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MsC 518

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1960 -- 1991
16 linear ft. plus two oversize boxes and one map case drawer

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: February 2004

image of a song for everyday

Acquisition Note: The core of the A. M. Fine Collection was donated to the University of Iowa by Ida Fine in 1995. Two smaller donations were made by John Broderick in 1995 and William Rand in 1996.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research. Citations should read: Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts, The A. M. Fine Collection. Note: Donor has retained the copyright and the exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation and distribution of the musical scores in box 15. Cosmic Notices material in box 10 is sealed until January 1, 2006.

Photographs: Box 13, 14

Film/Video: Box 10

Audio Material: Box 6, 10

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Albert M. Fine (1932 -- 1987) was born in Boston , Massachusetts. He graduated from Revere High School in 1949. In 1958 he earned a B.A. from the Julliard School of Music, and in 1960 he received his M.A. from the Julliard in orchestral conducting. In addition to being a composer, Fine was an artist and poet, whose compositions ranged from instrumental works to incidental music to off-Broadway theatre. Although perhaps most widely known within contemporary discourse for his Fluxus works and as a leading exponent of the Mail-art movement (in collaboration with the late Ray Johnson), Fine's cross-disciplinary activities also overlapped with the creative productions of his friends and colleagues Phillip Glass, John Cage, George Maciunas , and Allen Ginsberg. Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts (a program of the Libraries in association with the Museum of Art and the School of Art & Art History) was chosen as the official repository for the artist's works and papers by the A. M. Fine estate.

Scope and Contents

The A. M. Fine Collection consists of 16 linear feet, one map case drawer, and two oversize boxes of original art works by Fine as well as Robert Janz and Ray Johnson, some of Fine's correspondence, personal items, poetry, essays, and twenty-six of his original music scores. This material's approximate dates range from 1960 -- 1985.

Box List

Box 1

Note books #1 -- 4 and #5 -- 8

B/W art works vol. 1 and 2

Box 2

Poetry #1 and #2

Correspondence from Ray Johnson and Robert Janz

Box 3

Math Theory

Binder 7

Box 4

Complete music scores

Fine's color artwork

Box 5

Ray Johnson correspondence

Miscellaneous printed matter owned by Fine

Box 6

Music related materials

Record with Fine on clarinet

Box 7

Fine's correspondence

Rubber stamps

Box 8

'Math Theory'

Envelopes with assorted items

Box 9

Correspondence from assorted artists, writers, composers, etc.

Box 10

Cosmic Notices

Audio and visual recordings

Fine works

Master photocopies of Fine's correspondence and artworks

Box 11

Poetry and writing

Box 12

Personal effects

Box 13

Personal effects

Box 14

1 necklace (brown twine & lead weight) ( Broderick donation)

2 clip-ons ( jewelry ) ( Broderick donation)

2 wall hangings ( Broderick donation)

one with blue crayon

one with dark blue shoelaces and light brown spool with black interlaced laces


2 clip-ons (alligator clip-on), 1970's

2 bead necklaces

1 necklace (doorstop), 1970's


1 mixed media-feminine imagery (1960's) very uncharacteristic A.M.Fine work. Has two loose feathers and a button needs to be reglued . Signed by Ida Fine as documentation (19"x12")

1 newspaper collage, newspaper clippings with Fine's commentary

Box 15 (oversize)

Original Music Scores by A.M. Fine

"Billy the Kid." n.d., 9 pages

"Dance Piece No. 2 for James Waring." 1965, 46 pages

"'Dance "Cadenza' for James Waring." 1964, 22 pages

"Fantasia Fur Klavier." 1966, 7 pages

"Fear no Forks." 1965, 6 pages

"Hommage to the late Mr. I. Stravinsky." n.d., 1 page (missing)

"Peblum." 1965, 6 pages

"Piece for deedee R." n.d., 2 pages

"Play-Piece." (2 duplicate pages). 1964, 2 pages

"Proceed and variety." 1965, 12 pages

"Seconds." 1964, 2 pages

"Simple Song for Eric." 1965, 2 pages

"Solo For."1965, 7 pages

"Sonatinima." 1964, 14 pages

"Song for Christopher." 1965, 2 pages

"Song for George Brecht." 1965, 2 pages

"Song for My Lover." n.d., 8 pages

"Song for Ray J." 1965, 4 pages

"Symphonic Sketch for Piano No. 1." 1965, 3 pages

"Tango." n.d., 6 pages

"The Name of this Piece is." 1964, 3 pages

"Three Movements for Piano." 1965, 7 pages

"tune and chorale." 4 pages


Composition notebook, "Notes towards the integration of the Harmonic and Twelve tone 'systems.'" Dec. 3 -- 5, 1980

Two composition notebooks, "Happening A Symphonies," Books I & II, Longy School of Music, Cambridge , Massachusetts , 1965

Box 16 (oversize)

The contents of this box are from the William Rand Donation (Note: descriptions taken from inventory by Rand )

7 geometric drawings (Note: these pencil sketches have more purpose than apparent to the casual eye). Albert's insistence on fundamental practices regarding geometric division begin a deconstructive poetic narrative demonstrating a profound wit and sophistication.

200 photocopies (Visual Poem) from the collection of Albert M. Fine Instructions: Albert would frame pages in those simple black frames from Woolworth's and an assortment of these pages can thus be hung on the wall in a grid, as many as you like.

One copy "Doorknobs" poem

11 original visual poems

23 photographs and contact sheet of A.M. Fine by Rand circa 1978

Artist statement by W. Rand and 1 flier for a Fine poetry reading and the following 4 photocopies of writings:

"The Tides of Spring . " 1985

"Confusion." 1985

" Delirithisthique Vingtiarde." 1984

The following works on same sheet:

"Dimensional Diridactics." 1985

" Exupery's Piscine." 1985

"Her." 1985

9 additional envelopes with parts for #1 & 2

1 drawing labeled "up, down, I can understand, but what is a volcanic plug"

Map case (Third floor stacks)

Works by Fine

Mixed media collage-feminine imagery, 19"x 12", 1960's (this is very uncharacteristic of Fine's work. It is signed by Ida Fine as documentation)

2 Poetry Reading posters, 8 1/2" x 11," 1966

Page One A Book About Life, no date

Untitled Drawing on poster board, no date, precursor to Page One A Book About Life

Page Two A Book About Life, no date

Page Two Page Three A Book About Life,1966

An Unparallel Event, 1966

Tito's Day, no date

A Song for Everyday, 1964

Color drawing of traced objects, no date

Service spoon drawing, no date

Spoon Drawing, no date

Postcard Flower, no date

Ink drawing postcard, addressed to Miss E.R. Rosen, 1975

Ink drawing postcard, addressed to Mrs. I.R. Fine, 1978

Ink drawing on notecard, 1976

Cactus collage postcard, addressed to I.R. Fine, 1983

Skunk in hotel pool collage postcard, addressed to I.R. Fine, 1969


Box 17 (Offsite Oversized ATCA location)

Works by Fine, cont.

Geodesic Globe (on steel branch installed on marble plinth) (This is Fine's last sculpture) The base was chosen by William Rand according to the artist's instructions. (Rand donation)

Rubber base to rod (Rand donation) (see Box 18)

Cymbal stand

Black Mountain era scroll, 1950's

Box 18 (Offsite Oversized ATCA location)

Works by Fine, cont.

Rod (made to lean on wall, probably designed for shadow studies) (Rand donation) (base in Box 17)

Movie theatre tickets glued onto blackboard, framed 10 x 10, 1965

2 untitled works, no date

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