Last night, at the Nexus Award presentation honoring High Museum curator Michael Rooks, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center director Julie Delliquanti announced that the center’s archives have been purchased by Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). The stash dates back 42 years to the Contemporary’s early days, when it was called Nexus, and includes administrative records, exhibition files, exhibition catalogues, newsletters, promotional materials, press releases, photographs of exhibitions and events, and artist books produced by Nexus Press.
Beginning August 20, materials from the archives will be on view, rotating every three months, at Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library through May 15, 2016.
In the release, Randy Gue, curator of modern political and historical collections at MARBL notes the significance of the records as documentation of “the culture and history of Atlanta, Georgia and the South.” He says: “The records detail how the organization and its work intersects with crucial moments in Atlanta’s history, such as the rise of African American political power in the city, white flight to the suburbs, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the emergence of the Moral Majority, the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the redevelopment of the city’s central business district and surrounding areas.” He cites as an example the 1989 Nexus show called “The Subject Is AIDS,” which was billed as the ‘first exhibition in America to explore AIDS as content in artists’ work.’”
Delliquanti says: “It is reassuring to know that MARBL’s stewardship of the papers will place The Contemporary in dialogue with other cultural, literary and historical collections.”
MARBL also owns the archival materials of Fay Gold Gallery; Get This Gallery; the Southeastern Arts, Media and Education Project (SAME); and the photograph albums of Alli Royce Soble.