Founded by Ruth and Marvin Sackner in 1979 in Miami Beach, Florida, the Sackner Archive is the largest collection of concrete and visual poetry in the world. The archive includes over 75,000 annotated books, periodicals, typewritings, drawings, letters, print portfolios, ephemera, and rare and out of print artist’s books and manuscripts representing twentieth century art movements such as Italian Futurism, Russian and Eastern European Avant Garde, Dada, Surrealism, Bauhaus, De Stijl, Ultra, Tabu-Dada, Lettrisme, and Ultra-Lettrisme.
Ruth Sackner passed away in October 2015, and the family reached the decision that the archive needs to be placed in a world-class educational institution. Due to structural damage their building sustained during Hurricane Irma, the entire collection was moved in October 2017 to temporary housing in Long Island City.
We are pleased to announce that the Sackner Archive has moved to the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections! The Sackner family chose the University of Iowa Libraries as the new home for the archive due to the Libraries’ reputation as a center for the study of Dadaism, with its substantial holdings in the International Dada Archive. In addition, the Libraries’ world-class conservation program, the UI’s nationally recognized Center for the Book and the Writers’ Workshop, collections in the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and location in Iowa City (a UNESCO City of Literature) were also factors influencing their decision. The Sackners’ first encounter with Iowa was to loan work for the 1983 exhibition Lettrisme: Into the Present and those Lettriste works have finally returned to Iowa!
A small selection of works are still available for purchase. If interested, please contact Associate Curator Amanda Keeley at email@example.com
For more information about our new home at the University of Iowa, the press release is available. Sackner Archives moves to the University of Iowa Libraries