Resources for Researchers
Sonya Rapoport created much of her artwork via what would today be called a “research-based practice.” It is therefore appropriate that a primary goal of the Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust is to encourage scholarship & research.
The Trust facilitates the use of Rapoport’s archives at the Bancroft Library, collects relevant videos on YouTube, and has available on this website scans of primary source documents, including announcements, reviews, notes, and images (see below).
Books and Catalogs
Pairing of Polarities: The Life and Art of Sonya Rapoport, edited by Terri Cohn, Heyday Books, 2012.
Terri Cohn, co-curator of Sonya Rapoport’s retrospective exhibitions at Kala Art Institute and Mills College Art Museum, edited this collection of essays about Rapoport’s work by twelve noted scholars, scientists, and art historians, including Richard Candida Smith, Judy Malloy, Anuradha Vikram, John Zarobell, Meredith Tromble, Anna Couey, Ernestine Daubner, and Roger Malina. Includes an introductory essay by Terri Cohn and a chapter by Rapoport’s daughter, Hava Rapoport.
Book review by Amy Ione, Leonardo Journal (MIT).
The book is widely available online, or can be obtained through the Trust.
Catalog: Sonya Rapoport: Yes or No?, by Terri Cohn and Alla Efimova, self published with Mills College Art Museum, 2016.
Yes or No? is an autobiographical work created in the last year of Rapoport’s life. This series of twelve seductively complex collages, based on pages of New York Times, convey the parting observations of an artist who kept ahead of her time for over six decades
Catalog: Sonya Rapoport: Biorhythm, by Terri Cohn and Alla Efimova, self published with San José Museum of Art, 2020.
The first in-depth interpretation of a now-classic project in early computer-based art by Sonya Rapoport.
Video Resources Available Online
As early as 1981, Sonya Rapoport began video documenting her interactive installations. Rapoport had creative control in the production of the resulting series of ten videos, which can be considered artworks in their own right. She also created original artworks in the video medium, was the subject of documentaries, and participated in interviews.
A complete collection of all available videos by and about Sonya Rapoport is available as a playlist on YouTube.
Additionally, Art Historians Terri Cohn and Alla Efimova have created a carefully researched and informative series of video interviews where they discuss Objects On My Dresser at length with Sonya Rapoport’s collaborators and scholars.
Sonya Rapoport Archives at The Bancroft Library
Sonya Rapoport’s papers and other archival materials are preserved and made available at Western American Collection at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
The papers are available to any member of the public. You must first register for an Aeon account. All materials are stored off-site and must be requested online at least three days prior to any visit. The materials are non-circulating and can only be accessed at the Heller Reading Room in the Bancroft Library – plan your visit.
The archive consists of a primary collection of papers, and a smaller collection of pictorial materials, each of which has a finding aid (index) available via the Online Archive of California:
The Sonya Rapoport papers document the life and work of this American conceptual/ digital artist. Included in the collection are artworks, research for artworks, exhibition announcements, correspondence and other materials documenting Rapoport’s work over the course of five decades.
Chiefly photographs pertaining to Rapoport’s various conceptual art projects. Some portraits and snapshot photographs of the artist are included throughout files. Also includes selections of Rapoport’s artist’s books and a small number of early drawings.
An incomplete but useful selection of video and audio tapes from the Bancroft archives have been digitized via the Calisphere project and are available online.
Sonya Rapoport Primary Source Document Collections
This collection of pdfs of scanned announcements, reviews, articles, notes, images, and ephemera is mostly sourced from the three ring binders in which Rapoport displayed records of the history of her practice. Scanned slides and documents from her hard drives are also included.
The scans are organized into pdf folios by period or project. Sources are visible in most images, but there are some which are unknown or unconfirmed. The folios are not annotated.
We are making these public as scan projects are completed. Folios may be updated – each is given a version number and date. Other folios are forthcoming.
All of the scanned documents are copyright their original owners. They are being provided here for educational and cultural purposes only. All images of artwork are copyright Sonya Rapoport. The SRLT is happy to arrange for publication of these and other images of Sonya’s work. Higher resolution images may be available.
Click on file to view or download pdf:
Folio 2 1960s v4 Legion of Honor and 1960s, Version 04: 10/11/2019. 12MB.
Folio 3 Survey v4 Survey Chart & Nu Shu Paintings – 1970s, Version 04: 10/11/2019. 14.2 MB.
Folio 4 Yarn v4 Yarn & Computer Printout Drawings – late 1970s, Version 04: 10/11/2019. 22.5MB.
Folio 5 Objects v4 Objects On My Dresser 1979 – 2015, Version 04: 10/11/2019. 36.1 MB.
Folio 6 Biorhythm v4 Biorhythm: 1980 – 1985, Version 04: 10/11/19. 16.7 MB.
Folio 7 Shoe v4 Shoe-Field, Version 04: 10/11/2019. 25.2 MB.
Please contact us with any questions.