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Reichardt (Jasia) Correspondence
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jasia Reichardt correspondence
    Date (inclusive): 1956-1987
    Number: 890143
    Creator/Collector: Reichardt, Jasia
    Physical Description: 12 Linear Feet (17 boxes, 1 flatfile folder)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Jasia Reichardt correspondence, 1956-1987, consists mainly of correspondence between artists, writers, and Reichardt from 1965 to 1975 when she was Assistant Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and Director of the Whitechapel Gallery.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English, Polish, and French.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Polish-born Jasia Reichardt has lived most of her life in England, where in the 1950s she was associated with the Gaberbocchus Common Room, a meeting place for artists and scientists. She has worked as an art writer, curator, and author of interdisciplinary studies about the relationship between literature and art or science and art. She was Assistant Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, from 1963 to 1971, where she curated two exhibitions of lasting impact: Between Poetry and Painting (1965) and Cybernetic Serendipity (1968). In 1971 and 1972, she worked for The Toymakers Co-operative soliciting artists to create original toys, a project funded by an American entrepreneur seeking new, more ingenious products. From 1974 to 1976 she was Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, after which she taught at various colleges, wrote for international art magazines, and independently curated exhibitions generally on the relationship between cybernetics and art. She has authored and edited several books, including Robots: Fact, Fiction and Prediction (1978), worked on a project about the visualization of mathematics, and curated the exhibition Electronically Yours (1998) for the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Jasia Reichardt correspondence, 1956-1987, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 890143.

    Processing History

    In 2009 with grant funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Laura Schroffel processed the collection and made an inventory under the supervision of Ann Harrison, while Annette Leddy helped devise the arrangement and wrote the descriptive notes. Documentation for the acquisition of the archive included a detailed item-level inventory. Andra Darlington scanned the inventory and linked it to this finding aid at the beginning of each series.

    Related Archival Materials

    See also Jasia Reichardt archive of concrete and sound poetry, 1958-1975, accession no. 890143B.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Series I, the major portion of the archive, consists of general correspondence with artists and writers from the 1960s and 1970s, when Reichardt was first Assistant Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and then Director of the Whitechapel Gallery. Many of the letters concern exhibitions she organized, including discussion with artists as to selection of work and their post-opening responses. Other letters comprise requests for submissions to the ICA Bulletin or for appearances on panels, as well as publication proposals. Among the most substantial files are those from artist/poets who participated in Reichardt's exhibition Between Poetry and Painting (1965), such as Henri Chopin, John Furnival, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and Dom Pierre Sylvester Houedard, though her broad circle of friends and colleagues extends to Max Bill, Jean-Jacques Lebel, and anthropologist Desmond Morris. Many of these files include drawings, photographs, or poems. There is also extensive correspondence between Reichardt's husband Tony and the artist R.B. Kitaj.
    Files relating to the Toymakers Co-operative, an enterprise for which Reichardt solicited artists to create original toys, comprise Series II. The original proposal from Reichardt, the artist's response, and a printed profile of the final product and its creator are included in most files. Many of the same artists as in Series I, such as Luis F. Benedit and Eugenio Carmi, participated in this project.
    Series III, Artist's thoughts on the seventies, concerns a project Reichardt worked on as guest editor of Studio International in 1981, asking artists to present their thoughts on the 1970s in written or visual form. Included here are their responses, as well as occasional photographs of their work.


    Arranged in three series: Series I. General correspondence, 1956-1987; Series II. The Toymakers Co-operative, 1971-1972; Series III. Artists' thoughts on the seventies, 1970-1981.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Topics

    Nineteen seventies
    Visual poetry
    Concrete poetry
    Art and technology
    Art exhibitions -- 20th century

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographs, Original
    Photographic prints -- 20th century
    Drawings (visual works) -- 20th century


    Toymakers Co-operative
    Studio International (Firm)
    Morris, Desmond
    Finlay, Ian Hamilton
    D S H (Dom Sylvester Houédard)
    Lebel, Jean Jacques
    Carmi, Eugenio
    Reichardt, Tony
    Benedit, Luis, 1937-
    Kitaj, R. B.
    Bill, Max
    Furnival, John
    Chopin, Henri
    Reichardt, Jasia