Collection NameSteveni, Barbara
Reference Number (click the number to browse all records in this collection)TGA 202115
TitleThe archives of the artist Barbara Steveni
Extent75 boxes
Access StatusOPEN
LocationBlack Zone
DescriptionAlthough Barbara Steveni's archives contain material from her student days attending Chelsea School of Art and early performances and Happenings, the majority of the papers cover the period following her conception and development, with John Latham, of the Artist Placement Group in the mid-1960s.

The idea of the APG was to expand the reach of art and artists into organisations of all kinds at all levels, including decision-making, and on a basis equivalent to other engaged specialists. It began with commerce and industry and then turned to governmental organisations. Its founding artists, working in the emergent field of conceptual art and multimedia of that time were Barry Flanagan, David Hall, John Latham, Anna Ridley and Jeffrey Shaw. It was described by Peter Beaumont as 'one of the most radical social experiments of the Sixties'. This APG-related material include minutes, accounts, notes, writings, and photographs, which complement Tate Archive's records of the group as noted above.

Significantly, Steveni's papers include the complete papers of Organisation + Imagination (O+I), which was a continuation of the work of APG from around 1988 up to 2008. This part of the archives documents all the company/charity papers, meeting minutes, projects and events, financing and fundraising of O+I in great detail, showing all the processes for establishing projects and placements. These include the continuation of APG projects such as 'The Civil Service Memorandum' and 'The European Network'. It also includes a large amount of correspondence with artists, notable politicians, and public and private company executives.

There are extensive records of Barbara Steveni's later conceptual work, notably 'I AM AN ARCHIVE' which examined the nature of archives, from the 1990s and 2000s. This work included walks, exhibitions and symposia with the final leg of her Westminster walk taking place in Tate Archive in 2008.

There is a significant series of Barbara Steveni's writings in the form of diaries, notebooks, notes, lectures and publications. An important aspect of these records is Barbara Steveni's practice of recording conversations, meetings and ideas, almost verbatim which document little-seen relationships and processes of enacting her work.

There is also a large series of photographs, in colour, and black and white documenting almost every aspect of her practice, and there are a number of audio recordings, films and videos.
Administrative HistoryBarbara Steveni was one of the few female exponents of conceptual art in Britain co-founding, with her husband John Latham, the Artist Placement Group (APG), 1960s-1990s. This archive collection complements the records of the APG (TGA 20042).
Archivist's NoteThe original cataloguing of this collection was undertaken by Victoria Lane and Judy Vaknin, with Barbara Steveni, from 2011 and cataloguing was completed, after Barbara Steveni's death, in 2020. After checking and re-numbering, to reflect the TGA accession number, the cataloguing metadata was transferred to this online database in 2023.
Acquisition SourcePresented by John-Paul and Noa Latham 2021
Custodial HistoryThe artist thence by descent to her sons, John-Paul and Noa Latham
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