Fales Library and Special Collections logo

Guide to the Pyramid Club Flyers MSS.435

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596
fales.library@nyu.edu


Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Sophie Glidden-Lyon

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 19, 2017
Description is in English

Descriptive Summary

Title: Pyramid Club Flyers
Dates [inclusive]: ca. 1980s
Abstract: This collection contains over 200 flyers and posters advertising performances, film screenings, dance parties, art exhibits and live readings held at the Pyramid Club in New York at 101 Avenue A. Also included is 1 box of flyers from a variety of other clubs including Danceteria, CBGB's and Club 57. The artists advertised on the Pyramid Flyers include John Sex, Lydia Lunch, Ethyl Eichelberger, David Wojnarowicz, and Johanna Went, along with many others.
Quantity: 2 Linear Feet (1 Document box, 2 photo binders)
Call Phrase: MSS.435

Return to Top »


Historical Note

Located at 101 Avenue A in the East Village, the Pyramid Club was an important nightclub for the 1980’s and 90’s downtown New York scene. Pyramid began as a standard dive bar, but evolved into the epicenter of a diverse underground art and performance scene under the attentions of Bobby Bradley, Alan Mace and Victor Sapienza. All three men were employees at the nightclub Interferon, and were later joined by Brian Butterick, who had been an employee at Mudd Club. Home to many of the most well known drag performers of the time, such as Lady Bunny and Ethyl Eichelberger, Pyramid was also a cornerstone in the neighborhood’s LGBT community. It opened officially as a nightclub in December of 1981 and continues to operate today, largely as a throwback 80’s dance club.

In addition to performance, the club hosted art exhibitions, film screenings and live readings by artists like Lydia Lunch and David Wojnarowicz. It hosted a number of films emerging from the No Wave and Cinema of Transgression scenes. It was home to John Jesurun’s serial performance piece, Chang in a Void Moon, which ran at the Pyramid Club for a year and continues today at other venues internationally.  Chang in a Void Moon was followed by Kestutis Nakas'  Titus Andronicus. Pyramid was also the birthplace of Wigstock, which first occurred in Tompkin's Square Park and was organized by Lady Bunny.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content

This collection contains flyers distributed by the Pyramid Club to advertise events, performances and shows. There is also a small amount of miscellaneous material, housed in box 1, from other clubs and galleries like Club 57, CBGB’s, Life Cafe, Civilian Warfare, Danceteria, Limbo Lounge and Theater for the New City. Box 1 also contains a few flyers or posters from unidentified venues, as well as flyers from Pyramid that are 8 ½ x 14, instead of the standard 8 ½ x 11 size.

These flyers are largely only dated with month and day and are photocopies with the exception of one or two master copies. They were made either for individual events, or act as weekly calendars. The performers named include drag queens like Ethyl Eichelberger, John Kelly, Lady Bunny and Tanya Ransom. Musical performances by 3 Teens Kill 4, Elliott Sharp, They Might Be Giants, Nick Cave, The Butthole Surfers, Zette, Rat At Rat R, the Frank Maya Band and John Sex. Live readings were given by Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Ann Magnuson, Fran Lebowitz and Eric Bogosian. Also mentioned are artists like Greer Lankton and Peter Hujar, as well as John Waters, Thurston Moore, Nick Zedd, Richard Kern, Cookie Mueller, Johanna Went, Julie Hair, Ela Troyano and Antonio Frederico. Events such as Sundays at Pyramid, Pyramid Not Pyramid, Cafe Iguana, Pyramid 84, Pyramid Cocktail Lounge, Disturbed Form Theater and Loretta’s Diner are advertised. Many of the events were hosted by the magazine Straight to Hell (STH).

Arrangement

This material is arranged into 1 box and 2 binders. The box contains miscellaneous flyers from clubs other than Pyramid with the exception of one folder of oversize Pyramid flyers. This material is arranged alphabetically. The two binders contain flyers exclusively from the Pyramid Club; the arrangement of these flyers reflects the order they were in when they were acquired by the Fales Library.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Kern, Richard
  • Zedd, Nick
  • Sex, John
  • Waters, John, 1946-
  • Lunch, Lydia
  • Hujar, Peter, 1934-1987
  • Sullivan, Nelson
  • Wojnarowicz, David
  • Eichelberger, Ethyl, 1945-1990
  • Lady Bunny
  • Bogosian, Eric

Document Type

  • Photocopies.
  • Posters.
  • Fliers (printed matter)

Subject Topics

  • Artists -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Artists and community -- United States
  • Art, American -- New York (State) -- New York -y 20th century.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Downtown writers.
  • Downtown Collection.
  • Cinema of Transgression.
  • New wave music.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Provenance

The collection was purchased by NYU's Fales Library & Special Collections from Michel Hurst and Robert Swope, who collected the posters while living in New York's East Village.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Pyramid Club Flyers; MSS 435; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers.

Return to Top »


Container List

Series I: Pyramid Flyers

Scope and Content

Series I comprises flyers made to promote Pyramid performances and shows. The performers named include drag queens like Ethyl Eichelberger, John Kelly, Lady Bunny and Tanya Ransom. Musical performers include 3 Teens Kill 4, Elliott Sharp, They Might Be Giants, Nick Cave, The Butthole Surfers, Zette, Rat At Rat R, the Frank Maya Band and John Sex. Live readings were given by Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Ann Magnuson, Fran Lebowitz and Eric Bogosian. Also mentioned are artists like Greer Lankton and Peter Hujar, as well as John Waters, Thurston Moore, Nick Zedd, Richard Kern, Cookie Mueller, Johanna Went, Julie Hair, Ela Troyano and Antonio Frederico. Events such as Sundays at Pyramid, Pyramid Not Pyramid, Cafe Iguana, Pyramid 84, Pyramid Cocktail Lounge, Disturbed Form Theater and Loretta’s Diner are advertised. Many of the events were hosted by the magazine Straight to Hell (STH).

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 2 Pyramid Flyers

Scope and Content

Binder of flyers from the Pyramid Club from ca. the 1980s.

[undated]bulk
Box: 3 Pyramid Flyers

Scope and Content

Binder of flyers from the Pyramid Club from ca. the 1980s.

[undated]

Return to Top »


Series II: Other Venues

Scope and Content

Series II contains flyers from clubs and galleries other than Pyramid, such as Club 57, CBGB’s, Life Cafe, Civilian Warfare, Danceteria, Limbo Lounge and Theater for the New City. Series II 1 also contains a few flyers from unidentified venues, as well as flyers from Pyramid that are 8 ½ x 14, instead of the standard 8 ½ x 11 size.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 8th Street Between B&C
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 2 117 East 3rd Street
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 3 118 East Houston
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 4 118 East 1st Street, Beyween 1st & A
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 5 220 West 49th Street
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Busker's Club
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 7 CBGB's
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Civilian Warfare
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Club 57
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Danceteria
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 11 How did Susanna manage to get her picture in the New York Times?!! [Newspaper Clipping]
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Jesse Jackson
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Life Cafe
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Limbo Lounge
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Max's
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Park Inn-Tavern
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Pyramid
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Re Cher Chez Studio
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Save the Robots
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Theater for the New City
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Truck & Warehouse Theater
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 22 The Waverly
[undated]
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Why Drugs?
[undated]

Return to Top »


Return to Top »