Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Joe Brainard Archive
MSS 0005  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (116.54 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Materials collected by Robert Butts consisting primarily of diverse works by and regarding the popular New York artist and writer Joe Brainard (1942-1994). Brainard was the author of fifteen books of writing, the illustrator of numerous other books produced by members of the New York School, and a celebrated graphic artist whose work covered a broad range of sizes, styles and media. The Joe Brainard Archive consists of numerous examples of Brainard's graphic work dating from 1962 to 1979, most of the books illustrated by Brainard, all of Brainard's manuscripts and published writings, notebooks for Brainard's I REMEMBER series and several other books, Brainard's correspondence with members of the Butts family and correspondence to Brainard from Ned Rorem and Virgil Thompson, checklists of Brainard's artistic production constructed by Robert Butts, and a selection of articles devoted to Brainard's career. In addition to the Brainard materials, the Joe Brainard Archive also includes several lithographs by Alex Katz (b. 1927), an oil painting by Tom Clark, and a few ink sketches by poets Ron Padgett and Allen Ginsberg. There are also manuscripts of Ted Berrigan, Tom Clark and Rudy Kikel, in addition to broadsides and books written by New York School writers such as John Ashbery, Edwin Denby, and Kenneth Koch. The accessions processed in 1991 contain primarily original artworks by Joe Brainard in collaborations with Bill Berkson and Kenward Elmslie, including THE BABY BOOK (1965). Also included are correspondence, manuscript materials and photographs. The accession processed in 1993 comprises 16 letters and postcards from Joe Brainard to Robert Butts and one print by Andy Warhol.
Born in Arkansas in 1942 and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brainard moved to New York City in 1961. There, he quickly developed friendships with Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, Bill Berkson, Barbara Guest, and other participants in the New York School. The large number of collaborative works in the collection, as well as the many illustrations Brainard did for books by others, reflect the sense of community shared by these artists.
32.20 linear feet (8 archives boxes, 59 art bin items and 88 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Collection is open for research.