Programs, Exhibition Chronology (1975, 1978, 1998)

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In 1972 with funding from New York State Council on the Arts, the Everson Museum of Art established the first video department in a major museum. Museum Director was James Harithas. David Ross was the first video curator. Ross left to become deputy director for film and television at Long Beach Museum of Art in 1974. Richard Simmons had served as curatorial assistant and then Associate Curator, and became Curator in 1975. The Department closed in 1981.

Description of Programs Pamela Susan Hawkins
The establishment here, of what I believe is the first video department and continuous video program at any public museum in the United States, in March 1972 came as a result of my early conversations with Nam June Paik, with Frank Gillette and later with the museum's curator of video arts, David Ross. Ross began planning the department roughly 6 months before it was actually established. Its basic idea was that of providing artists with access to the form. He went on to develop an exhibition format for video art, a small archive, a community oriented education program, and an initial plan for promoting the museum's participation in the cable TV system, to be established in Syracuse during the next few years. A substantial donation from the Rosamond Gifford Foundation provided the basic hardware for the Department". (1)
          - James Harithas, catalog for Work from the Experimental Television Center, September 1972.

Ross began by inviting artists such as painter Frank Gillette, musician Bill Viola and conceptual artist/photographer William Wegman. After a viewing of works typical to their more customary media, he would ask whether they were working in video. He often was responsible for maintaining the technical aspects of the exhibit in the museum, making sure tapes were rewound and playback begun. Exhibitions he curated would often include 40 or 50 artists. Syracuse University's Synapse program helped to supported the growth the Everson's video programs, providing professional-quality post-production equipment and space for artists.

"Artists now well-known in the sometimes hermetically sealed world of contemporary art -- Nam June Paik, Peter Campus, [Bill] Viola, Juan Downey, [William] Wegman, Mary Lucier and others -- were either students at Syracuse University or [there] on grants from Synapse. The tapes that they made went into the Everson's collection." (2)

In 1974, both David Ross and James Harithas left for the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, respectively

Richard Simmons was responsible for a number of important shows. Ronald Kuchta, Director, writing in 1976 in the Video 75 catalog, that Richard Simmons organized over 17 shows over the past two years. Simmons also instituted a new permanent video area which screened tapes from the permanent archive on a continuous basis.

The Everson video collection was inactive for a number of years. When Sandra Trop became Director in 1995 an effort was begun to restore some of the more than 200 tapes in the Museum's collection. Some of restored videotapes were shown at the anniversary celebration in 1998, and also at the Video History: Making Connections conference. Syracuse University was a partner in the cataloging efforts, with the assistance of John Orentlicher and Bob Doyle. (2)

1. James Harithas, Director, Everson Museum of Art, "Work from the Experimental Television Center,
Binghamton, N.Y., Sept. 19 to Oct. 2, 1972," front page
2. David Reilly, "Videos," Stars, July 14, 1996, pg.13, 14 and 34
3. Everson Museums Video Tape Collection Listing, undated
4. "WGBH New Television Workshop Showcase" announcement, Everson Museum, 1977
5. "Everson Museum of Art Bulletin, September-October 1977" Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1977
6. "Everson Museum of Art Bulletin, June-July-August 1978," Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1978
7. "Information, Works and Activites," Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, November 1976.
8. Video and the Art Museum A three-day workshop/seminar at The Everson Museum of Art," Everson
Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1974. (xerox)
Gary Hill listing:

Artists Represented in the Everson Collection
Vito Acconci, David Atwood, Henry Baker, John Baldessari, Ros Barron, Fred Barzyk, Gregory Battcock, Bill Beirne, Stephen Beck, Lynda Benglis, Dan Berrigan, Cynthia Ann Bickley, Phil Block, Norman Bluhm, Skip Blumberg, Joseph Bodolai, George Bolling, Dan Boord, Jack Bowen, Robert Bowers, Joseph Brenmann, Drew Browning, Lenny Bruce, Barbara Buckner, Chris Burden, Don Burgy, Bob Burns, P. Buscemi, Michael Butler, Gerald Byerly, Nancy Cain, Colin Campbell, Peter Campus, Tobe J. Carey, Frank Cavestani, Laura Cavestani, Carl Chew, Circuit Catalog, Josephine Clare, Elizabeth Clare, Robert Edgar, Dave Duff, David Cort, Stephan Cruise, Jaime Davidovitch, Gigliotti Davidson, Doug Davis, Decker, Tom DeFanti, Gary Demos, Dimitri Devyatkin, Ken Dominick, Juan Dos Santos, Juan Downey, Jean Dupuy, Eckankar, James Edwards, Edward Emshwiller, Bill Etra, Louise Etra, Kit Fitzgerald, Richard Foreman, Rod Fountain, Terry Fox, Hermine Freed, Howard Fried, Bart Friedman, Dieter Froese, Carl Geiger, Henry Gernhardt, Frank Gillette, Jean Guimmi, Joel Glassman, Michael Goldberg, Ron Gorchove, Carol Goss, Cynthia Grey, Clement Greenberg, Ernest Gusella, James Harithas, Michael Hayden, Noel Harding, David Hays, Ron Hays, Mortimer Heller, Gary Hill, Kay Hines, Ralph Hocking, Jeff Hudson, Geoffry Igbal, Taka Iimura, Ithaca Video Co-op, Charles James, J.D. Jarvis, Paul Jeffers, Paul Jenewein, Johnny Video, Joan Jonas, Gunilla Mallory Jones, Mitsura Kataoke, David H. Katzivz, John Keeler, Fred Kessler, Paula Kim, Richard Kline; Tom Klinkowstein, Ken Knowlton, Steven Koplan, Beryl Korot, Marlene Kos, Paul Kos, Mitchell Kreigman, Shigeko Kubota, B. Kunstler, Beth Latham, Les Levine, Donald Lipski, Barb Lloyd, Jane Logemann, Mary Lucier, Machlin, Magic Video Softmachine, Eva Maier, Christa Maiwald, Phillip Mallory, Andy Mann, John Manning, John Margolis, T. Marshall, Bruce McCurdy, Laurie McDonald, John McEwen, Patricia Moella, Linda Montano, Jose Montes-Barquer, R. Moreira, James W. Morris, Antonio Muntadas, Rita Myers, Ronald Nameth, Jack Nelson, N.E. Thing Co., Terry Noel, Florence Nyland, Nimmer with Amenoff, Dennis Oppenheim, John Orentlicher, Raphael M. Ortiz, Paul Ott, Tony Ousler, Nam June Paik, Leonard Patterson, I.M. Pei, Tom Phillips, Patti Podesta, Norma Pontes, Michael Portis, Anthony Ramos, Ed Rankus, Bill Ritchie, Judson Rosebush, D. Ross, Michael Rothbard, Ruth Rothko, Susan Russell, John Sanborn, Dan Sandin, Joseph Scala, Patsy Scala, Peter Scheer, Van Schley, Ira Schneider, Lillian Schwartz, Penny Schwartz, Seidenberg, Eric Seigle, Richard Serra, Owen Shapiro, Willoughby Sharp, Tom Sherman, Michael Snow, Tom Snyder, N.R. Sobel, Keith Sonnier, Lisa Steel, Lisa Steele, John Sturgeon, Skip Sweeney, Elizabeth Sweetham, Barbara Sykes, Aldo Tambellini, The Review, F. Torres, Bob Tuvis, Stan Van Der Beck, Peter Van Riper, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Videoball, Videofreex, Video Repetoire, Bill Viola, Ruth Volmer, Willie Walker, William Wegman, Wisniewski, Jane Wright, Walter Wright, and Jud Yalkut. Also included in the collection are the Experimental Television Center's Binghampton Audio Visual #1, #3, #4, #5 and #6, Iowa City Series #1-6, the Everson's St. Jude Invitational tapes: the 12th Annual Exhibition, tapes #1-3 and #5-9.
          Everson Museums Video Tape Collection Listing, undated

Preface to Video 75 excerpt from Ronald Kuchta.
"Everson's concern with Video has always been with its aesthetic and participatory advantages and possibilities. As a frankly experimental arm of the Museum's exhibition program it has provided a diversity of approach and personality. In this respect it has required some adjustment on the part of the regular audiences' point of view. It has required that an audience be award of the unconventional possibilities of a familiar medium and to watch closely for its clearly aesthetic properties. As a relatively recent and 'cool' medium encumbered a bit by its hardware and our usual associations of it with commercial purposes, it demands more than a little patience at times...Admittedly Video's place in the Art Museum is still problematical. One problem is the conservation of Video tapes which have a fast rate of disintegration. One also has to consider the practical cost of the hardware and the high maintenance factor and the restrictions often placed on the use of tapes purchased from artists and galleries. An even more fundamental question to its relevancy in the Museum is Video's lack of history and its obsession with the present tense - its lack of perspective, context, or heritage. It certainly challenges us and places ius in the present but gives us little sense from whence we came. Few reputations of Video artists precede this decade. Its virtue has to be in its insistence on making us deal with what is new, experiential, here and now. Video suggests consideration of an electronic visual experience on a termporal basis. It constantly raises questions as to the efficacy and purpose and most importantly, the extension of art into the world at large. Everson's concentration on Video as art rather than as an educational device is still rather unique... The viewing and participation in Video presentations has undoubtedly enriched the experience of a growing number of visitors to this Museum who have openly encountered its aura.
          EversonVideo 75, 1976. Ronald Kuchta, Director

Services and Resources 1978
Access of ½" and ¾" equipment to individuals and organizations if not required by Museum
Workshops - informal instruction with equipment loan
Exhibition - tape screenings 10am - 5 pm
Internships - independent study arrangement with Syracuse University
Collections - 400 video art tapes, with finding aids
Distribution - no formal distribution; group exhibitions loaned and traveled to other institutions

          From Access A Film and Video Equipment Directory, Nancy Legge, 1978

Selected Exhibition Chronology
Shigeko Kubota

Frank Gillette

Douglas Davis: An Exhibition Inside and Outside the Museum

Work from Experimental Television Center, Binghamton, N.Y., Sept. 19 to Oct. 2, 1972
Included "TV Bed Performance" by Charlotte Moorman, a collaborative work by Ralph Hocking, Sherry Miller, Nam June Paik and Charlotte; "Video Construction" by Ken Dominick; "Three Channel Video Performance" by Shigeko Kubota, displaying Marcel Duchamp and John Cage playing chess, sound track by John Cage; "Minimal Piano Performance" by Nam June Paik; and "Jazz Concert/Video Synthesis Chroma Key Interface" by Open Channels, performed by Boston musicians Don Tipton, Bill Sharon and Mark Nash in conjunction with the Paik-Abe Video Synthsizer and Chroma Key Switcher. The tape schedule from the show included works by Jeff Alexander, Wayne Olson, Explorer's Post, Bruce Johnson, Percy Borde, Mrs. Frietag, Wayne Fisher, Brian McGee, Bill Jones, Steven Britton, Mr. Petersom, Mark Levinson, Mark Spencer, Peter Boris and Gary Iacovelli, Jim Stento, Gus Ward, Steven Zunic and Marshall Brown, Ralph Hocking, Jackson MacLow and Kenneth Dominick, Jamie Dearing and Carlota Corday, Civic Theater, Angel Nuniz, Mike Gulachok, Morgan Crawford, and Collective Studio Productions pieces from the Woody Vasulka Workshop, Tom Rietman Group, and Beggar's Opera.

Circuit: A Video Invitational (traveled in 1974)
Curated by David Ross; traveling exhibition of videotapes by over sixty-five artists,. Travels to Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, West Germany; and Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina

Frank Gillette Video Process and Meta-Process Exhibition included eight separate works: Between Paradigms; Videotape retrospective; Track/Trace; Tetragramaton; Subterranean Field; Terraquae; Gestation/Growth; Integration Matrix. Organized by Jim Harithas; coordinated by Sandra Trop Blumberg and David Ross. Catalog editor: Judson Rosebush

Videa 'n' Videology: Nam June Paik

Video and the Art Museum
April 4th, 5th and 6th, 1974 the Everson held a three-day workshop/seminar entitled "Video and the Art Museum". The event was supported by gratns from The New York State Council on the Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation. Introductory Remarks were given under the titles, "Video and the Art Museum," The Museum as Producer of Educational Programming," Cabel T.V. and the Prospect for Museum Interaction," "The Range of Creative Expression in Video," and "Funding for Video in the Museum: The Policies as they now exist." Workshops included "Portapak Workshop and Training," "Funding," "Museum as Producer of Educational Programming," Cable T.V. and the Museum," "Aesthetics of Video: A Critical Overview and Discussion," "Video and the Art Museum: A Discussion of the Potential of a Museum Video Network." Frank Gillette gave a lecture and discussion and William Wegman presented an audiotape lecture entitled "Pathetic Readings." Walter Wright demonstrated the Paik/Abe Video Sunthesizer from the Experimental Television Center, Binghamton. Synapse Studio held a "Studio Production Seminar" at their facility. A Phill Niblock "Film Retrospective" screening and "Film Environment" were shown. Juan Downey and Carmen Beuchat gave their video/dance performance, "Video Trans Americas De-Briefing Pyramid." Black and White videotapes were on view by Andy Mann, Ira Schneider and Peter Campus. Installation exhibitions "Closed Circuit Video" by Peter Campus; "Video Matrix" by Andy Mann; "Manhattan is an Island" by Ira Schneider; "T.V. Garden" and "Video Buddha" by Nam June Paik; and "Paintings from Within: Work by the Artists in Auburn Prison," a selection of works by artists involved in the Everson's Prison Workshop Program at the Auburn Correctional Facility were on view at the Everson. A self-service viewing environment featured 62 tapes included in the traveling exhibition "Circuit: A Video Invitational," as well as other tapes from the Everson's collection.

4th Annual Ithaca Video Festival

Everson Video 75. Curated for the Everson Museum of Art by Richard Simmons. Catalog edited by Judson Rosebush.

Installations and performance works by Ant Farm (2000 Vision, March 20 - April 21); CAST (Community Video, June 2- 28); David Cort (The Mirroring System, October 25-November 23); Dance Media (live performance work by Joanne Kelly, Skip Sweeney of Video Free America, Jane Miller, April 19); Dimitri Devyatkin, Dieter Frose (Restage, February 1-23); Electron Movers (The Video Maze, September 26-October 22); Beryl Korot (Dachau, November 7-30); Shigeko Kubota (Video Poem, November 25-December 19); Andy Mann (The Syracuse Tapes, May 1-31); Paul Ott and Fred Kessler (videotapes and demonstration of the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer by Walter Wright of the Experimental Television Center, January 2-31); Peter Van Riper (The Simple Existence of Any One Thing, July 1-31); and Bill Viola (Rain - Three Interlocking Systems, December 6-28).

The Dreme Style of Michael Butler. Photographs, fashion, film and video created by Michael L V Butler.

Information, Works and Activities exhibition by the Experimental Television Center November. This unique show includes video and computer art making tools in action, photographs from video, video drawings, video tape screenings, slides, music, video installation, workshops, performances and lectures. Ideas surrounding studio and art making practices were structured for the show within permanent and temporary systems parameters. "Permanent Systems," those up for the entire length of the show, stationed and not moved, presented Ralph Hocking and Sherry Miller photographic series of frames from 12 video tapes made by them between 1970 and 1975 on a revolving machine; David Jones' Jones Synthesizer along with graphics revealing its image making system and Don McArthur's visual display of the his McArthur computer-controlled video synthesizer system continuously ran making art; Hocking's video "Work for Round Screen" played on an industrial monitor with a round screen; Walter Wright Peer Bode's "Video Drawing," a 30' drawing of the video waveform of one frame of video; and Peer Bode's waveform and oscilloscope playing back the graphical representation of the video and sound signal from the Everson's video tape collection. "Temporary Systems," those shown for a shorter period or ever changing, exhibited Meryl Blackman's "Three Pillars," movement and spatial relationship were exlored through changing the set up every three days; Blackman's merging broadcast images in her "Meetings in Space" installation; Sherry Miller's "Circle Cycle" installation providing a variety of perspectives on a familiar activity; Evangelos Dousmanis and Melanie Salzberg's multi-media portrait of jazz and Latin jazz muscian Skerrit; Walter Wright's study of geometric fragmentation utilizing three simultaneous channels of video with a sequencer; Jane Wright's electronic sunsets on a monitor matrix; and Neil Zusman's multiple viewpoint historical work, "Act Requiring Maintenance." Hands-on workshops were held by Peer Bode on video synthesis systems and Walter Wright on the Jones Coloizer. A performance was given by Walter Wright with the Jones Synthesizer. Don McArthur led a "discussion of technical and aesthetic considerations in the design and use of a computer-controlled video system." The video tape program, of works made by artists in conjunction with the Experimental Television Center and curated by Peer Bode and Sherry Miller, included Meryl Blackman; Peer Bode; Wlater Wright; Jean Pierre Boyer; Peter Diana; Evangelos Dousmania and Barbara Cieslicki; Gary Hill; Don McArthur; Neil Murphy; Susan Rothstein; Jim Tusty; Art Weingarten; Arnold Zane and Dena Crane; Neil Zusman; George Jumper; Brad Lemery and Utica kids; Dana and Janet Marsh; Louise Hammond and West Side Junior High kids Francey, Kelly, Marcia and Sherry; Brian Byrnes and Bill Jones (American Dance Asylum); Ken Dominick; Angel Nunez; Ralph Hocking, Sherry Miller, Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik's "TV Bed"; and Paik's "Selling of New York." Peer Bode stayed in Syracuse for the duration of the show to run the art making machines, installations and video tape screenings. (7)

New Work in Abstract Video Imagery, at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse. 12/1-1/2/77. Curated by Richard Simmons of the Everson Museum; available for travel. Catalog photo by Carol Goss. Included work by Barbara Buckner, Carl Geiger; Carol Goss; Gary Hill; Ralph Hocking; Don McArthur; Joseph Scala; Patsy Scala; Steina Vasulka; Woody Vasulka; Walter Wright.

WGBH New Television Workshop Showcase was shown at the Everson October through November of 1977. Works by Ros Barron, Donald Burgy, Peter Campus, Brian Connell, Frank Gillette, Robert Goldman, Ron Hayes, Tava Hudson, Andy Mann, Jo Sandman, TVTV and William Wegman were screened. In conjunction with this exhibit, WCNY TV 24 aired a sixty-minute composite of these selections and others produced by the WGBH Workshop from 1973 to 1977, in October of 1977. (4)

Southland Video Anthology 1976-77. Curated by David Ross.

Jamie Davidovich "Argentinian" video surveillance installation. Viewers were encouraged to visit 3 camera sites in the museum and return to the Video Gallery for a removed look.

Skip Blumberg and John Margolies "Resorts of the Catskills" Originally conceived by John Margolies for the Architectural League of New York the color video tape is a view of people in a changing architecture.

Aldo Tambellini exhibited video and photographs.

1979 and 1980
Everson Video Review, September 1-30, 1979 and February 1-March 2, 1980
Curated by Richard Simmons, and supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Director of the Everson Museum, Ronald Kuchta; Assistant Director, Sandra Trop-Blumberg. Travelling to Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (October 5-November 4, 1979); University Art Gallery, Berkeley (November 10-January 5, 1979); Museum of Contemporary Art, California (February - March 1981). Artists: Gregory Battcock and Nam June Paik, Skip Blumberg and John Margolies, Barbara Buckner, Nancy Cain, Merce Cunningham and Nam June Paik, Tom DeFanti, Juan Downey, Jean Dupuy and Davidson Gigliotti, Ed Emshwiller, Kit Fitzgerald and John Sanborn, Hermine Freed, Howard Fried, Bart Friedman, Richard Foreman, Joan Giummo and Elizabeth Sweetnam, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Gunilla and Phillip Mallory Jones, John Keeler and Ruth Rotko, Marlene and Paul Kos, Mitchell Kriegman, Barbara Latham, John Manning and Edward Rankus, Les Levine, Eva Maier, Christa Maiwald, Linda Montano, James Morris, Rita Myers, John Orentlicher and Tom Sherman, Pocket Video, Susan Russell, Ira Schneider, Barbara Sykes, Video Repetorie, Bill Viola, William Wegman, Laurence Weiner.

Hosted Opening for Video History: Making Connections, a conference organized by the Experimental Television Center, at Syracuse University, October 16-18, 1998.

Group Name: 
Everson Museum of Art
Group Dates: 
1972 - present
Group Location: 
Syracuse, New York