Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Carolee Schneemann papers
Date (inclusive): 1959-1994
Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-
60.0 linear feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
The papers document the performances, happenings, film and book productions, and exhibitions of the American painter and performance
artist Carolee Schneemann.
Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the
for this collection. Click here for the
Language: Collection material is in
Carolee Schneemann actively engaged in performance art, experimental film-making, the Fluxus movement and feminist theory
in the 1960s-1970s. The artist is best known for the provocative use of her nude body to explore personal expression, sexual
taboos and feminism in both multi-media performances and solo improvisational work. Born in 1939, Schneemann studied painting
at the University of Illinois and Bennington College in the late-1950s. Her performance work evolved out of a desire to express
more than she could within the confines of her paintings, and retains some of the gestural qualities of abstract expressionism
and the cluttered look of assemblage. In addition to choreographing her own scripts, Schneemann participated in some of the
most influential events of the 1960s, including: Philip Corner's "An Environment for Sound and Motion" at the Living Theater
(1962), Claes Oldenburg's "Store Days" (1962), Robert Rauschenberg's theater experiments, Robert Morris' "Site" (1964), and
in Fluxus concerts.
Schneemann has made many films, some of an experimental nature and others which document her performances. "Fuses" (1964-67),
her most notorious film, presents a woman's perspective of intimacy and eroticism. The film was edited for two years, during
which time Schneemann burned, scratched, painted, glued, and layered its images to create a fluid sense of sexuality. In the
1970s, Schneemann conducted research on earth goddesses and ancient mythology in search of female power structures. She realized
that a certain component of her work had always explored these themes, such as the use of snakes in "Eye Body" (1963). Schneemann's
studies permeate her writings, and she has taught classes on feminist art and theory. Since the mid-1970s, Schneemann has
performed infrequently, preferring instead to concentrate on painting, exhibiting, lecturing and teaching.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Carolee Schneemann papers,1959-1994, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 950001.
Lynda Bunting unpacked, processed and wrote the box list and catalog record from August 1995 to March 1996. Kelly Nipper assisted
by processing Series IX. Writings about or by Schneemann and describing some albums in Series X. Performance Albums.
Fourteen titles were separated from the archive Aug 1995. These publications are now part of the Getty Research Library and
can be searched in the Library catalog by doing a Provenance search under "Carolee Schneemann."
Brakhage Scrapbook: Collected Writings, 1964-1980. New Paltz, New York: Documentext, 1982. 3 copies.
Cat Scratch Fever: Fictions. Kingston, New York: McPherson, 1990.
Hali and Collected Stories. Kingston, New York: McPherson & Co., 1991.
How to Imagine: a Narrative on Art and Agriculture. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1983.
Ascher/Straus... et al.
Likely Stories: a Collection of Untraditional Fiction. New Paltz, New York: Treacle Press, 1981.
The Music of James Tenney. Edited by Peter Garland. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Soundings Press, 1984.
North of Yesterday, or, Flowers of Waz: a Novel. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1987.
Oak Street Beach: a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: Raymond Saroff, 1990.
The Pooles of Pismo Bay: a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: R. Saroff, 1990.
Twelve Ravens; a Novel. Olive Bridge, New York: Raymond Saroff, 1990.
Why Duchamp: an Essay on Aesthetic Impact. New Paltz, New York: McPherson, 1985.
Scope and Content of Collection
The archive documents Schneemann's performances, happenings, film and book production, and exhibitions from 1959-1994. It
includes original materials relating to performances and publication projects in the form of notes, drawings, performance
scripts and mss.; correspondence with visual, literary and performing artists, art critics, and other individuals prominent
in the international avant garde; printed ephemera, artists' books, and Fluxus objects by Schneemann and others; lecture notes
and other materials pertaining to Schneemann as teacher and lecturer; research files on performance and feminist topics; mss.
by others about Schneemann's work; and photograph albums which provide visual documentation of much of her performance work.
The archive is arranged in ten series:
Series I. Projects;
Series II. Notes;
Series III. Correspondence;
Series IV. Ephemera and objects;
Series V. Teaching and students' work;
Series VI. Feminist research files;
Series VII. Film and performance files;
Series VIII. Other clippings;
Series IX. Writings about or by Schneemann;
Series X. Performance albums.
Subjects - Topics
Art, Modern--20th century
Censorship in art--United States
Dreams in art
Experimental films--United States
Feminism and art
Fluxus (Group of artists)
Performance art--United States
Sex in art
Genres and Forms of Material
Bergé, Carol, 1928-
Constantinides, Kathy, 1936-
Friedman, Ken, 1949-
Higgins, Dick, 1938-1998
Johnson, Ray, 1927-1995
Lebel, Jean Jacques
Lerner & Turner
McPherson, Bruce R. (Bruce Rice), 1951-
Moore, Peter, 1932-1993
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931-
Sayre, Henry M., 1948-
Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965
Vostell, Wolf, 1932-1998