Last and respectful greeting to my dear friend Judith Hoffberg to whom I knew personally in Edmonton, Canada in 1997 next to Dick Higgins, Bob Cobbing and Francis Edeline.
One of the pioneer of networking by means of the pages of her UMBRELA magazine.
That she rest in peace.

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It was fast, she found out she had cancer in September.
She passed away peacefully.
She was 74.
Judith Hoffberg passed away
Judith Hoffberg (Born in 1934) is a librarian, archivist, lecturer, a curator and art writer, and editor and publisher of Umbrella, a newsletter on artists' books, mail art, and Fluxus art. She received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1956. She went on to get an M.A. in Italian Language and Literature in 1960 and an M.L.S. from the UCLA School of Library Service in June 1964.

She was a Special Intern at the Library of Congress after serving as a cataloger in 1964-65 at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center in Italy. At the Library of Congress, she was a cataloger in the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress until 1967, when she served as the Fine Arts Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania from 1967-1969. She went on to UCSD from 1969 to 1971 as art, literature and language bibliographer and to the Brand Library in Glendale, CA as Director from 1971 to 1973. From 1974 to 1976, she worked for the Smithsonian Institution as Archivist and Editorial Assistant for the Bicentennial Bibliography of American Arts.

In 1973, she co-founded Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS). She served as the Society's first Chairman, editor of ARLIS/NA Newsletter from 1972 to 1977 and its Executive Secretary from 1974 to 1977.

In 1978, Hoffberg founded Umbrella Associates. Her work includes consulting with archives and libraries. She edited and published Umbrella, a newsletter about artists' books and publications. Hoffberg also lectured widely throughout the US and abroad.

Judith Hoffberg passed away peacefully on January 16, 2009.

Now I understand her silence. In recent years she relied on my input for new mail art projects for publication in Umbrella magazine. I'll miss her profoundly. I have a nice picture of Judith together with the San Francisco mail art community. I received the photo from Julee Peezlee in 1997(Dyslexic Julee, wonder what happened to her) but I think the photo was shot by Buzz Blurr.
My flat is turning into a shrine for deceased mail artists, not exactly a happy thought...
Please post the picture of Judith and the SF group.
(I too have wondered what has happened to Julee Peezlee.)

Judith Hoffberg passed away peacefully on January 16, 2009

Born May 19, 1934, Judith Hoffberg was a librarian, archivist, lecturer, a curator and art writer, and editor and publisher of Umbrella, a newsletter on artist's books, mail art, and Fluxus art. She received an M.A. in Italian Language and Literature in 1960 and an M.L.S. from the UCLA School of Library Service in June 1964.

The last Umbrella- editorial of Judith Hoffberg
One would not have imagined a disease chasing me down the end of the road, but it happened in August, diagnosed in September, analyses were done by experts, and I came home on the first of October to hospice at my home. To say that I was in a state of shock would be a euphemism. It all came too fast.
As soon as I walked into the house, my life completely changed. I was no longer a writer, editor, publisher, traveler, choc-o-holic, insomniac; I was a cancer patient. I have acute myeloid leukemia. And in the interim between October 1st and as I write this, I have been organizing my archives, throwing things away I never would have otherwise, and preparing myself for the last journey. This is the most difficult editorial I’ve ever written to you, and it will be my last.

In the past, you have learned about alternative spaces all over the world, itineraries of trips that I have taken that have led me to exotic and creative places. You never bargained about learning about Fluxus, mail art and archives, video art, sound art, performance art, rubber stamps, and so much more that was fecund in those early years.

The whole field of artist books became my life and I wanted to share it with all of you. Although marginal at the beginning, it has grown into a movement, a new chapter in art history, one which is recognized by art historians, artists, and all of you. It has become almost too much now, with so many conferences, book fairs, and symposia to attend. And as usual, it has spread globally.

Obsessed with umbrellas and parasols, it allowed me to create a huge collection of “umbrelliana” which has overwhelmed both my domestic and storage settings. I learned more about textiles, fashion, kitsch, marketing, performance art, multicultural innovations with the object umbrella, encountering artists who used the image to intrigue me as well as to whet my appetite. It has been an easy image to collect in paper ephemera as well as almost 200 three-dimensional umbrella objects. From a tiny Chinese lace umbrella to a 19th century silk parasol, from 333 antiquarian books to countless artifacts, the collection has grown over the past 30 years.
Really we will miss Judith...! Her life is an extraordinary example of dedication and determination. Although her passion was the "Livre-Objetc", she opened a generous space to Mail Art Calls since she was a convinced of the virtues of the communication.

Also harbor discussions and declarations of beginnings. In more than an opportunity she diffused my humble calls in spite of the exotic idiosyncrasy of our countries.

That her example guides us.!
Before the internet, Judy's Umbrella magazine was the main conduit to all information about mailart exhibitions and happenings. She gretiously posted notices about several of my projects over the years, which allowed artists from around the world unknown to me to particapate and become my friends.
In 1989, she invited me to create the cover image of the December issue of Umbrella.
The attached photo was at her Freedom mailart show in Pasadena in 1992.
Far left is Creative Thing, Judith in center and Oh, Boy in back in white turtle neck.
I created this (attached) stamp sheet in Judith's memory.
It was printed in an edition of 74 (her years), and distributed at her memorial service yesterday in Santa Monica, California.
Over 200 people attended, but the comment was made that beyond the room full of people, there were many more, all around the world, who shared in the sorrow of her passing and the celebration of her life.
It was a beautiful program.



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