Modern Art Department Art and Technology records

Finding aid prepared by Suzanne Noruschat.
Processing and finding aid creation funded 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
2011

Note

Additional encoding by Jessica Gambling.


creator: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Modern Art Department.
Title: Modern Art Department Art and Technology records
Date (bulk): 1967-1971
Date (inclusive): 1967-2007
Identifier/Call Number: MOD.001.001
Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
90036
Email: library@lacma.org
Phone: 323-857-6118
Fax: 323-857-4790
Physical Description: 2.5 Linear feet 6 boxes
Language of Material: English
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.

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.

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.

Arrangement

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

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.

Permission to Publish or Reproduce

Contact the Balch Art 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.

Related Materials

Images of works produced as a part of the Art and Technology program can be found in the Photo Services Department Art and Technology slides, collection number PHO.001.001.
Media coverage of the Art and Technology program is available in bound volumes of press clippings in the Balch Art 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 Art 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.

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.

Acquisition Information

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

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.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to describe this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Persons:

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
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-

Organizations:

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art and Technology Program.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Subjects:

Art. Modern--20th century

Document types:

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


Collection Contents

 

Series I: Administrative

Box 1, Folder 1

Brochure

General note

Multiple copies of brochure announcing the purpose and goals of the Art and Technology program, and identifying the different levels of corporate sponsorship.
Box 1, Folder 2

Reports and Memos

General note

Progress reports noting developments in planning the Art and Technology program, including information about participating corporations and artists.
Box 1, Folder 3

[Lists of Modern artworks]

General note

Contains lists of artworks by a variety of early twentieth-century artists, including El Lissitzky, Francis Picabia, Piet Mondrian, Alexander Rodchenko, and Marcel Duchamp. The Art and Technology budget was removed from this file.
Box 1, Folder 4-5

Correspondence

General note

General correspondence discussing a variety of matters, including requests for information and the distribution of the publication "A Report on the Art and Technology of LACMA." Includes a letter from Maurice Tuchman (May 29, 1969) to Jack Massey, Director of Planning/Design of the United States Exhibition at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan, describing the projects that are candidates for the world's fair.
Box 1, Folder 6

Exhibition Research

General note

Miscellaneous essays, artist information, and press clippings.
Box 1, Folder 7

LACMA Member's Calendar 1971

General note

Photocopy of pages from LACMA Member's Calender (June 1971) describing the Art and Technology program.
Box 1, Folder 8

Notes

General note

General scheduling notes and a partial transcript of a conversation between LACMA curators Hal Glicksman, Jane Livingston, and Gail Scott about some of the artists and individuals involved with the Art and Technology program.
Box 1, Folder 9

Press Releases (non-LACMA)

 

Series II: Corporate Participants and Contributors

Box 1, Folder 10

Chandler, Marilyn (Mrs. Otis)

General note

Primarily letters from Chandler soliciting corporate support for the Art and Technology program and concerning the participating artists. Includes a letter from the office of Howard Hughes stating that his company will not participate (September 30, 1969).
Box 1, Folder 11

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

General note

Includes a statement by R.B. Kitaj describing the art work he plans to create while working at Lockheed and photographic proofs showing the environment in which Kitaj worked.
 

Series III: Artists

Box 1, Folder 12-13

Byars, James Lee

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Byars for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; handwritten correspondence from Byar discussing aspects of his "World Question Center" project undertaken at the Hudson Institute; a 23-page transcription of all letters and queries sent by Byar to LACMA.
Box 2, Folder 1-5

Chamberlain, John

General note

Includes a 3-page "mock-up" composed by Chamberlain describing his proposed project, "Sniffter," an "olfactory-stimulus-reponse environment"; a draft of an essay on Chamberlain for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; Chamberlain's answers to questions posed by Maurice Tuchman inquiring about his experience participating in the Art and Technology program and working at the Rand Corporation; questionnaires Chamberlain distributed to Rand employees as his final project and their responses to his queries.
Box 2, Folder 6

Crutchfield, William

General note

Includes an illusrated outline Crutchfield composed of his plan to document the Art and Technology program in a series of portraits, satirical drawings, and photographs of the artists involved.
Box 2, Folder 7-8

Dupuy, Jean

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Dupuy for A Report on the Art and Technology Program, and construction drawings of Dupuy's "Fewafuel" project.
Box 2, Folder 9

Eversley, Frederick

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Eversley for A Report on the Art and Technology Program, and a 2-page project proposal by Eversley describing his "Thermal-Color Shadowscape" project inspired by his residency at the Ampex Corporation.
Box 2, Folder 10-11

Fahlstrom, Oyvind

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Fahlstrom for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; installation photographs and drawing of the artist's work, "Meatball Curtain," completed while in residence at Heath and Company; a transcription of a conversation between Fahlstrom and LACMA curator Jane Livingston in which they discuss the artist's work and his experience participating in Art and Technology.
Box 3, Folder 1-2

Harrison, Newton A.

Box 3, Folder 3

Horwitz, Channa (Channa Davis)

General note

Comprises a statement by Horwitz dated 10 April 2007 (not an original part of the collection) that discusses why she was not assigned a residency.
Box 3, Folder 4-5

Irwin, Robert

General note

Includes newspaper clippings and drafts of an essay on Irwin for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Box 3, Folder 6-7

Kitaj, R.B.

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Kitaj for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; correspondence between Kitaj and LACMA curator Maurice Tuchman; Kitaj's answers to questions posed by Tuchman inquiring about the artist's experiene participating in the Art and Technology program and working at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; a 12-page transcription of a taped conversation between Kitaj and Tuchman on the ideas explored by the artist at Lockheed.
Box 3, Folder 8-10

Krebs, Rockne

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Krebs for A Report on the Art and Technology program; a proposal by Krebs describing his plans for "Day Passage," a work incorporating lasers; and drawings of Krebs' laser beam installation.
Box 4, Folder 1

Lichtenstein, Roy

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Lichtenstein for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; drawings of the screen set-up for the film loops Lichtenstein created; storyboard of film loops; and photocopies of newspaper clippings.
Box 4, Box 2

Lee, Wesley Duke

General note

Includes correspondence between Lee and Maurice Tuchman, including a letter to Tuchman (14 June 1969) in which the artist describes and illustrates his concept for the "Birth Capsule;" photographs of the "Birth Capsule" being fabricated; a draft of an essay on Lee for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Box 4, Folder 3-4

MacLow, Jackson

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on MacLow for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; photographs of MacLow working at Information International; photocopies of several poems originally generated as computer printouts.
Box 4, Folder 5

McCracken, John

Box 4, Folder 6

Mefferd, Boyd

General note

Includes Mefford's answers to questions posed by Maurice Tuchman inquiring about the artist's experience participating in the Art and Technology Program, and a draft of an essay on Mefford for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Box 4, Folder 7-8

Oldenburg, Claes

General note

Includes artist's statements regarding his project "Ice Bag"; a draft of an essay on Oldenburg for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; photographs of "Ice Bag" being installed; correspondence between Oldenburg and various LACMA staff members; transcriptions of interviews with Oldenburg regarding his involvement with the Art and Technology program
Box 5, Folder 1

Olitski, Jules

General note

Includes a small amount of correspondence between Olitski and LACMA curatorial staff and photographs of cement models for environmental sculptures executed by Olitski at the American Cement Corporation.
Box 5, Folder 2

Paolozzi, Eduardo

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Paolozzi for A Report on the Art and Technology Program, and a small amount of correspondence between Paolozzi and LACMA curatorial staff.
Box 5, Folder 3

Piene, Otto

Box 5, Folder 4

Raskin, Jeff

General note

Includes photographic prints of Raskin's "Unicubes" and an artist's statement describing the installation of these pieces at LACMA; a draft of an essay on Raskin for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Box 5, Folder 5

Rauschenberg, Robert

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Rauschenberg for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; notes and drawings on the project, "Mud-Muse," carried out as a collaboration between Rauschenberg and the Teledyne Corporation; an 8-page artist's statement on the Art and Technology program; a transcription of a conversation between LACMA curator Maurice Tuchman, Curatorial Assistant Gail Scott, and Rauschenberg.
Box 5, Folder 6-7

Reichek, Jesse

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Reicheck for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; a drawing of Reicheck's exhibit at LACMA; a transcription of an interview with Reicheck by Peter Selz (printed in Art in America, September-October 1968); letters from Reicheck to LACMA curatorial staff reporting on his project with IBM and its progress; transcription of conversation between Jane Livingston, Reicheck, and Jack Citron of IBM.
Box 5, Folder 8

Saarinen, Eric

Box 5, Folder 9

Serra, Richard

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Serra for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; a proposal submitted to LACMA by Serra in which he discusses his project, "Two Circular Elevational Steps," for Kaiser Steel; a transcription of an interview (1971) with Kaiser personnel about their experience working with Serra; sketches of "Two Circular Elevational Steps;" and one-page statement by Serra in which he describes "Two Circular Elevational Steps."
Box 5, Folder 10-11

Smith, Tony

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Smith for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; drawings of Smith's sculpture "Cigarette" (1967); photographs of various Smith sculptures, including "Cigarette" (1967) and "Willie" (1962); a transcription of interview with Smith; an "Account of Career" written by Smith.
Box 6, Folder 1

Stockhausen, Karlheinz

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Stockhausen for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; notes submitted by Stockhausen defining specifications for a loudspeaker system; a letter from Stockhausen (15 February 1969) proposing a collaboration with artist Otto Piene.
Box 6, Folder 2

Turrell, James

General note

Includes galleys of an essay on Turrell and Robert Irwin for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Includes contract agreement between Turrell and Museum Associates (signed by artist).
Box 6, Folder 3

Vasarely, Victor

General note

Includes an artist's statement in which Vasarely describes his concept for an "electronic machine" that generates color combinations; a small amount of correspondence between Vasarely and LACMA curatorial staff, mostly concerning meetings with engineers from IBM and Teledyne, and other arrangements with the artist.
Box 6, Folder 4-6

Warhol, Andy

General note

Includes correspondence dated 2007 between LACMA Curator Howard Fox and Neil Printz of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, who contacted LACMA for information about Warhol's "Rain Machine" created for the Art and Technology program; a CD of images of "Rain Machine"; photographic prints, negatives, and slides (some by photographer Ernest Shaw) of the installation of "Rain Machine" at Expo 1970 in Osaka, Japan; 35mm negatives and contact sheets by an unknown photographer, some of which appeared in the Warhol Catalogue Raisonne (vol. 3, 2002), of Warhol's visit to the Expo '70 in Osaka; a draft of an essay on Warhol for A Report on the Art and Technology Program.
Box 6, Folder 7-8

Whitman, Robert

General note

Includes a draft of an essay on Whitman for A Report on the Art and Technology Program; a transcription of a 1970 taped interview with Whitman; drawings and photocopies of photographs of Whitman's mirror project initiated under the sponsorship of the Philco-Ford Corporation; a report by Philco-Ford physicist John Forkner (August 1970) on the planning and construction of Whitman's mirrors.
Box 6, Folder 9

Press clippings

Box 6, Folder 10

Closed items