Scope and Content
Title: Carolee Schneemann papers
Date (inclusive): 1959-1994
Collection number: 950001
ca. 60 linear ft.
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: The papers document the performances, happenings, film and book productions, and exhibitions of the American painter and performance
artist Carolee Schneemann.
Language: Collection material in English
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Carolee Schneemann papers,1959-1994, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 950001.
Lynda Bunting unpacked, processed and wrote the box list and catalog record from August 1995 to March 1996. Kelly Nipper assisted
by processing Series IX. Writings about or by Schneemann and describing some albums in Series X. Performance Albums.
Fourteen titles were separated from the archive Aug 1995. These publications are now part of the Getty Research Library and
can be searched in the Library catalog by doing a Provenance search under "Carolee Schneeman."
Brakhage Scrapbook: Collected Writings, 1964-1980. New Paltz, New York: Documentext, 1982. 3 copies.
Cat Scratch Fever: Fictions. Kingston, New York: McPherson, 1990.
Hali and Collected Stories. Kingston, New York: McPherson & Co., 1991.
How to Imagine: a Narrative on Art and Agriculture. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1983.
Ascher/Straus... et al.
Likely Stories: a Collection of Untraditional Fiction. New Paltz, New York: Treacle Press, 1981.
The Music of James Tenney. Edited by Peter Garland. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Soundings Press, 1984.
North of Yesterday, or, Flowers of Waz: a Novel. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1987.
Oak Street Beach: a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: Raymond Saroff, 1990.
The Pooles of Pismo Bay: a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: R. Saroff, 1990.
Twelve Ravens; a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: Raymond Saroff, 1990.
Why Duchamp: an Essay on Aesthetic Impact. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1985.
Carolee Schneemann actively engaged in performance art, experimental film-making, the Fluxus movement and feminist theory
in the 1960s-1970s. The artist is best known for the provocative use of her nude body to explore personal expression, sexual
taboos and feminism in both multi-media performances and solo improvisational work. Born in 1939, Schneemann studied painting
at the University of Illinois and Bennington College in the late-1950s. Her performance work evolved out of a desire to express
more than she could within the confines of her paintings, and retains some of the gestural qualities of abstract expressionism
and the cluttered look of assemblage. In addition to choreographing her own scripts, Schneemann participated in some of the
most influential events of the 1960s, including: Philip Corner's "An Environment for Sound and Motion" at the Living Theater
(1962), Claes Oldenburg's "Store Days" (1962), Robert Rauschenberg's theater experiments, Robert Morris' "Site" (1964), and
in Fluxus concerts.
Schneemann has made many films, some of an experimental nature and others which document her performances. "Fuses" (1964-67),
her most notorious film, presents a woman's perspective of intimacy and eroticism. The film was edited for two years, during
which time Schneemann burned, scratched, painted, glued, and layered its images to create a fluid sense of sexuality. In the
1970s, Schneemann conducted research on earth goddesses and ancient mythology in search of female power structures. She realized
that a certain component of her work had always explored these themes, such as the use of snakes in "Eye Body" (1963). Schneemann's
studies permeate her writings, and she has taught classes on feminist art and theory. Since the mid-1970s, Schneemann has
performed infrequently, preferring instead to concentrate on painting, exhibiting, lecturing and teaching.
Scope and Content
The archive documents Schneeman's performances, happenings, film and book production, and exhibitions from 1959-1994. It includes
original materials relating to performances and publication projects in the form of notes, drawings, performance scripts and
mss.; correspondence with visual, literary and performing artists, art critics, and other individuals prominent in the international
avant garde; printed ephemera, artists' books, and Fluxus objects by Schneemann and others; lecture notes and other materials
pertaining to Schneemann as teacher and lecturer; research files on performance and feminist topics; mss. by others about
Schneemann's work; and photograph albums which provide visual documentation of much of her performance work.
Performance art—United States
Feminism and art
Sex in art
Dreams in art
Fluxus (Group of artists)
Censorship in art—United States
Experimental films—United States
Art, Modern—20th century
Genres and Forms of Material
Constantinides, Kathy, 1936-
Friedman, Ken, 1949-
Higgins, Dick, 1938-
Lebel, Jean Jacques
Lerner & Turner
McCall, Anthony D.
McPherson, Bruce R. (Bruce Rice)
Moore, Peter, 1932-1993
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931-
Sayre, Henry M., 1948-
Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965
Vostell, Wolf, 1932-