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Carolee Schneemann Papers on Up to and Including Her Limits
in The Museum of Modern Art Archives



The Museum of Modern Art Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
moma.org/learn/resources/archives
© 2022
The Museum of Modern Art Archives
Finding aid prepared by Rachel Garbade, 2022.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-2019
Title: Carolee Schneemann Papers on Up to and Including Her Limits
Inclusive Dates: 1974-2002
Quantity: .42 linear feet
1 2.5-inch wide three-ring binder, 1 2.5-inch manuscript box
Abstract: Photocopied and original photographs, clippings, notes, and other ephemera relating to Carolee Schneemann's performance and installation, Up to and Including Her Limits.

Arrangement

In arranging these Papers, original order was maintained. Generally, folder titles have been expanded or altered for clarity, though original folder titles are noted.
The collection is organized into two series, as follows:
Series I: Photocopies and CDs with High Resolution Scans
Series II: Original Photographs and Ephemera


Biographical Note

Carolee Schneemann was born in 1939 in Fox Chase, Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. While her multidisciplinary practice involved painting, assemblage, performance, and filmmaking, she is most well known for her performances that made use of her own nude female body. She sought to problematize or highlight societal taboos and norms, especially related to gender politics in the history of art. Her oeuvre is feminist and radical for its concentrated exploration of sexual expression, the objectification of women, and human and animal suffering. Schneemann died in 2019 in New Paltz, New York.


Historical Note

As described on MoMA's object page for Schneemann's later installation, Up to and Including Her Limits was a performance "that Schneemann performed nine times over three years. In that performance, the artist suspended herself from the ceiling in a tree surgeon's harness, continually raising and lowering herself with trance-like movements as she produced a tangled web of marks on sheets of paper covering the walls and floor. The work was intended as a direct response to the masculine legacy of Abstract Expressionism—in particular, to Jackson Pollock's 'action painting'—as well as a rejection of the conventions of performance, such as a fixed audience, technical cues, and even conscious intention. Described by the artist as a solitary 'movement meditation,' the work was also conceived as durational: each time it was presented, Schneemann performed continuously during all the hours the venue was open."

In 2012, MoMA acquired a physical installation by Schneemann of the same name which incorporates many of the physical materials used or produced in the original performances in an attempt to create a version of the performance that could persist into the future. This collection of documents was acquired with the artwork.


Scope and Contents

Series I and II comprise photocopied and original material related to Carolee Schneemann's performance and installation, titled Up to and Including Her Limits, as well as several typed inventories.

Series I includes a binder with two groups of exclusively photocopied material. The first group comprises copies of clippings, photographs, contact sheets, performance/exhibition ephemera, artist statements, drawings, correspondence, and notes from a project binder in the Carolee Schneemann Papers at Stanford University, totaling over 130 individual items. The second group comprises copies of a selection of photographs and performance/exhibition ephemera from Series II of this collection, totaling 14 individual items, as well as a typed inventory. There are also 4 CDs (2 original and 2 duplicates) with high resolution scans of the material from Stanford University, as well as a typed inventory of the contents of the CDs.

Series II includes original photographs and performance/exhibition ephemera, totaling 17 individual items, as well as a typed inventory.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The records are open for research and contain no restricted materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Carolee Schneemann Papers on Up to and Including Her Limits are the physical property of The Museum of Modern Art. Literary rights, including copyright belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with The Museum of Modern Art. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the staff of the MoMA Archives.


Related Collections at MoMA and Elsewhere

Materials in Series I are photocopies of records from the Carolee Schneemann Papers held by the Special Collections and University Archives Department of Stanford University Libraries in Stanford, California.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Long version: Carolee Schneemann Papers on Up to and Including Her Limits, [series.folder]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Short version: Schneenmann, [series.folder]. MoMA Archives, NY.

Provenance

Carolee Schneemann Papers on Up to and Including Her Limits were received by MoMA in conjunction with an acquisition by the Museum of Carolee Schneemann's installation Up to and Including Her Limits (1973-1976), meant to memorialize the original performances. The collection was transferred to The Museum of Modern Art Archives in 2013 in the Department of Media and Performance.

Processing and Condition Information

The collection as a whole is in good condition. In processing, folders and other housings were discarded or replaced with acid-free equivalents and photographs and other photographic materials were rehoused in polyester sleeves. One duplicate of each CD was made.


Container List

Series I: Photocopies and CDs with High Resolution Scans

Folder Title Date
I.1 Binder of Printed Photocopies

The binder contains two groups of exclusively photocopied material, relating to Up to and Including Her Limits. The first group comprises copies of clippings, photographs, contact sheets, performance/exhibition ephemera, artist statements, drawings, correspondence, and notes from a project binder in the Carolee Schneemann Papers at Stanford University, totaling over 130 individual items. The second group comprises copies of a selection of photographs and performance/exhibition ephemera from Series II of this collection, totaling 14 individual items, as well as a typed inventory.

The binder was originally titled "C. Schneemann - Up To and Including Her Limits." Within the binder, one divider was labeled "Addendum A: Original Duplicates for MoMA from Stamford [sic] Archive" and a second divider was labeled "Addendum B: "Unique Original Ephemera for MoMA."

1974-2002
I.2 CDs

2 original CDs and 2 duplicate CDs containing high resolution scans of the contents from the project binder for Up to and Including Her Limits from the Carolee Schneemann Papers at Stanford University.

1974-1997
I.3 Typed Inventory of High Resolution Scans on CDs

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Series II: Original Photographs and Ephemera

Folder Title Date
II.1 Slides

4 slides of an outdoor performance of Up to and Including Her Limits, dated 1974.

1974
II.2 Photographs, Contact Sheets, and High Performance Exhibition Brochure

Photographs and contact sheets from 1976 performance at The Kitchen, New York; exhibition brochure from "High Performance": The First Five Years, 1978-1982, The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, May 12-May 26, 2002.

1976-2002
II.3 Postcards and Exhibition Ephemera

2 postcards from Carolee Schneemann: Up To And Including Her Limits, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, November 24, 1996-January 26, 1997; 2 exhibition cards for the opening of Carolee Schneemann: Imaging Her Erotics at the Frauen Museum, Bonn, Germany on February 23, 1997; 1 exhibition brochure from Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979, Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria, 1998; 2 postcards of an outdoor performance of Up To And Including Her Limits.

1981-1998
II.4 Typed Inventory of Original Photographs and Ephemera

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