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Guide to the Robert Blanchon Papers and Collection MSS.220

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
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Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Bethany Martin-Breen and Lisa Darms, 2009.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Megan O'Shea to prepare artwork being sent to offsite art storage in September 2017 Updated by Megan O'Shea to prepare artwork being sent to offsite art storage in December 2017 Updated to include materials integrated from accession number 2018.083 by Kate Fisher.   , August 2017 , November 2017 , June 2018

Scope and Content note

The Robert Blanchon Papers and Collection contains a selection of Blanchon's original works of art, art production-related materials, personal and professional correspondence, teaching materials, a collection of objects of artistic or personal significance, and materials created posthumously for the planning of a Robert Blanchon memorial. The collection also inlcudes documents created by the Robert Blanchon Estate Project from Visual AIDS, which describe the work (conducted from 2003 to 2006) to publish an illustrated catalog documenting Blanchon's complete oeuvre, and to organize several exhibitions of his work.

The collection of original artwork by Robert Blanchon includes photographic, performance and sculptural work, and collaborative artworks and film work. Art production-related materials include source material for his artworks, artist books, publicity materials and exhibition catalogs. Film, contact sheets, artist test proofs, source photography, slides of artwork, and film works in multiple formats are also part of the collection. Artworks and art production materials date between 1989 and 1999. Robert Blanchon's teaching materials are drawn from his work as adjunct faculty at the University of California, Irvine and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1996 to 1998, and as a visiting artist/scholar at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1998 to 1999. Teaching materials include course readers, course descriptions, syllabi, and student papers and correspondence (access to student records is restricted). Objects of artistic significance include items used in Blanchon's art production, such as a Polaroid camera, bandanas, and clothing labels. Objects of personal significance include items related to Blanchon's personal life, such as his eyeglasses and his Filofax diary. Memorial-related planning materials include letters of condolence, a mailing list, slides of family and friends, and copies of Robert Blanchon obituaries.

Materials generated by Visual AIDS staff members reflect their effort to document and archive every artwork created by Blanchon, to formulate a complete biography of Blanchon's life and artistic career, and to produce an exhaustive bibliography of the literature written about Blanchon. These materials include email correspondence from project coordinators to collectors, Blanchon's friends and colleagues, galleries, and the representative of Robert Blanchon's estate, Mary Ellen Carroll. Other materials include catalogs from Blanchon's exhibitions, copies of articles written about Blanchon and his artwork, contact information for collectors and gallerists, slides of Blanchon's work, grant proposals to fund the project, and the final catalog published in 2006, titled Robert Blanchon. The Visual AIDS materials also include correspondence, notes, plans for artworks, and publications created by Blanchon.

The Robert Blanchon Papers June 2018 Accretion contains two series of encyclopedias, on that defines contemporary photography, and a small paperback book of the science of sound. The dates of publication range from 1901 to 1975. The collection is arranged into Nine Series:

Series I: Art Production contains original artworks, source material for artworks, sketchbooks, artist books, publicity materials and exhibition catalogs.

  • Subseries A: Artwork contains photographic, performance and sculptural artworks.
  • Subseries B: Collaborative Artwork contains artworks created by Blanchon in collaboration with other artists.
  • Subseries C: Source Materials contains materials that are either not artworks or works made by people other than Blanchon.
  • Subseries D: Publicity, Notes, etc. contains publicity materials (such as catalogs and postcards) for both Blanchon's work and the work of others, magazines and journals, and Blanchon's notes and source materials for projects.

Series II: Correspondence and Notes contains letters related to Blanchon's teaching, art production and exhibitions, and personal life. The collection includes both letters received by Blancon, and copies he made of letters he sent to others. Notes appear in this series when they were already interfiled with correspondence.

 Series III: Teaching contains course readers, course descriptions, syllabi, and student papers and correspondence [both restricted].

 Series IV: Photography contains source photography for artworks, negative film, glass slides, contact sheets, artist test proofs, slides of artwork, and framed photographs of friends and family. Slides of artwork exist both in 8.5 x 11" photo sleeves, and in three archival slide box systems assumed to have been arranged by Blanchon. The slides in the slide boxes generally duplicate the slides that have been arranged into sleeves; access to the slide boxes is by approval only, and researchers should use the sleeved slides for viewing.

One group of photographs has been processed within Series VII: Objects - see Object ID: 220.2.0055 "Box of family photographs".

 Series V: Media contains Robert Blanchon's film works in multiple formats including VHS, Digital Betacam, and DVD. Series also contains cassette tapes, compact discs, and records.

Series VI: Print Material contains books owned by Robert Blanchon.

Series VII: Objects contains objects either related to art production or objects which had personal significance. All objects belonged to Robert Blanchon.

Series VIII: Memorial and Posthumous Files contains memorial-related planning materials including letters of condolence, a mailing list, slides of family and friends, and copies of Robert Blanchon obituaries, as well as negatives made from Blanchon's "Untitled (Aroma/1981)" prints after his death.

Series IX: Visual AIDS contains material generated by Visual AIDS during their production of the Robert Blanchon Catalog. It includes email correspondence, catalogs from Blanchon's exhibitions, copies of articles written about Blanchon and his artwork, contact information for collectors and gallerists, slides of Blanchon's work, grant proposals to fund the project, and the final catalog published in 2006, titled Robert Blanchon. The Visual AIDS materials also include correspondence, notes, plans for artworks, and publications created by Blanchon.

Arrangement

The Robert Blanchon Estate and Visual AIDS were responsible for bringing the Robert Blanchon Papers and Collection together. Visual AIDS received materials from the Robert Blanchon Estate that did not possess an original order, and in the process of creating the catalog Robert Blanchon they re-organized and added to the previously extant body of materials. The collection is now arranged in nine series that were created to segregate materials by type in the absence of a discernible original order. Series I, II, and III are arranged chronologically; series IV, V, VI, and VII contain photographic materials, media, and objects that are arranged chronologically where possible; and series VIII and IX are arranged alphabetically.

The June 2018 Accretion has been added to Series VI: Books. the accretion has not been arranged by an archivist. The materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.

The collection is arranged into nine series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Art Production
  2. Series II: Correspondence and Notes
  3. Series III: Teaching
  4. Series IV: Photography
  5. Series V: Media
  6. Series VI: Books
  7. Series VII: Objects
  8. Series VIII: Memorial
  9. Series IX: Visual AIDS