While working on the digitization project for the American Craft Council's Library, I've navigated through the organization's ephemera from exhibitions past that make up the archives. It has been a blur at times. I've uncovered countless files of formal and staged photographs. So when I stumbled upon a series of fun-loving (to the point of mischievous) images from the exhibition Made With Paper I was stopped in my archiving tracks.
Made With Paper was on view at the American Craft Council's Museum of Contemporary Craft in November 1967. For some exhibitions, the MCC found ways to engage with the community outside of the museum's walls. One such event was to herald the Made With Paper exhibition. Artist James Lee Byars and the New York City Department of Sanitation joined forces on West 53rd Street to bring "performable sculpture" in the form of paper (think: a really big roll of toilet paper) to the streets. The paper was unrolled, dissolved, and swept away. It would seem like a simple project had the roll itself not been around 400 feet long and 30 feet wide!
Images documenting the ballyhoo that brisk November morning are delightful to browse through, and will be included in the ACC library's digital image database. Alongside those photos are images of the exhibition's installation and individual objects. The Your Portable Museum kit of Made With Paper is also en route to the digitization nation. Look for it this fall.
The American Craft Council Library and Archives Digital Collections is an open-access online compendium containing more than 3,000 unique images, documents, and media detailing the history of contemporary craft in America. From ACC newsletters and photographs to firsthand documentation of major national craft exhibitions, the digital collections offer makers, scholars, and craft appreciators a glimpse at some of the ACC Library's most invaluable resources.