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Arthur Petronio papers, 1919-1971

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Finding aid for the Arthur Petronio papers, 1919-1971

Scope and Content of Collection

Though not comprehensive, the Arthur Petronio papers offer a wide-ranging view of the issues and ideas that motivated the artistic avant-garde of Belgium and France in the era between the two world wars. The archive captures the importance and nature of Petronio's broader influence on contemporary artists and writers, as much as it documents his contributions to Sound Poetry.

The working drafts found in this archive, as well as the posters and other printed ephemera documenting his projects, capture Petronio's multi-media efforts to fuse music, the visual arts and poetry into one idiom. In addition to his direct role in the development of Sound Poetry, Petronio's importance lay in providing forums for debate in his numerous arts publications, and in influencing a wide array of artists. The various journals published by Petronio are represented here only through posters and printed ephemera, but the enormous impact of these journals and of Petronio himself is demonstrated in the correspondence preserved in his papers. The archive holds over 62 letters and postcards received from Petronio's associates and friends: the poet, artist, musician and photographer E.L.T. Mesens, the writer Franz Hellens, the poet Pierre Louis Floquet and the painter Henri Le Fauconnier. The contents of the letters between Petronio and Mesens, Hellens and Floquet are of particular interest because they contain theoretical discussions of the meaning and nature of art, in addition to more prosaic discussions of the contents of the journals that each was directing, the artists whose work was worthy of inclusion in these journals and the artistic direction of the Créer group led by Petronio in which Floquet, Hellens and Mesens were participating.


Arranged topically: letters received; articles, lectures, performances and other works by Petronio; CREER and miscellaneous material.

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