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Yves Poupard-Lieussou correspondence and collected papers on Dada and Surrealism, 1905-1984 (bulk 1956-1979)

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Finding aid for the Yves Poupard-Lieussou correspondence and collected papers on Dada and Surrealism, 1905-1984 (bulk, 1956-1979)

Scope and Content of Collection

As one of the first scholars of Dada and surrealism, Yves Poupard-Lieussou began in the 1940s to assemble books, ephemera and bio-bibliographic information relating to the avant-garde. He befriended and corresponded with artists, writers, publishers, critics and academic scholars with the intent of publishing a global descriptive bio-bibliography on Dada. The Yves Poupard-Lieussou correspondence and collected papers represents a selected portion of his original archive that was dispersed after his death.

The collection contains correspondence with artists, writers and critics, manuscripts, including diary-like reminiscences, drawings, photographs and printed matter: journals, small books and exhibition materials. In the letters, most of them written to Poupard between 1956-1979, correspondents recount their experiences and memories of the early 20th-century avant-garde art movements, particularly Dada, and Surrealism. The bulk of the correspondence is from Christian (pseudonym for Georges Herbiet, 1895-1969), Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971) and Pierre de Massot (1900-1969). Manuscripts of essays and diaries from Christian, Hausmann and Massot provide intimate and detailed glimpses of their work and associations. The letters from Michel Sanouillet, the president of the Association Internationale pour l'étude de Dada et du Surrealisme, to Poupard, who was its dedicated vice-president, provide important documentation of the activities, goals and achievements of that organization in Europe and America over a span of twelve years, which includes the dramatic period of political and social unrest of the late 1960s.

There are few letters from Poupard among these papers, but numerous copies of rare texts (a few inedits too) and bibliographical lists of rare publications in his print-like handwriting. The papers comprise ca. 4 lin. ft. of correspondence with artists, writers and critics, most of it written to Poupard, ca. 1 lin. ft. of printed material such as exhibition catalogs and journals and ca. 1 lin. ft. of manuscripts and typescripts from Christian, Raoul Hausmann and Pierre de Massot. Also included within the correspondence are ca. 100 photographs of artwork and artists taken as early as 1914 but mainly from the 1960s and 1970s, in addition to the over 500 contact prints from the Dada 50th anniversary exhibition of 1966-1967. While most of the correspondence dates from the years 1956 to 1979, there are some original documents given to Poupard (including correspondence) that date from as early as 1905. Taken as a whole, this material provides insight into the history of Dada and its expansion in Europe and beyond, and testifies to the subjective and personal nature inherent in attempts to record the past.

Arrangement note

The collection is organized in four series:
Series I. Letters from artists and writers, 1912-1984;
Series II. Christian (Georges Herbiet) letters and manuscripts, 1917-1971;
Series III. Raoul Hausmann letters and manuscripts, 1915-1971;
Series IV. Pierre de Massot letters and papers, 1905-1968




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