Jennifer Snyder works with oral history interviews at the Archives American Art. When not sending interviews out for digitization, she is writing about extraordinary examples of facial hair for this blog.
The fiber artist Kay Sekimachi was 16 years old when she
painted this watercolor of Tanforan Assembly Center, a horse racetrack at the
base of San Bruno Mountain, California, where some 7,000 Americans of Japanese
ancestry were detained in 1942 and housed in barracks and horse stalls (in one
of which the famous racehorse Seabiscuit was once stabled).
The chains of wedlock may be heavy, but the silk ropes of wedlock are even heavier. Are there strings attached to this bride’s marriage? Does her dress represent the behemoth wedding industry? Or is she merely the ultimate fashion victim?
Julie Schweitzer is a processing archivist at the Archives of American Art.
Hockey is Canada’s sport. The boisterous crowds cheering on Team Canada in their gold medal winning game against the United States at the Vancouver Olympics have recently reinforced this fact. Generations of young Canadians have long aspired to become Olympic medalists and NHL hockey stars.
This photograph shows just one of the countless youth hockey teams. Yet upon close examination, not everything about this photograph is from the ordinary. For starters, it’s in the papers of renowned scholar of conceptual
art, Lucy Lippard. Also, the players’ jerseys indicate that the sponsor is N.
E. Thing Company. No, Lucy Lippard did not moonlight as a hockey coach and this company
with a mysterious name did not manufacture hockey pucks.
The wiles of this photograph reveal the subversive tactics of a conceptual
art collective based in—of all places—Vancouver. Founded by Iain and Ingrid
Baxter, N. E. Thing Company (NETCO) pioneered the conceptual art movement in
Canada. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, NETCO borrowed from corporate models
to create and disseminate art. In this example, NETCO sponsored a local youth
hockey team, intentionally corrupting the profitable business of hockey into a conceptual
art project. Photographs like this remain as the trace evidence of NETCO’s
And I thought the only art found in hockey games were the painted bodies of
Mary Savig is a curatorial assistant at the Archives of American Art.