Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

Fales Library and Special Collections logo

Guide to the Martin Wong Papers MSS.102

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Jenny Hillyer. Updated by Joseph Gallucci, 2007. Accretion processed by Colin Wells, 2009.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 10, 2021
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Finding aid was updated by Anna Björnsson McCormick to enhance description of Sign Language artworks Finding aid updated by Weatherly Stephan to reflect preservation rehousing of oversize material and reintegration of oversize series. Finding aid updated by Weatherly Stephan to clarify relationship with Miguel Piñero in biographical note  , September 2020 , February 2021 , December 2021

Scope and Content Note

The Martin Wong Papers are comprised of over 100 sketches and drawings, more than 30 sketchbooks, correspondence, poetry and prose, biographical documents, source material, audio and videocassette recordings, photos, and graffiti tag-books, graffiti-related materials and parts of Wong's personal library.

Source material includes magazines, postcards, posters, memorabilia, and a vast collection of Wong's snapshots. Biographical material features Wong's curriculum vitae, copies of newspaper and magazine profiles of Wong, business cards and addresses of associates, and publicity materials related to Wong's exhibitions. Wong's poetry and prose contains a significant portion of the biographical material - much of it anecdotal in tone. The graffiti portion of the archive is comprehensive and includes sketchbooks, illustrations, text on graffiti (authored by both Wong and others), publicity material pertaining to graffiti exhibitions, and materials pertaining to the graffiti film: Wild Style. Of particular interest are the numerous examples of tagging found in both the sketchbooks and other artwork.

A zealous collector and graffiti enthusiast, Wong amassed a considerable cache of graffiti material in the 1980s. The Martin Wong Papers also document New York's downtown arts scene in the 1980s and 1990s, with particular emphasis on Wong's participation and recognition in the gallery scene.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject/author heading and chronologically depending on the nature of the series. Oversized material, while included in the number sequence of the series is separated into oversized boxes.

The collections is grouped into 9 series: Series I: Correspondence Series II: Artwork Series III: Source Material Subseries III.A: Catalogs, Graffiti, Invites, Posters Subseries III.B: Asian-Language Source Material Series IV: Biographical Series V: Video & Audiocassettes Series VI: Photography Series VII: Personal Library Series VIII: Albums Series IX: Tax Receipts