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Milliken, Don  OR #44

Milliken, Don
OR #44

Correspondence is, at its best, an intimate gesture.

It is a pure idea
often direct and unrefined
It may also become
political,
psychological,
religious,
outrageous,
sentimental,
humorous,
horrific,
enlightening,
or indulgent

(Excerpt from an unpublished statement, 1984.  From Commentaries on the New Media Arts by Robert C. Morgan)

Open a box in the Don Milliken Collection of Correspondence Art and Related Materials and you will find zines, and postcards, and artists’ books, and newspapers, and stamp collections, and packets of stickers, photographs, letters, collages, and envelopes of all shapes from people all over the world.  This is one of the great things about correspondence art: the sheer variety of materials and themes that compile this worldwide art movement, emphasizing the inclusive participation of artists and amateurs in a variety of media through the use of the postal system.

The Northampton Herald 1982

The Northampton Herald
1982

Correspondence art, also called mail art or postal art, began in the 1960s.  While difficult to trace the origins of this movement, most sources agree that correspondence art began as a reaction to the commodification and commercialization of art.  In the competitive world of exclusive art museums and juried exhibitions, artists and amateurs sought to re-emphasize the joy of creating and experiencing art, and to create new paradigms for the art world focused on sharing and exchange.

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