I'm downsizing. Still sorting through what I have, but probably a lot of rubber stamp art, most sent in swaps, so no postmarks. I also have some correspondence art postcards--some made with rubber stamps, some hand-drawn, some fluxus--that do have postmarks. I may have atcs of all styles and media and maybe add and pass projects and address lists sent from mail art shows.
I hate to toss art, but I can't keep it all. I don't even know the ethics of it all. I mean, no one writes something really private on a postcard. The add and pass projects were started for me with the understanding that I would keep the art, without making copies or anything like that. I suppose I could black out addresses.
Ideas? Advice? Thanks!
Good Grief Cynthia, no one has responded.
So by now, a year later almost, what did you decide to do?
I got the university I used to be affiliated to take a big box of
my archives for their special collections, but they don't seem
to be interested in any more. I have two smaller boxes collected
now. I'm feeling the same way. What to do with our received mail.
I even have a box of someone else's collected mail from one person
AND that person sent me back a number of cards that I sent to HER.
Really difficult when one is trying to be minimal which is
why I do mail art so I can make art and mail it away, not have to
find storage for my own art in my house.
I'm going to check with a local community collage. Maybe I can
do a free workshop and then give them my archives.
I'll let you know if I have any luck
I decided to tackle it another day and it's still sitting here. Except I'm not sure where, but when I find it, I'm considering seeing if artists--especially new ones--might want one really cool complete project instead of trying to find someone to take a lot of it.
Thanks for the answer!
I've cleared house contents of several of my relatives, including pieces of art. In some cases, it's taken time to track down the right place to donate things to, but in each case it's been worth it.
I'd start with any art galleries and museums which have art collections within your own state, but at the same time look at the big galleries, too. Donations can make them interested where a purchase might not. To do this, you need to have scanned images / photos and lists of everything.
I'd also 'advertise' everywhere you can within the mail art world (including social media groups). There will be mail-art-makers who'd value a donation and give it a good home.
Depending on where you live, you could think about an exhibition, with the option for people to take a piece away - for free. Places like community centres, libraries, cafes, might be prepared to give you space to show the pieces at no charge.
In the UK most towns have some sort of 'open studios' annual event. This features artists opening up their studio space, but sometimes people collaborate on the use of space, and you might be able to show mail art in something like that - inviting people to take pieces away with them.
Dear Cynthia Sillitoe, I have experience in creating an archival fund for Mail Art in the Museum of Moscow. This State museum is very tolerant of contemporary art. At my call, some artists from different countries sent their surpluses to the museum, these were art objects that were already difficult to keep at home. On the basis of the collections received, the museum staff are now forming a fund of Mail Art in the museum. If you want, I will give you the address and put you in touch with the museum curator.
Ilya - I also have some pieces to send. Do they want information for each piece - who sent it, who received it, and when?
I am very upset because the Museum of Moscow no longer accepts Mail Art for its funds. This is due to the change of leaders in this museum. The new leaders are very cool about contemporary art and are not going to increase the existing collection; they will only keep what is already there.
I think all museums and galleries change over time, and so maybe we should just be very pleased that you successfully did add some mail art to the Museum of Moscow collection, Ilya!
Oh Yes! It was a limited-time adventure. Be that as it may, I will gradually look for new institutions ready to accept mail-art for eternal storage.