All work of Ray Johnson on this site is used by permission of The Ray Johnson Estate
This page is to document and promote the work of Ray Johnson, the father of mail art and and extraordinary 20th century artist period. Ray was born in Detroit, attended Black Mountain College, and lived in New York City. He created collages, helped found performance art, and touched thousands with his mail art. Below the links are images of my correspondence with him in 1976-77.
Ray Johnson research links
Something Else Entirely: The making of The Paper Snake. exhibit review.
Ray J at the 2010 BMC conference: RR post
BMCM+AC Ray Johnson show
From BMC to NYC: RR’s show review
Ray J show ending post: lecture and endshow
Ray show blog by Sebastian Matthews
The Ray Johnson Estate
Ray Johnson designs from MoMA
As I relate on my Black Mountain page, I attended a large exhibition of Ray’s mail art at the NC Museum of Art in downtown Raleigh in 1976. I bought the catalogue and wrote to Ray, who responded and continued to exchange with me over the next year. Below are Ray’s sendings.
the word “smuj” is written in sepia ink
Below is a photocopy of a piece Ray sent me with a request to send it on to Richard C, a Raleigh friend of his who had set up the museum show. Richard and I became friends, and in the 80’s I had a show of his mail art at The Paper Plant.
photocopy of Ray’s sending to be sent, 1977
The last time Ray mailed to me, he re-conveyed to me some artwork mailed to him by Ken Friedman. he folded Ken’s work in a large R.L. Fiegen envelope that said DO NOT FOLD and sent it my way. Ray’s correspondence was very stimulating to me and I have pursued mail art ever since.
The copyright for these images of Ray Johnson’s work resides with Ray and his estate and is presented with the permission of The Ray Johnson Estate
Below is the catalogue I bought in 1976. I keep Ray’s personal correspondence in it and I understand it is a prized item on many levels. I have so appreciated the stimulation and opportunities for renewing my thoughts and work about Ray provided by the Black Mountain College Museum and Art Center. I also look forward to learning more from the work of Sebastian Matthews, curator of the Ray show, and Kate Dempsey, whose passion and ideas about Ray’s work are so exciting. Subsequent additions to this page will explore more of Richard C’s work and other mail art associated with Ray Johnson.
my Black Mountain page