Dick Higgins Collection

An Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Art Collection

MsC 790

Collection Dates: (1968-1993)

7 linear ft.

Collection Guide

This document describes a Manuscript Collection held by the

Special Collections Department

University of Iowa Libraries

e-mail: lib-spec@uiowa.edu


Dick Higgins postcardDick Higgins postcard

Guide Contents

Administrative Information

Biographical and Historical Information


Scope and Contents of the Collection

Related Materials

Acquisition and Processing Information

Box Contents List


Administrative Information

Access and Restrictions:

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Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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 agreements 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

Dick Higgins was born in Cambridge, England in 1939 and died in Quebec in 1998.  He was a Fluxus artist who studied with John Cage and Henry Cowell (1958-1959), and co-founded Happenings in 1958.  He is credited with coining the phrase "intermedia" to describe his particular approach to artmaking that included (but is not limited to) his visual, musical and literary efforts. He was a theorist, poet, composer, performance artist, printmaker, filmaker, and book publisher. Most notably, Higgins founded Something Else Press (1963-1974), operated the Something Else Gallery (1966-1969) and founded Unpublished Editions (Printed Editions) in 1972.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains original manuscripts of performance art, original works of art, and related ephemera.

Related Materials

This is an Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Art collection.

Acquisition and Processing Information

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by a variety of sources including Ken Friedman, Buster Cleveland, and Steve Durland.

Guide posted to the Internet: October 2006


Box Contents List

Box 1

Folder 1: Correspondence

47 items, mostly postcards.

Folder 2: Writings

"An Exemplativist Manifesto" poster by Unpublished Editions, 26 August 1976

"Useful Stanzas," 1959

"Non-Performance Pieces," 1963

"Happytime the Medicine Man," July 1958?

"Employment Questionaire," 23 May 1963

"Garden Magic," July 1959

"Snake in the Grass: a variation on Concretion Number Eight," 1963

"Just Who Knows What," 1963-1964

"january fish" Futura 21 poster, 1967

"i'm tired of being misunderstood," 1976

"Towards an Allusive Referential" from A Dialectic of Centuries, 1977

"Fiction" four stories, 1959-1961

"In the Context of Shoes and Shoes and Horses and Burned Rushes Moon! and Seahorses Rebuff'd and Trio Without Rags or Sandals and Musical Process No. 6," 1960

"The Musical Wig," 1961

"New Poems," 1959-1962

"One Hundred Plays," 1961

"Levels," 1959

"Three Landscapes Decorated with Witches," 1960

"A Second Pseudo-Philosophical Treatise Upon the Word 'Likely' as it was Used by George Brecht in a Momentous Communication Received by the Present Author 8/14/60," 1960

"poem in 64 word form - for Larry poons-," 1959

"An Anonymous Novel about the Snow (which offers to become an opera or a theater piece or a movie or just snow)," 1959

"Rank Weeds: a valentine which is just as you make it to be," 1960

"Information, Classified and Private, for Larry Poons," 1961

"Four Poems to be Performed," 1962

"An Essay Deliberately on Snow," 1959

"Four Dangers, a Structure, and a Symphony," 1961

"Half a Dozen," 1960

"Six Concretions," 1961

"Two Hundred and Sixteen Basic Cuing Situation,"

"Suggested by Small Swallows," set of two performance scores by Dick Higgins, 1973

Folder 3: Miscellaneous

"Performances by Dick Higgins" June-July 1976, compiled by Don Boyd-Dick Higgins

Dick Higgins: A Bio/Bibliography 1979, Threadneedle Editions, West Glover, Vermont

"Other Management Presents: Dick Higgins" -- a curriculum vitae brochure (2 copies)

Unpublished Editions 1976-1977 catalog (2 copies)

Unpublished Editions, Special Catalog: Books by Dick Higgins 1977

"Five Traditions of Art History, an Essay" poster by Dick Higgins, 1976

"Some Poetry Intermedia" poster by Dick Higgins, 1976 (2 copies)

publishers advertisement for The Epickall Quest of the Brothers Dichtung and Other Outrages

"Vintage Higgins" checklist

Schedule of events for The 11th International Festival of Sound Poetry in Toronto, n.d.

List of "Dick Higgins -- Activities in Europe, 1982" (2 copies)

Program from performance "Musik von Dick Higgins", April 16, 1982, Berlin

Oversized Material

Drawer 1: Series of 29 related prints

26 color prints all untitled but numbered. 30” x 22”, 1973

Topsy Tury #3. color print. 30” x 22”, 1973
Untitled. color print. 30” x 22”, 1973
Back O’ the Wind. color print. 30” x 22”, 1973

Drawer 2: Material related to Higgin's print series and other miscellaneous material

"Geographies," 1983
Nadie. color print. 8 ½ ” x 13”, no date
Untitled. color print. 8 ½ ” x 13”, 1973
Untitled. color print. 9” x 12 ½”, 1973
Untitled. color print. 15” x 20”, 1973

Untitled. color print/drawing. 14” x 17”, 1973
Untitled. color print with poem. 22” x 30”, no date
Untitled. black and white prints. 9 ½” x 13 ½”, 1973 (2 copies)
Untitled. color print. 16” x 20”, 1973
Untitled. color print. 18” x 23 ½”, 1973
Untitled E #2. black and white photo. 16” x 20”, 1973
Untitled. mixed media/print. 16” x 20”, 1973

Untitled. color print. 16” x 20”, 1973

Glass/lass, poem poster, 1970 (4 copies)

1,000 Symphonies Event, 1967 (26 copies)