Mail-Art Books

All about Books and Publications connected to Mail-Art. Add information about books you have or have read.

Follow the link for an album with over 200 mail-art publications. Most are in selective archives and hard to get.

Also there is the Bookstore IUOMA where you can order books to support the hosting of IUOMA on NING as well

Members: 195
Latest Activity: May 2

Discussion Forum

Which book still needs to be written? 6 Replies

Started by Ruud Janssen. Last reply by Heleen de Vaan Feb 17, 2022.

Which book should be the first to read? 8 Replies

Started by Ruud Janssen. Last reply by ginny lloyd Jan 12, 2017.

The Eternal Network, ed. by Chuck Welch 9 Replies

Started by Heath Row. Last reply by Ruud Janssen Feb 4, 2015.


Started by Paulo Jorge Gonçalves Apr 7, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Carien van Hest on November 27, 2023 at 8:31pm

Ran into this book in a thrift store today. Very interesting and well designed.

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on August 12, 2023 at 10:56am

Fact is that there is no single way of creating mail art. John mentioned already two good references, and also the wikipedia page on mail art provides a good overview.

There are some books about creating postal art (like Jennie Hinchcliff's book 'Good mail day'), I think that is what you are looking for?

To my opinion, one can distinguish several forms of mail art, of which I think there are two main kinds to differentiate: autonomous art (rooted in fluxus but also in Van Gogh's illustrated letters) on one hand, and craft-art on the other hand.

The 'autonomous' art can be made in all kinds of ways (drawing/painting, collages, weird objects sent through the mail, etcetera). It can be beautiful, it can be ugly, or something inbetween. For the artist, creating art is a way of life, a part of their identity, and he/she creates art in his/her own way. Some have an art school background, many haven't, but they need no tutorial because the urge to create and send art comes from deep inside.

Mail art made in a craftmanship way also can be created in all kinds of ways. There might be some links to the way scrapbook and bujo pages are made, and there are several tutorials on instagram and possibly also on youtube (al least many diy's and tutorials on scrapbooks, which can be useful for mail art, too). The people I know who work this way consider creating mail art as a nice hobby, not necessarily as part of their identity.

Of course you are free to start your own channel, and I think it can be helpful for the secondly mentioned. On the other hand, the autonomous mail artists will find their inspiration anywhere. 

There are many interesting parts within mail art. The ATC's, the cinderellas/artistamps, the rubberstamps (there are a lot of books and tutorials on rubber stamp carving), the asemic writing, visual poetry and many things more.

Testing the postal system, as John mentioned, has been tried already 120 years ago by W. Reginald Bray (see the IUOMA group and the website), and also nowadays there are several interesting attempts, like the great and fun project by Harriet Russell. Her book 'Envelopes' I think inspiring, too (here and here some examples).
And of course the Post companies add something to the mail, which can be annoying, or which we can consider as part of the art.

Comment by John Gayer on August 10, 2023 at 7:57am

I found that if you google 'mail art' often, then the nail art auto correct stops appearing. As to mail art, there aren't any precise guidelines on how to make it. Technically, it can involve virtually any medium and applies to anything that can be mailed. Practical limitations, though, may apply. People have tested the postal system by attempting to mail all kinds of things. Maybe these links will help you. They offer brief overviews of what has been done: How Did Mail Art Develop into a Global Art Movement and Mail Art and Fluxus: An Antic Exhibition from 1982.

Comment by Stephanie Lentz Morrison on August 9, 2023 at 3:23pm

i can find only 1 or 2 books on how to actually make mail art it is not really on you tube either it is almost all learned by word of mouth ....including books that are more so mail art catalogues there are about 6 compared to probably thousands written on how to make a cake or whatever . the content is totally an untapped niche on you tube and I'm thinking of beginning a channel after i find the funds for necessary son already agreed to do my intro and editing since i am a tech idiot...when you search for things about mail art on amazon, yuo tube, and google it has so little content they all auto correct to nail art for finger nails....

Comment by Carien van Hest on May 31, 2023 at 3:13pm

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on May 25, 2023 at 7:59pm

Found this multilingual (Spanish, English, Japanese) book abou the Brain Cell project, with also some information and photos about Ryosuke Cohen's printing process, and some of the BRain Cell forms:

The link to the complete publication is this:

Comment by Rafael Flores on May 25, 2023 at 12:43pm

Hello, new member !!!

Comment by carl baker on April 26, 2022 at 4:22pm
Comment by Bruno Cassaglia -networker on April 23, 2022 at 10:08am

Comment by carl baker on February 17, 2022 at 12:58pm

i got a message about mail-art books in tasmania with link to this page but theres nothing here about it, where is it? can u find it? bad connection.



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