Patricia Tavenner (1935-2013)


Patricia Tavenner (1935-2013)

Patricia Tavenner (USA) died on May 10th 2013. She was active in mail-art right from the start. This is a group to celebrate memories and details. To celebrate her life as the family calls it.

Location: Oakland, USA
Members: 6
Latest Activity: Mar 18

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Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 28, 2013 at 5:09pm

-- Pat Tavenner (1935-2013) R.I.P.
Artpool's memorial web page for our friend, Patricia Tavenner:

Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 25, 2013 at 6:00am

Hello Ruud,


This is Mike Palmer the nephew of Patricia Tavenner.  My wife, Sherri (Tavenner) Palmer, is Patricia’s direct niece and the two of us are trying to manage Patricia’s art and other items.  We have a perforator used by Patricia that we need to sell.  There is an ad for it on a web site for Patricia at 

If anyone is interested in acquiring this please call our cell phone at 816-305-7712.


Mike and Sherri (Tavenner) Palmer


Ruud, would you be willing to post this information on your blog to help us get the word out?  We would like to make sure the mail art community is aware that it is available.  I know they are hard to value since you never see them advertised.  I did find one advertised for over 1,000 and it did not look to be in as good of shape.  We may just accept the best offer we get.  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.  We are traveling to Oakland on Wednesday to go through Patricia’s art and other things in her storage unit.  We will be using Clars Auction out of Oakland for many of the art pieces over the coming months.

Mike Palmer 

Comment by Visual Mom on June 19, 2013 at 7:52pm

Here's a LINK to my blog post with a little history about this artistamp and further links about Patricia..


We Will Miss You - our Mailart Queen!

Comment by Terry Reid on June 6, 2013 at 5:33am

ginny, is that Pat's stamp sheet that you've got displayed; seems vaguely familiar from some long time ago......a v nice sheet it is; good to see it

Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 3, 2013 at 10:04am

Comment by Ruud Janssen on May 16, 2013 at 7:05pm

Notice of a Memorial Service for the recently departed Patricia Tavenner: 

I am Sherri Palmer. Patricia Tavenner’s niece. Patricia passed away on Friday, May 10. We will have a Celebration of Life for her @ Salem Lutheran Home. 2631 E. 29th St. Oakland CA 94606. May, 26th @ 2pm. Parking is limited, so you may want to park on the street before entering the gates.

Comment by Ruud Janssen on May 13, 2013 at 7:18pm

Comment by ginny lloyd on May 12, 2013 at 4:20pm

From the book Women in the Artistamp Spotlight:

PATRICIA TAVENNER (California, USA) is an artist and astrologer. She gives private classes and workshops on printing and drawing in her studio. Of her long history with artistamps, Patricia says, “Beginning in 1969, I’ve produced over 200 artistamp editions. The 60’s was a time of great experimentation‑including the exploration of new media. In photographic silkscreen I worked with repeated images and then transferred that concept to sheets of artistamps, which transformed the image and made it much stronger. Shortly afterward I did the famous Nom de Plume series which are actual photographs. Many others are mechanical prints done from collage or drawing or digital images of originals.” Aside from artistamps documented at the Gina Lotta Post Artistamp Museum, Patricia posts her editions at her Web site.[i] She uses a perforator purchased eight years ago at a printer’s fair‑an 1875 Southworth. One of the things she likes to do is take photos of artistampers with their perforators when she visits them.

In the 90’s a Seattle artist who goes by Bug organized West Coast artistampers Carl T. Chew, Jas. Felter, Anna Banana, Patricia, and others on Saturdays to sell their artistamps at Davidson Gallery in Seattle. Patricia fondly recalls, “Customers received a passport at the door and then got it stamped at each table they visited. We all bonded like a family, and then on Sunday I would visit Tavenner relatives in the area.” 

Patricia’s Mail Order Art zine began in the early 70’s was included in the book In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955[ii]. In connection with the book’s release an exhibit was held at X-Initiative, a NYC gallery. The book documents the history of each publication‑its inception, production, distribution and impact. Patricia Tavenner is seen as an essential component of the 70’s Bay Area Dadaist scene. Irene Dogmatic was a neighbor of hers, who was consequentially drawn into creating artistamps herself.

The nicest perforator she’s seen is a small Italian one at the offices of Artpool Archives in Budapest. Patricia traveled there twice by invitation to lecture about artistamps. In 2007, The Budapest International Artistamp Show was set up in Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts library. Four sheets of Patricia’s 1993 commemorative artistamps were included in the exhibition catalogue. She notes that György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay’s Artpool Archives are world-renowned and they’ve a huge collection of artistamps and Eastern European mail art. Patricia describes a vivid memory of that show, "...emerging from the depths of the subway and seeing the entire Fine Arts Museum building plastered with giant artistamps banners!"

[i] Patricia Tavenner’s Web site:

[ii] In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955, Editors: Andrew Roth and Philip Aarons, JRP|Ringier, 2009.



Comment by ginny lloyd on May 12, 2013 at 4:14pm

Nice tribute page for Patricia! My favorite image of her.

Comment by Ruud Janssen on May 12, 2013 at 4:07pm

THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIA TAVENNER                                                     46

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Started on: 3-7-1995

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RJ :      Welcome to this mail-interview. First let me ask you the traditional question. When did you get involved in the mail-art network?

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Reply on 12-10-1995

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PT :      A little preface to the answer. I've been always been a letter writer and I answered for the family as soon as I could write. I have a scrap book with post cards and letters from my penpals from the 7th and 8th grade. This was encouraged in school. One of them I visited in Holland when I grew up. It was quite a trip to see letters and my handwriting from age 12 & 13. Enclosed is a photo.

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Before there was a network or mail art. About 1970 I began putting out stuff and I began putting out stuff and I began a newspaper called "Mail Order Art" published in 1971 - 1972 with 4 issues. I had this great idea one night as I was washing the kitchen floor it was like a big flash. Yes, Patricia, do a newspaper in the format of the Berkeley Barb (a once famous local and international newspaper from radical Berkeley, California, of the 60's). Originally it was meant to be trown on people's porchs, just like they trow away advertisement newspapers that arrive every week on my fron porch. Sometimes the credit for this is given to my x-husband but that isn't true and this often happens when both husband and wife are artists. It is asumed that the ideas come from the man and the woman simply copies and follows. I happen to be a pioneer and love forging new ideas.

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But I had been searching for new ways to do art, put art out into the world, and ways to take the same images and put them into different media. I also wanted more artistic exchange and exchange beyond my immediate environment of California. I love living here but anywhere can become stale. What came from the "Mail Order Art" newspaper was lots of feedback and all kinds of new friends. Tons of mail everyday which I adore. I finally put it all in a room and locked the door as I didn't know what to do with it. A great deal of it became part of a piece called "Living Letters" which is a book and a sculpture instalation and another piece called the "Book of Tongues."

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I think a number of us did newsletters, magazines, catalogues, and newspapers about this same time with no knowledge that others were pursuing a similar arena. That we all had this need to reach out. And to reach out to totally new ways. Artists are not known for their socialability and here were a bunch of us yelling to the skies "talk with me."


Members (6)




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