs of artworks created by artists-in-residence.
    Series I Administrative consists mostly of documents created in preparation for and to publicize the Art and Technology program, including progress reports noting the arrangements being made between artists and corporations and a brochure announcing the purpose and goals of the program. Series II Corporate Participants and Contributors encompasses a scant amount of materials on only one of the thirty-seven companies that sponsored the Art and Technology program, the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation which hosted the artist R.B. Kitaj. Also included in this series are letters from Marilyn "Missy" Chandler, wife of Los Angeles Times' publisher Otis Chandler, who solicited corporate support on behalf of LACMA. Additional information on corporate sponsors appears sporadically in the artist files comprising Series III. Series III Artists includes files on thirty-one of the seventy-six artists who either were invited, or submitted proposals, to participate in the Art and Technology program, including John Chamberlain, Robert Irwin, Rockne Krebs, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson MacLow, Claes Oldenburg, Jules Olitski, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, Tony Smith, Karlheinz Stockhausen, James Turrell, Victor Vasarely, and Andy Warhol. These files contain (where noted) correspondence between artists, LACMA curators, and corporate personnel, artist statements and proposals, curatorial notes and drafts of essays written for A Report on the Art and Technology Program, transcriptions of interviews and conversations with artists, photographs of artists resident at corporations, and drawings, photographs, and negatives of artists' works. A file containing a 2007 statement by Channa Horwitz (formerly Channa Davis), the only female artist whose proposal was included in A Report on the Art and Technology Program, was added to the collection.

    Historical Note

    The Art and Technology program was organized by the Modern Art Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This department was renamed the Twentieth-Century Art Department in 1981, and fifteen years later, in 1996, became the Modern and Contemporary Art Department. In 2005, modern and contemporary art were separated into two departments, reflecting the disciplinary distinctions now existing between these two historical periods.(1)
    The concept for the Art and Technology program was born in the mind of LACMA Curator of Modern Art Maurice Tuchman in 1966, when he began to contemplate the possibility of forging relationships between contemporary artists and industrial scientists and engineers. Inspired by the ideas of the early twentieth-century avant-gardes—the Italian Futurists, Russian Constructivists, and Bauhaus artists —who had sought to create links between art and industry, Tuchman’s goal was to find corporate settings in which artists could mingle with technical types, establishing fruitful collaborations that might lead participants into new artistic directions.(2) In November 1967, Tuchman presented his proposal to LACMA’s Board of Directors, who expressed skepticism about the curator’s far-reaching ambitions, but agreed that Tuchman should attempt to raise funds for his proposed project. With the help of Marilyn “Missy” Chandler, wife of Los Angeles Times Publisher Otis Chandler, Tuchman eventually garnered the support of nearly forty corporations, many of whom (e.g. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Wyle Laboratories, Universal City Studios) were willing to supply funds and materials to sponsor an artist in residence. At a time of social upheaval and widespread suspicions over corporate interests, a surprisingly wide array of well-known contemporary artists were eager to accept Tuchman’s invitation to join the Art and Technology program. Andy Warhol, Tony Smith, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Irwin were but a few of the more than sixty artists who responded enthusiastically to Tuchman’s call, and were among twenty-three artists who ultimately were placed at a company.
    The art works that resulted from the corporation/artist pairings were considered a by-product of the collaborative experience and artists were under no pressure to produce an exhibitable object.(3) In some cases tangible, exhibit-worthy pieces materialized and in others they did not. The successes and failures of the residencies and collaborations are documented in the records—in the correspondence, interviews, notes, and photographs—that provide insight into the working relationships successfully or unsuccessfully maintained between corporate personnel and individual artists, and in the official Report on the Art and Technology Program written by Tuchman and his fellow curator Jane Livingston. In 1970, eight Art and Technology works—including Warhol’s Rain Machine, Oldenburg’s Giant Icebag, and Rockne Krebs’ laser installation—were shown in the American Pavilion at Expo ’70, the world’s fair held in Osaka, Japan. The following year, from May 16 to August 29, 1971, fifteen works were shown in an exhibition at LACMA (EX.1399).
    Attendance figures and media reports suggest that the exhibitions in both Osaka and Los Angeles were well received by large and enthusiastic audiences.(4) The program, however, was not without its critics. In the summer of 1971, the Los Angeles Council of Women Artists denounced the exclusion of women from the program, protesting that not a single female artist had been offered a residency (although the proposal of Channa Davis (now Channa Horwitz) was included in A Report on the Art and Technology Program). Nonetheless, despite these valid objections and criticisms, the Art and Technology program has continued to attract the interest of scholars and researchers, and has been regarded as one of the most significant and groundbreaking undertakings pursued at LACMA.
    (1) The Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2008 (Los Angeles: Museum Associates/LACMA, 2008), 87. (2) Maurice Tuchman, A Report on the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1967-1971 (Los Angeles: LACMA, 1971), 9. (3) Ibid., 12. (4) The Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, 142.

    Permission to Publish or Reproduce

    Contact the Balch Research Library for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission is granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Modern Art Department in 2010.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Byars, James Lee
    Chamberlain, John, 1927-
    Crutchfield, William, 1932-
    Dupuy, Jean, 1925-
    Eversley, Frederick, 1941-
    Fahlstrom, Oyvind, 1928-1976
    Harrison, Newton A., 1932-
    Horwitz, Channa
    Irwin, Robert, 1928-
    Kitaj, R.B.
    Krebs, Rockne, 1938-
    Lee, Wesley Duke, 1931-
    Lichenstein, Roy, 1923-1997
    Livingston, Jane
    Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art and Technology Program.
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    Mac Low, Jackson
    Mefferd, Boyd
    Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-
    Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007
    Paolozzi, Eduardo, 1924-2005
    Piene, Otto, 1928-
    Raskin, Jeff
    Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008
    Reichek, Jesse, 1916-
    Saarinen, Eric
    Serra, Richard
    Smith, Tony, 1912-1980
    Stockhausen, Karlheinz, 1928-1997
    Tuchman, Maurice
    Turrell, James
    Vasarely, Victor, 1906-1997
    Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987
    Whitman, Robert, 1935-
    Art, Modern--20th century
    Artists' statements
    Black-and-white negatives
    Black-and-white photographs
    Black-and-white slides
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Color slides
    Contact sheets
    Design drawings
    Drafts (documents)
    Interviews
    Letters (correspondence)
    Preliminary sketches (sketches)
    Proposals