Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry
Before being moved to its permanent home at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections, a choice selection of works from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry—the most comprehensive collection of its kind—was offered at Swann Galleries on October 10, 2019.
The archive was founded by Marvin and Ruth Sackner in 1979 in Florida. It includes more than 75,000 annotated volumes, artists’ books, book objects, periodicals, drawings, print portfolios, ephemera and manuscripts. It represents the creative pinnacle for many significant artists and poets working in the genre, alongside documentation that reveals their processes, with preparatory notes, letters and studies. The vast majority of this material will be available to scholars and the public in January 2020 at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections.
The books selected for auction at Swann included portfolios by notable American artists and writers, foundational European Avant-Garde material, sculptural works and artists’ books that celebrate the vast range of language-based artworks and push the boundaries of what gets defined as a book. At turns humorous and sublime, kitschy and contemporary, these works were selected by our specialists as a representative offering of an outstanding collection.