Scope and arrangement
This collection documents the programs that enabled the Estate Project to realize its mission. The materials in this collection date from 1989-1999 and contain correspondence, memorandums, brochures, grant applications, meeting minutes, proposals, reports, exhibition catalogs, financial records, and an artists book.
The development of the Estate Project's publications is well documented, including their award-winning brochure Future Safe: Estate Planning for Artists in a Time of AIDS. Both Future Safe and A Life in Dance, an estate planning guide tailored to the dance community, provided practical estate planning advice to artists in brochure form. The records offer evidence of the ways in which the Estate Project worked with existing organizations, both art and AIDS related, to create and expand upon existing services tailored toward artists with AIDS. The Estate Project also worked with these organizations to protect the artistic legacy being threatened by the AIDS crisis in America by creating exhibitions showcasing the work of artists with AIDS. Such exhibitions raised awareness for the art, the artist, and AIDS; the Estate Project believed that artwork that had been publicly shown had a greater chance of survival beyond the artist's death.
Perhaps above all, this collection documents the Estate Project's constant effort to help artists. Artists with AIDS stood at the core of their mission, and the project's activities centered on them. Whether it is the practical advice provided in their estate planning publications; the organizations with which they worked to provide advocacy, information, and funding specific to artists of all disciplines with AIDS; or the exhibitions they sponsored, both directly and indirectly, to raise awareness on the immeasurable cultural toll of the disease; artists with AIDS were the focus of this organization. Individual artists are documented; some are represented as subject files, some only by a sole exhibition catalog, some in their working relationship with the Estate Project, and some in need of the project's services.
Given the nature of this collection, confidential medical information has been removed. In some cases, small amounts of identifying information have been redacted in order to retain the other information present. HIV+/AIDS status disclosures have been left open if the individual is listed in the Estate Project's online registry of artists with AIDS. Please note that the National Registry for Artists with AIDS is not documented in the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS records; the registry launched on December 1, 2003, after this collection had been donated to The New York Public Library.
The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS records are arranged in three series:
- 1989-19994 boxes 9 folders
This series is arranged alphabetically. Notable materials include records documenting the origin and evolution of the Estate Project in the Artist's Trust file and in Reports: Phases I and II, as well as the publications of the Estate Project, specifically Future Safe.
Artists' Trust was the working title for the Alliance of the Arts program that would become the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. Reports: Phases I and II includes an internal report of the first year of the project, including a survey conducted regarding the problems of AIDS service organizations as well as reporting on the creation and dissemination of brochures. It also includes the project's published report on the special needs of artists with AIDS.
- 1990-19985 boxes 6 folders
This series is arranged alphabetically and consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence and memorandums; occasional budgets, drafts, and notes are also included.
The majority of the correspondence is concerned with requests for and acknowledgment of donations; administrative memorandums are also strongly represented.
Most of Randall Bourscheidt's outgoing correspondence relates to potential fundraising; some correspondence chronicles the development of the Estate Project program within the Alliance for the Arts. Significant material can also be found in Patrick Moore's correspondence.
- 1989-199910 boxes 12 folders 1 audiocassette 2 videocassettes
This series is arranged alphabetically and the materials in it fall into three overlapping categories: projects, artists, and organizations. Projects refer to internal programs of the Estate Project, usually regarding exhibitions and fundraising benefits. Material on artists include those that worked with the Estate Project to raise awareness, hosted and/or supplied art for benefits, received grants from the Estate Project to exhibit their work, as well as subject files or exhibition catalogs. The organizations included here may be dedicated to service concerning AIDS, art, or general philanthropy. Organization files may contain information on collaborations with the Estate Project, and grant applications to or from the Estate Project.
Notable materials include an artist's book, Tom Slaughter's Whatever We Lose, as well as records documenting The Geldzahler Portfolio and the Virtual Collection of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS.
The Geldzahler Portfolio was produced in a limited edition of 75 portfolios created by and sold to benefit the Estate Project. The portfolio acted as a tribute to Henry Geldzahler (1935-1994), an art historian and curator known for fostering contemporary artists. Geldzahler acted as the first curator of 20th-Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as a New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. The portfolio consisted of ten prints and one video transfer, produced by artists associated with Geldzahler. These artists were: Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Clemente, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, David Salle, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Although the records document the development and production of the project, the portfolio itself is not included.