The Art of the Archive


THURSDAY, JULY 27TH, 6:00-9:00 PM


Scourge Opening Screen.jpg

As a special treat for SAA annual meeting attendees, the Oregon Historical Society will open its doors free of charge on Thursday evening, July 27th.  Guests are invited to tour OHS exhibits and to sit in on a lecture/performance titled The Art of the Archive : The Intersection of Archives and Art by Geoff Wexler, former OHS library director, and Jennifer Strayer, curator and author.   Exhibits will be open from 6:00-9:00 PM and the lecture/performance begins at 7:00.  Light refreshments will be provided.


The Oregon Historical Society is located in the heart of Portland’s Cultural District on the corner of SW Park and SW Madison Streets, across the South Park Blocks from the Portland Art Museum.  If you take the MAX Red or Blue lines, get off at Pioneer Courthouse Square and walk 4 blocks south (uphill) on SW Broadway, then turn right on SW Madison (uphill) and go one block, turning left to the front entrance of OHS.  If you take the MAX Green or Yellow lines, get off on SW 5th Avenue and Madison St. and walk 3 blocks uphill on Madison St., turning left on SW Park to the OHS front entrance.


For OHS information, please contact Ally Scott at

For information on the program content, please contact Geoff Wexler at



ART OF THE ARCHIVE : The intersection of Archives and Art

A lecture/performance by Jennifer Strayer and Geoff Wexler


Archivists and artists may work in very different sorts of professions, but there is a great deal of overlap in what they do.  In fact, many artists are themselves archivists — of a sort — and archivists often become artists.  When art intersects with archives, many innovative and imaginative things may occur.   The lecture will explore many aspects of this issue with a focus on relevance to the archivist.  From the medieval wunderkammer of European nobility to the contemporary artworks of people like Any Warhol and Christian Boltanski, we will look at artists who draw on established archives or actually create archives of their own.  We will see how these artists use materials in ways that may never have been thought of before, challenging conventions of what is suitable to retain and what may actually constitute an archive.


As an adjunct to our lecture, we will present a performance piece developed by former Oregon Historical Society library director Geoff Wexler, based entirely on archival material from the vast repository of OHS collections.  Mr. Wexler will provide live piano music as part of the performance.


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