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Cutler-Shaw (Joyce) Papers
MSS 0538  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Access

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Joyce Cutler-Shaw Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0538
    Physical Description: 48.4 Linear feet (48 archives boxes, 7 card file boxes, 20 records cartons, 11 oversize folders, 2 art bin items)
    Date (inclusive): 1972 - 2001
    Abstract: Papers of Joyce Arlene Cutler-Shaw, artist, lecturer and founder of the Landmark Art Project, Inc., and Landmark Art Collaborative. The collection documents Cutler-Shaw's teaching career at the University of California, San Diego Extension (1972-1974), Palomar College (1974-1978), and San Diego State University (1978-1980) and her "Art and Artist Lecture Series," a program of video interviews with prominent artists, including David and Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, John Cage, Christo, Allan Kaprow, and Edward Rusha. Materials related to the Landmark Art Projects, Inc. and the Landmark Art Collaborative (1985-1992) include administrative files, project proposals and descriptions, preliminary sketches and drawings, funding initiatives, and photographs and slides for individual projects, especially "Survival-Evolution," "Urban Meadows," "Urban Mesa," "Museum of Seasonal Change," and "Performance Art/Art Performance." The collection also contains extensive documentation of Cutler-Shaw's individual works, handwritten notes, correspondence, personal projects, solo exhibitions, interviews, and biographical articles.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Accession Processed in 2003
    The Joyce Cutler-Shaw Papers document her professional career as an artist, lecturer and program director. The collection comprises proposals, planning materials, working papers, sketch drawings, proofs, notes, and research materials related to projects produced by the Landmark Art Projects, Inc., and the Landmark Art Collaborative. Also included are audio and videorecordings documenting the "Art and Artist Lecture Series" and biographical materials about Cutler-Shaw.
    The UCSD EXTENSION TEACHING MATERIALS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Courses. Held at the UCSD Extension, Joyce Cutler-Shaw's studio workshops targeted young people, ages 8 to 18 years old. She also held seminar courses with guest speakers from both the art community and community at large, such as "A Saturday Seminar in the Arts" and "Speaking of Art: Issues of Art Since the 50s."
    A) The General subseries contains correspondence, clippings, instructor's manuals, and teacher's biography.
    B) The Courses subseries, arranged by the course title, includes lecture notes, speakers' biographies, brochures, and photographs.
    The ART AND ARTISTS LECTURE SERIES is arranged in five subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Proposals, C) Lectures, D) TV Course and Series, and E) Programs and Brochures.
    A) The Correspondence subseries contains letters to and from guest artists from the contemporary art community, as well as art professionals. Arranged in alphabetical order, this subseries details the process of Cutler-Shaw's coordinating the Art and Artist Lecture program.
    B) The Proposals subseries, arranged by title, documents the idealization and funding processes and includes notes and drafts.
    C) The Lectures subseries contains lecture and class materials, organized by title.
    D) The TV Course and Series subseries, separate from the lecture series, contains materials pertaining to the development of the TV course and TV series.
    E) The Programs and Brochures, organized chronologically, contains drafts of lecture series programs, speakers' biographies and mock-up brochures.
    The LANDMARK ART PROJECTS - ADMINISTRATIVE series contains administrative materials for the four major environment art projects, the Urban Meadow I and II, Urban Mesa, and Museum of Seasonal Change. The series is arranged in six subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Board of Directors, C) Financial Status Documents, D) Notebooks, E) Promotional Materials, and F) Miscellaneous.
    A) Correspondence subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains business correspondence.
    B) The Board of Directors subseries contains LAP meeting minutes (1976-1992) and schedules of activities.
    C) The Financial Status Documents subseries contains corporation papers.
    D) The Notebooks subseries, recorded by Cutler-Shaw, contains notes about the various LAP projects.
    E) The Promotional Materials subseries comprises original designs and graphic materials for brochures and outlines the four major environment art projects.
    F) The Miscellaneous materials include collaborative biographies, clippings, and annual budget summaries.
    The SURVIVAL-EVOLUTION (LAP) series is arranged in seven subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Conceptual Planning, C) Proposals, D) International Dialogue, E) Museum Exhibition, F) Cultural Event, and G) Miscellaneous. This project is the second message monument series after Joyce Cutler-Shaw's WE THE PEOPLE, a project to gather water samples from individual states proposed in 1976. As with the first proposal, the artist conceived the process as an art form.
    A) The Correspondence subseries contains letters to and from sponsors, participants, non-participants, ambassadors, and other organizations involved in the project.
    B) The Conceptual Planning subseries documents the creative process and contains early drafts, research materials and notes on water, "survival" and "evolution."
    C) The Proposals subseries includes drafts and final versions of proposals.
    D) The International Dialogue, the "first aspect" of the SURVIVAL-EVOLUTION project, contains documents regarding dialogue discussions for the initial conference and notes from the meeting with consultants.
    E) The Museum Exhibition, the "second aspect" of the project, contains materials for the installation exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
    F) The Cultural Event, the "third aspect" of the project, includes the ceremony transcript, drafts of "Messages From the World" and "Waters of the Nations" (messages and confirmation letters received from United Nations ambassadors), registration for the 12th International Sculpture Conference, the brochure, and program.
    G) The Miscellaneous subseries contains clippings, news releases and newsletters.
    This series is arranged in two subseries: A) Urban Meadows I and B) Urban Meadows II.
    A) Urban Meadows I, also known as "Wildflower Seeding of an Urban Meadow," was the first of the environment arts projects proposed for the site near the Balboa Park. The materials consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, proposal, plans, and clippings. Also included are plant seeds and a bag.
    B) Urban Meadows II consists of two site proposals for Clairemont Mesa Blvd and Diane Avenue and the other at Kettner Blvd and 'G' Street. The subseries includes correspondence, proposals, plans, clippings, and a model.
    The URBAN MESA (LAP) series is arranged in four subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Proposals, C) Planning, and D) Miscellaneous. This project features a groundbreaking event and an exhibition presented at "To the Astonishing Horizons," 1985.
    A) The Correspondence, arranged alphabetically, includes letters from San Diego City officials.
    B) The Proposals subseries includes drafts and the final version of the proposal.
    C) The Planning subseries contains working papers, plans, notes and graphics.
    D) Miscellaneous subseries contains the groundbreaking program, biographies, meetings, clippings, and donation records.
    This project features two closing events, the Arena Exhibition and the California Council of Landscape Architects Conference which includes a seminar transcript, "Integrating Art and the Environment: A Vision of the City." The project is arranged in the following seven subseries: A) Correspondence, B) Meetings, C) Proposals, D) Planning, E) Closing Events, F) Promotional Materials, and G) Miscellaneous.
    A) The Correspondence subseries is arranged alphabetically and contains correspondence with consultants, San Diego City officials and businesses.
    B) The Meetings subseries contains files related to public advisory groups and committees.
    C) The Proposals subseries includes drafts and the final version of the project proposal.
    D) The Planning subseries contains working papers and test site installation materials.
    E) The Closing Events subseries contains materials related to the Arena Exhibition and the CCLA Conference. The Arena Exhibition contains form letters, accepted and rejected artists' proposals, exhibition labels, agreement and exhibition forms, and model. The CCLA Conference materials include drafts of the seminar transcript.
    F) The Promotional Materials subseries includes drafts of brochures, posters, announcements, and flyers and contains original graphic designs.
    G) The Miscellaneous subseries contains bank statements, clippings, donation records, news releses, project updates, and receipts.
    The materials in this series are arranged by title of the project. Proposals include "A Pilot Program, Project Proposal for the NEA - Media," sketch drawing of the Urban Plaza, Kearny Red Median Project, and "Door to Door: A Community Research Project." Other projects included in this series are Urban Landscapes, the Japanese Village, and Pasadena Arts Commission's Public Art Competition.
    This series is arranged in five subseries: A) Performance Art/Art Performance (1981-1983), B) On the Environment II (1982), C) Toward an International Dialogue (1984-1985), D) Landmark/Miramar Collaboration (1989-1990), and E) Dialogues in Art and Architecture (1990-1993).
    A) The Performance Art/Art Performance, a joint venture agreement with La Mamelle, Inc., features a script for a proposed television program, correspondence, proposals, and notes. See also SERIES 12: VIDEORECORDINGS.
    B) The ON THE ENVIRONMENT II, a collaborative lecture and discussion on the environment with Sushi Gallery and Center for Music Experiment at UCSD, contains flyers, a program and signed contract.
    C) TOWARD AN INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUE, a collaboration with the San Diego Museum of Natural History contains a symposium, "Five Perspectives: Issues of Survival and the Environment," which features guest speakers, Jonas Salk, Helen Harrison, William Nierenberg, Neil Morgan, and Charles McLauglin. The materials include correspondence, speakers' biographies, a transcript of the symposium, clippings, photographs, and audiocassette recordings.
    D) The MIRAMAR/LANDMARK COLLABORATION, a collaboration with the San Diego Miramar College, consists of correspondence, proposals, plans, and meetings.
    E) The DIALOGUE IN ART AND ARCHITECTURE, a collaboration with the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, comprises public discussions with invited guest artists and professionals in the community. This subseries features a transcript of the first dialogue in the series, "The Perils of Planning: Art and Architecture in Changing Communities." The materials are arranged by title of the discussion and include programs, speakers' biographies, news releases, and notes.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS ABOUT CUTLER-SHAW series is arranged in seven subseries: A) Biographical Materials, B) Correspondence, C) Works by Joyce Cutler-Shaw, D) Art Projects by Cutler-Shaw, E) Articles About Cutler-Shaw, F) Miscellaneous, G) Exhibit Announcements.
    A) The Biographical Materials subseries includes certificates, artist's statements and biographical summaries.
    B) The Correspondence subseries contain miscellaneous correspondence in alphabetical order.
    C) The Works by Joyce Cutler-Shaw includes writings, interviews, seminars, panel presentations, and a SDSU class project.
    D) The Art Projects by Joyce Cutler-Shaw consists of solo exhibitions and installations, catalogues, drawings, sketches, promotional materials, photographs, and books.
    E) The Articles About Cutler-Shaw subseries is arranged by title of the review.
    F) The Miscellaneous subseries includes clippings regarding women artists, news releases, miscellaneous subscriptions, and Women's Caucus for Art newsletters.
    G) The Exhibit Announcements subseries include announcements from other contemporary artists.
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series is arranged in four subseries: A) UCSD Extension, B) Landmark Art Projects, C) Landmark Art Collaborative, and D) Miscellaneous.
    A) UCSD Extension subseries contains photographs of students and their art projects and includes prints and negatives.
    B) Landmark Art Project subseries, arranged by project title, documents the individual public art projects by LAP at different stages in the planning and includes color photocopies, negatives, contact sheets, and original drawings on photograph prints for concept pieces for Kearny Red Median Project.
    C) Landmark Art Collaborative subseries contains the photographs and contact sheets of participants from the Toward an International Dialogue symposium.
    D) Miscellaneous contains unidentified photographs.
    This series is arranged in three subseries: A) Landmark Art Projects, B) Landmark Art Collaborative and C) Miscellaneous.
    A) The Landmark Art Projects subseries, arranged by project title, contains photographs of plans and drawings of the individual public art projects by LAP and includes first concept pieces and collaborative members' individual portfolios.
    B) The Landmark Art Collaborative subseries contains images of the Landmark/Miramar Collaborative project.
    C) The Miscellaneous subseries includes art projects by Joyce Cutler-Shaw, such as "Word as Sculpture" and "Carlsbad Water Stories," and slides for class lectures.
    The VIDEORECORDINGS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Art and Artists Lecture Series, B) Landmark Art Projects, C) Landmark Art Collaborative, and D) Miscellaneous. The collection has recordings of interviews with artists from the Art and Artists Lecture Series produced at Palomar College and at San Diego State University/Learning Resource Center. Also included in this series are projects by the Landmark Art Projects, Landmark Art Collaborative and miscellaneous art projects by Joyce Cutler-Shaw.
    A) The Art and Artists Lecture Series subseries, arranged in alphabetical order by artist's name, contains master, edited and dubbed versions of videorecordings.
    B) Landmark Art Projects is arranged by project title and includes the film project, "A Japanese Village - Furuyashikimura."
    C) The Landmark Art Collaborative subseries contains the recordings of Performance Art/Art Performance.
    D) The Miscellaneous subseries contains art projects by Joyce Cutler-Shaw and is arranged in alphabetical order by project title.
    The AUDIORECORDINGS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Art and Artists Lecture Series, B) Landmark Art Projects, C) Landmark Art Collaborative, and D) Miscellaneous. The audiocassette recordings include some recordings from the videorecordings.
    A) The Art and Artist Lecture Series, arranged in alphabetical order by artist, documents interviews with artists from the Art and Artists Lecture Series produced at Palomar College and at SDSU/LRC.
    B) The Landmark Art Projects, arranged by project name, contains recordings of SURVIVAL-EVOLUTION committee meetings for the International Dialogue Conference.
    C) The Landmark Art Collaborative subseries include recordings of meeting and symposium, Toward an International Dialogue, Performance Art/Art Performance and Sushi presentation.
    D) The Miscellaneous subseries contains an interview by Moira Roth regarding Joyce Cutler-Shaw's "The Lady and the Bird" and other miscellaneous recordings relating to television, artists and music.
    This series contains the originals of fragile or high-acid content items that have been photocopied.
    Accessions Processed in 2006
    The accession processed in 2006 chiefly contains correspondence, additional materials relating to Cutler-Shaw's "Art and Artists" lectures series and various art projects, and handwritten notes from Cutler-Shaw's files both categorized and uncategorized. Some miscellaneous materials are also included, most significantly articles by and about Cutler-Shaw. The materials are arranged in six series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) PROJECTS, 3) ART AND ARTISTS, 4) PERFORMANCE ART HISTORY SUBJECT FILES, 5) NOTES, and 6) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged in two subseries: A) General Correspondence, and B) Mail Art.
    A) The General Correspondence subseries contains letters and postcards, including postcards announcing art exhibitions used for personal and professional correspondence.
    B) The Mail Art subseries includes letters and postcards specifically sent as art or with features suggesting possible mail art, such as hand-drawn or rubber-stamped embellishments. Some pieces include enclosures, such as small posters or stickers.
    The PROJECTS series contains materials related to several of Cutler-Shaw's art projects. The most significant items are a binder with survey forms completed by members of the U.S. Congress for "We the People" (1976), and letters from various international governments included in the projects "Survival-Evolution: Waters of the Nations" (1979) and "Messages from the World" (1982).
    The ART AND ARTISTS series contains Cutler-Shaw's research and organizational files for her "Art and Artists" lecture series, arranged in two subseries: A) General, and B) Artist Research Files.
    A) The General subseries includes material from Cutler-Shaw's files relating to preparation of the series, including public relations and promotional material.
    B) The Artist Research Files subseries contains Cutler-Shaw's files on particular artists relevant to "Art and Artists" lectures, arranged alphabetically by name.
    The PERFORMANCE ART HISTORY SUBJECT FILES series contains Cutler-Shaw's research files on late nineteenth and early twentieth-century artists and movements that were precursors of later twentieth-century performance art.
    The NOTES series includes loose pages, legal pads and stenographers notebooks with Cutler-Shaw's handwritten notes on a range of subjects, both categorized and uncategorized. The series is arranged in four subseries: A) Subject Files, B) Original Texts Handwritten, C) Miscellaneous, and D) Notebooks.
    A) The Subject Files subseries contains notes from Cutler-Shaw's files arranged alphabetically by subject.
    B) The Original Texts Handwritten subseries includes handwritten drafts from Cutler-Shaw's files for various un-specified projects.
    C) The Miscellaneous subseries includes 16 folders of uncategorized handwritten notes on loose pages and legal pads.
    D) The Notebooks subseries includes handwritten notes in 23 stenographer's notebooks, arranged alphabetically by notebook title.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series includes articles, exhibition announcements, an unidentified photograph, and miscellaneous ephemera.


    Joyce Arlene Cutler-Shaw was born in 1932, in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in New York City. She received her B.A. in English from New York University in 1953, did graduate study work at Columbia University, and received her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego, in 1972. She was an instructor at the UCSD Extension from 1972-1974 where she taught teacher training courses for art in the classroom and seminar courses with guest speakers such as Helen Gahagan Douglas, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and various contemporary artists and professionals.
    As an instructor and program director, Cutler-Shaw created the "Art and Artist Lecture Series," a lecture program based on contemporary artists, their works and art issues. Originally produced at Palomar College (1974-1978), this lecture program later expanded to San Diego State University, the University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Long Beach. Cutler-Shaw also produced the "Art and Artists: Video/Audio Archive (1974-1982)," which contained video and audiorecordings of interviews with contemporary artists including Laurie Anderson, David Antin, Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Mary Beebe, John Cage, Christo, Agenes Denes, Robert Irwin, Allan Kaprow, Moira Roth, Edward Rusha, James Turrell, Anna Banana, Bill Gaglione, and others.
    With a group of local artists and landscape architects, Joyce Cutler-Shaw founded Landmark Art Projects, Inc. (1979-1989) in San Diego, California, dedicated to the development of temporary and permanent outdoor works to integrate art and the environment. LAP served as an umbrella organization for artists to initiate projects and become their own project director. Working with local organizations and institutions, LAP proposed four environmental art projects, the Urban Meadows I and II, Urban Mesa, and the Museum of Seasonal Change.
    Cutler-Shaw initiated and was project director for the "Waters of the Nations/ Messages from the World" project which began in 1978 and involved global participation. With UNESCO's patronage, the project consisted of gathering water samples and messages from 94 nations around the world and then constructing ice sculptures that spelled "SURVIVAL" using the gathered samples. The exhibition began at the Plaza of San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, site of the signing of the United Nations Charter and culminated with the exhibition and a ceremony at the UN Plaza in New York City to celebrate the UN Water Decade 1981-1990.
    The Landmark Art Collaborative (LAC) continued LAP's commitment to the integration of art and architecture and the natural environment from 1985-1992. The members of the LAP collaborated with outside local organizations on individual projects, including "Performance Art/Art Performance" (La Mamelle, Inc.), "On the Environment II" (Sushi Gallery and CME, UCSD), "Toward an International Dialogue" (San Diego Museum of Natural History), "Landmark/Miramar Collaboration" (San Diego Miramar College), and "Dialogues in Art and Architecture" (The Athenaeum). Cutler-Shaw has continued coordinating the "Dialogues in Art and Architecture" at the Atheneum Music and Art Library, collaborating with the Woodbury University School of Architecture since 2002.
    Cutler-Shaw's inter-media artwork include performance art, such as reading/performance, the "Messenger" and "The Lady and the Bird"; public art projects, such as the outdoor metal scupltures for the California Pacific Homes Stonecrest Project; site-specific installations, such as the "Namewall" (1974) for Los Angeles International Airport; and artist's books, notably, the "Alphabet of Bones." Drawings, solo exhibitions, and artworks on private commissions add to the gamut of Cutler-Shaw's artwork. Cutler-Shaw has participated in numerous panel presentations, artist's book exhibitions/publications and individual and group exhibitions. She has also published several articles and has appeared in the writings of others.
    The many public programs and affiliations in which Cutler-Shaw has participated, include the Art Advisory Board at Sushi Performance Gallery (1981-1990), the College Art Association and Women's Caucus for Arts, and the San Diego Council of Design Professionals. A more complete list and description of projects can be found on Cutler-Shaw's website - http://joycecutlershaw.com/
    Cutler-Shaw lives in La Jolla, California.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Joyce Cutler-Shaw Papers, MSS 538. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2001-2012.


    Original sound and videorecordings are restricted. Researchers must consult user copy.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art -- Study and teaching
    Artists -- California
    Environment (Art)
    Landmark Art Collaborative
    Landmark Art Project
    Irwin, Robert, 1928-
    Harrison, Helen Mayer, 1927-
    Harrison, Newton, 1932-
    Denes, Agnes
    Gilot, Françoise, 1921-
    Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002
    Roth, Moira
    Rusha, Edward
    Lippard, Lucy R.
    Nochlin, Linda
    Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992
    Cutler-Shaw, Joyce, 1932- -- Archives
    Burden, Chris, 1946-2015
    Beebe, Mary Livingstone, 1940-
    Baldessari, John, 1931-
    Art and Artist Lecture Series
    Kaprow, Allan