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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

William Gaglione Papers
MsC 866

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

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.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Acquisition and Processing Information: Processed by Jessica McBride & Anne Covell.  Posted to the internet 7 May 2009.

Photographs: Box 2, folder 5

                       Collage Artwork


Scope and Contents

The collection contains William Gaglione’s works and papers, including various Dadaland mail art works, visual poems, and sound poems. He also collected newspaper articles and cartoons that pertained to mail and postal services. Additionally, Gaglione collected gallery announcments and other publications that he received or published for personal exhibitions.

The collection consists of 2 boxes, arranged in the following series:


Series I – Gallery Catalogs and Announcements
Series II – Personal Papers
Series III – Correspondence
Series IV – Art Materials and Artworks


Biographical Note

William Gaglione, born in New York City in 1943, became an influential leader of the mail art movement during the 1960s. From that point he took an active role in the New York Correspondence School, along with his friend Ray Johnson, where he created his coded name “Dadaland”. Long before the general public was aware of the artistic possibilities, mail artists were using rubber stamps to decorate their envelopes, finding abstract applications, and developing techniques. Rubber stamp art became an important genre within mail art, along with publications, postage stamps, photocopy, and audio cassette trade, and began to generate its own shows, magazines, and conventions. From being a contributor in the movement, Gaglione’s position was to publicize the up and coming genre by utilizing the publications, shows, magazines, and audio cassettes.

Gaglione left New York and moved to California during the 1970s, where he founded his first company dedicated to mail art, Stamp Francisco. While living in San Francisco, he befriended other mail artists, including Darlene Domel, who he later married, and Anna “Banana” Lee. During this time, he contributed to artistamp, which is the art form of a postage stamp, but not meant to be considered real. Additionally, it was with Anna Banana that Gaglione developed Vile Magazine, which gave the opportunity for mail artists to publish their art and other publications. As Gaglione became more empowered with the mail art movement, he was known as a pioneer and developed the name “Picasso” Gaglione for all of the techniques he created.


During the 1990s, Gaglione focused his attention on the fine art of rubber stamping and his role as curator for the Stamp Art Gallery in San Francisco. Currently, Gaglione resides in Chicago with Darlene Domel. He owns a company, Stampland, which consists of fine art rubber stamps that he sells.


Related Materials

ATCA Artists' Works and Correspondence (MsC 764) – Contains work by similar mail artists
ATCA Rubber Stamp Art Collection (MsC 788) – Contains correspondence from Gaglione

ATCA homepage - Overview of the ATCA collection with links to finding aids



Box Contents List

Box 1

Series I: Gallery Catalogs and Announcements

Folder 1: Inter Dada, 84

          Italianfuturistheatre (programs)


Folder 2: Fliers and announcements

          Dada sound poems
          NO show flyers
          The Shooting gallery
          Futurist Scientesi performance
          New sound poems flyer
          World Art magazine ad
          Pro-vision flyer
          Artists talk on art
          Publication for rubber stamp shows
          Gas Heart
          Dadaland postcard show
          Poetry for the body: clothing for spirit
          Return of tut
          Futurist sintesi
          Fluxshoe: scenes & zines
          Celebrate xmas in dadaland
          Futurist sintesi audio player
          World premier: rocket to mars
          Performance marathon
          Wild men
          Live networking
          NO show performance
          Shozo in America
          Leap nite at jet wave
          New sound poems
          The illusion
          Illusion de gendre
          Envelope 1979, Common press #22 material
          2 Dadaland envelopes, (1 “Dada is Never Right” stickers, 1972.)
          Misc. envelopes & announcements
                    871 Fine Arts
                    Pressworks
                    Brochure
                    Parallelogramme
                    Stampa Barbara
                    Ty-Mark Industries
                    Opeongo Inc.
                    w/stamps
                    to Darlene from Japanese co.
                    Molly Cleaton; Nihilist


Folder 3: Materials relating to Vile Magazine
           Letter for a collating party for Vile, 1980
           Vile Magazine ad flyer
           Call for works for Vile #7

Subseries: Clippings

Folder 1: Clippings focused on US & international mail


Folder 2: Cartoon clippings centered on US mail


Folder 3: Postal services
           Federal laws & government
           US mail booklet
           newspaper clipping of mail
           postal instant press (box)


Folder 4: Miscellaneous clippings

          “June 86”
          “Strange Deaths”
          “Leap”
           Cartoon and magazine clippings
           Kissing (article)

Series II: Personal papers

Folder1: European trip mementos


Folder 2: Personal memos (2 planners, 1 notebook, 1 notebook w/comments & addresses)


Folder 3: Miscellaneous

Series III: Correspondence

Folder 1: To Gaglione
           Candy
           PC Fencotti
           Darlene Domel
           Dawn Gaglione
           JR Morina
           Nessi Gaglione
           Stephen Perkins
           Jackie
           Madeline (little girl stamper from “Make Your Mark”)
           Larry C
           Miscellaneous Valentine’s Day cards


Folder 2: General; from Gaglione
           Lauren Hall
           Julie P
           Karl Kempton
           Stephen Morrissey
           James Minor
           Geoff A Cook
           Larry Wendt
           Loris Essary
           Don Voisine
           Michael Phillips
           Sarah Stro
           Howard Robertson
           “Uncle Don”
           Lisa
           OK Magazine/Nihilist Press
           Art Orr
           Sandra Kocher
           Milt Jines
           Lin Fife
           Lauren Mukamal-Camp
           Joslin Fields
           Billy Curmano
           Diana Arseneau
           Hreinn Frideinnsson
           Mike M Mollett
           Stephanie Comer
           Lon Spiegelman
           Sherry
           “Skoote”
           Marcello Diotallevi
           Dr. Frank R Scheer
           John Held Jr.
           Nina M Berg
           Carol Prestia
           Clive Phillpot
           Dr. Klaus Groh
           Joseph BL Bourgeois
           Robert Terry
           Jeff Berner
           Peter R Meyer
           Florence Crittention service


Folder 3: Financial records
           Research & Recommendations (bill/receipt included w/ newsletter)
           Sanitation bill
           East TX Engraving
           Quiz Graphic Arts
           BC Monthly (IHC Dept. funds/benefits, bank statements, invoices)
           Tharco Box Services
           Rates
           WM Mastercard

Folder 4: Chain letters

Box 2

Series IV: Art materials and Artworks

Folder 1: Darlene Domel

Folder 2: Mail art

Folder 3: Stamps

Folder 4: Stickers

Folder 5: Photographs (including photo booth)

Folder 6: Templates and mock-ups
           Mock artwork
           The illusion
           Bay area artists books & Dick Higgins visual poetry
           Visual poems
           A futurist sintesi
           West coast international sound poetry festival
           Futurlustra
           The illusion: a surrealist film/drama
           Illusion de gendre
           Dadaland postcard show
           Visual poem

Folder 7: Miscellaneous artworks
           Cloth “NO WAR” artwork
           Art of Future