Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Ian Tyson Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1967 - 2006
26.40 linear feet
(4 archives boxes and 112 oversize folders)
Abstract: The Ian Tyson Collection contains book production materials for collaborations between Ian Tyson, British painter, printmaker
and book artist, and prominent poets including Andrew Crozier, Larry Eigner, Wai-lim Yip, Jackson Mac Low, and Jerome Rothenberg.
Materials include correspondence, manuscripts, page layouts, paste-ups, galley proofs, and Tyson's original artworks. Ian
Tyson's books are the main focus in the collection and include A LINE THAT MAY BE CUT (1968), SIGHTINGS I-IX; AND, RED EASY
A COLOR (1968), 17 HORSE SONGS OF FRANK MITCHELL, NOS. X-XII (1969), 23RD LIGHT POEM FOR LARRY EIGNER (1969), THE PRONOUNS
(1971), NARRATIVES AND REAL THEATER PIECES (1977), HISTORY OF DADA AS MY MUSE (1982), SONGS FROM THE SOCIETY OF THE MYSTIC
ANIMALS (1982), POEM: A CAST OF DICE NEVER CAN ANNUL CHANCE (1985), MILLENIUM (1988), SIX GEMATRIA (1992), SURIMONO 3 (1995),
PAVAN (2002), VERT(ICAL) (2003), JARDIN DE V(IE) (2004), and SURIMONO 7, AFTER LI HO (2005).
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0413
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is available for research.
Ian Tyson Collection, MSS 0413. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Ian Tyson was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, United Kingdom in April 1933. Tyson grew up in Upton, outside of Birkenhead, but
spent much time as a child with his grandparents near Wigan. He attended school in Wigan during the World War II and later
attended his father's old school. It was there he was introduced to modern art and creating expressive and abstract art.
After graduating, he worked as an apprentice engineer in the shipyards for two years. He decided, though, that his future
was not in engineering, and continued making artwork independently, determined to attend Birkhead School of Art, where he
remained for about two years.
In 1954, Tyson moved to London where he studied figure and life painting at the Royal Academy Schools for four years, in addition
to attending etching and lithography evening classes. He then took a position in the printmaking department at the Camberwell
School of Art and Craft, then about a year later, taught lithography at the Farmham School of Art from 1959-1966. His first
solo show was in 1958-59 at the 1957 Gallery in Edinburgh. It was at Farnham where he met Ron King and in 1967 when King
formed Circle Press, he joined him and started screenprinting. Shortly thereafter, he met Jerome Rothenberg through Stuart
Montgomery of Fulcrum Press. When Rothenberg saw Tyson's visual interpretations of poetry he suggested one of his poems,
which led to the first collaboration between the two and the second publication of Circle Press, SIGHTINGS I-IX & RED EASY
A COLOR (1968).
In 1970, Tyson founded his own press in London, Tetrad Press, where he worked with contemporary artists and poets including
Jackson Mac Low, Tom Phillips, Roy Fisher, and Larry Eigner. During this time, he created visual interpretations of his own
texts including LETTERS FROM THE BLACK PALACE I-III (1971) and STANZA FROM THE GRAVE (1972). In addition to his printmaking
and book works, he also created paintings and sculptures. Tyson operated Tetrad Press until 1995, whereupon he started ED.IT
Press at his home in France.
He was a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art (1984), the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1969) and the University
of California, San Diego (1992), and a Brinkley Fellow at the Norwich School of Art (1979-1980).
While he has continued to produced books arts and prints, he also has increasingly engaged in sculpture. Permanent installations
of his sculptures are located in Drome and Séguret, France; London; and the University of East Anglia. In the course of his
career, he has been featured in more than 32 solo exhibitions and 44 group exhibitions and his work can be found in more than
three dozen public collections across North American and Europe.
Scope and Content of Collection
Accessions Processed in 1997
The Ian Tyson Collection contains original artwork, manuscripts, page layouts, paste-ups, galley proofs, and correspondence
for book collaborations with Larry Eigner, Jackson Mac Low, Jerome Rothenberg, and Wai-lim Yip. The collection is arranged
into one series: 1) BOOK COLLABORATIONS.
Accession Processed in 2004
The accession processed in 2004, spanning from 1966 to 2001, contains preliminary artworks by Ian Tyson and documents the
work process for the publications of artist's books by Ian Tyson and Ian Tyson with others. The materials include original
drawings, drafts, layouts, paste-ups, proofs, and working mock-ups, as well as correspondence with authors and publishers
that includes enclosures of manuscripts and typescripts. The collection is arranged into two series: 2) BOOK COLLABORATIONS
and 3) BOOKS BY TYSON.
SERIES 2: BOOK COLLABORATIONS
Tyson's collaborations with notable poets and writers of the 20th century include Lawrence Eigner, English poet Roy Fisher,
Jean-Yves Mock, British artist Tom Phillips, poet and critic Kevin Power, American poet Jerome Rothenberg, and poet and critic
Wai-lim Yip. This collection details the exchange of ideas, conceptual planning, and specifications and directions between
the printmakers, poets and artists. The materials are arranged alphabetically by author.
SERIES 3: BOOKS BY TYSON
Tyson has collaborated with unique presses around the world publishing limited edition artist's books. This collection documents
the many aspects of contemporary and traditional printing and includes handset type, various types of print methods as screen,
linocut, woodblock, lithography, and etching and drypoint. The collection also includes his handmade papers, bookbinding
and box making. Tyson has both contributed and represented the fine print presses in exhibitions at many libraries, art galleries
and museums around the world; in London, the Circle Press and Tetrad Press, and print presses in Amsterdam, France, and New
Tyson's own publications, spans from 1966 to 1994, and demonstrates his wide-ranging skills of painting, drawing, printmaking,
fine letterpress printing, writing, poetry, and book arts. Represented in this accession are SIX EXTRACTS FROM THE ZENRINKUSHU
WITH DECORATIONS (1966), LETTERS FROM THE BLACK PALACE I-IIII (1971), STANZAS OF THE GRAVE (1972), SCREENS I-XIV (1976), NEW
ART OF SHADOW (1978), APPROVAL STAMP OFFER (197-?), NOTES FROM A RURAL REGION (1979/1980), ZEN - ALISSPRLICHE DER ZEN MEISTER
(1981), SEASONS-AFTER THOMSON (1984), POEM: A CAST OF DICE NEVER SHALL ANNUL CHANCE (1985), SAPERAUDE-BEANTWORTUNG DER FRAGE:
WAS IST ALIFKLARUNG (1987), LIFE AND TIMES OF BABY WOOJAMS (1993?), and ZEN STORIES (1994).
Additional materials and related works mentioned in the previous accessions are also included in this accession, namely the
collaborations with Larry Eigner, Jerome Rothenberg and Wai-lim Yip.
Accession processed in 2008
The accession processed in 2008 contains prelimininary production materials for the publication of additional artist's books
by Ian Tyson and his collaborations with others. The materials include original drawings, typescript drafts, layouts, paste-ups,
and in-progress mock-ups, in addition to correspondence with authors and publishers dating from 1968-2006. The collection
is arranged in three series: 4) BOOK COLLABORATIONS, 5) BOOKS BY TYSON, and 6) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.
SERIES 4: BOOK COLLABORATIONS
Tyson's collaborations with notable poets and writers such as Jerome Rothenberg, Jackson Mac Low, and Larry Eigner are well
represented in the collection and include recent collaborations for new works. The collection continues to document the exchanging
of ideas, concepts, and preliminary design directions between the printmakers, poets, and artists. The files contain correspondence
discussing layout and composition, typescript drafts with annotations, and working proofs of design elements. The folders
are arranged alphabetically by name of collaborator, then chronologically by date of publication.
SERIES 5: BOOKS BY TYSON
The BOOKS BY TYSON series dates from 1973 to 2005, and includes the preprint maquettes, mock-up booklets, preliminary layouts,
and drafts of text. The most prominent book material appearing in the series is from POEM: CAST OF DICE NEVER CAN ANNUL CHANCE
(1985) with pre-production research items consisting of reproductions of the original Stephen Mallarmé poem, poem drafts by
Ian Tyson, and hand inked text layouts. The series also includes the mock-up booklets and layouts for more recent publications,
including PAVAN (2002), VERT(ICAL) (2003), T (2003), and JARDIN DE V(IE) (2004). The books are arranged chronologically by
date of publication.
SERIES 6: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series contains non-book production items including exhibition materials in the form of posters,
an interview with Ian Tyson by Pat Gilmour of the Tate Gallery, and slides of Ian Tyson's art work and exhibition views.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Tyson, Ian -- Archives
Book designers -- Great Britain -- Biography
Artists -- Great Britain -- Biography
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- correspondent
Yip, Wai-lim, -- correspondent
Mac Low, Jackson, -- correspondent
Eigner, Larry, 1927- -- Line that may be cut
Yip, Wai-lim. -- Surimono
Mac Low, Jackson. -- Pronouns
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Millenium
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Narratives and real theater pieces
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Sightings I-IX
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Red easy a color
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Six gematria
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Songs from the society of the mystic animals
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Variation on the 17 horse songs of Frank Mitchell
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Variations on the 13th horse song of Frank Mitchell
Fisher, Roy, 1930- -- Metamorphoses
Fisher, Roy, 1930- -- Cultures
Mock, Jean-Yves, 1928- -- Metamorphoses
Phillips, Tom, 1937- -- Birth of art
Phillips, Tom, 1937- -- Ein Deutsches Requiem, after Brahms
Phillips, Tom, 1937- -- Humument
Power, Kevin -- Work in progress
Power, Kevin -- De Morandi
Power, Kevin -- Heidegger my way and scarcely
Power, Kevin -- Work in progress II