New York: National Art Workers Community / Foundation for the Community of Artists, 1971-1989. First Edition. Newsprint. Various formats and sizes. About very good plus overall. Most are modestly age-toned as usual but remain clean and readable. Several suffer small rips, but no major losses. Generally well-preserved and housed in three archival Gaylord boxes. Very good +. Item #20960
A representative broken run of sixty-six issues (out of a total of approximately 125) of this important NYC art newspaper, described by Gwen Allen as “the first artists’ publication to focus sustained attention on artists’ rights.” During its nearly two-decades-long run, the paper changed its name, format, and editors several times, but remained above all political in its motivations and focused on the material conditions of working artists in New York (and throughout the United States). Frequently covered topics included government arts funding and lack thereof, struggles for affordable housing (both before and during the redevelopment of SoHo), wage and payment disputes with galleries and museums, issues of copyright and obscenity law, and health hazards associated with art-making materials. Representative headlines include: “Millions for Art, Pennies for Artists,” “Artists of Soho Face Crisis: Real Estate Speculation... Threaten[s] Community’s Existence,” and “Forces Gather for Long Government Arts Struggle.” The paper often examined regional developments in artist politics throughout the U.S. as well, reporting specific legislation of arts funding and the decisive political players involved, and thus forms a valuable record of arts policy throughout the ‘70s through the Reagan years (with frequent attention given to grants through the NEA and other organizations). Profiles of artists and art-world personalities include Alice Neel, Marcia Tucker, Alexander Calder, and Richard Serra (the latter of whose "Tilted Arc" controversy is covered in detail), and tended to focus on the social dimensions of their work. The newspaper forms a valuable record of the downtown arts scene's political side during the 70s and 80s – not only in its attempts to organize and advocate for its own labor rights, but through an increasing focus on questions of race and gender as well. A more detailed inventory of the collection is available on request. [Allen, ARTISTS’ MAGAZINES, p. 240].