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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William Gaglione Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span:
Creator: Gaglione, William (1943-)
Extent: 4.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0866
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Personal papers and art work of the stamp and mail artist. An ATCA collection. MsC866. [url=](Finding Aid)[/url]

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 2, folder 5

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


Preferred Citation: William Gaglione Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

William Gaglione, born in New York City in 1943, became an influential leader of the mail art movement during the 1960s. From that point he took an active role in the New York Correspondence School, along with his friend Ray Johnson, where he created his coded name "Dadaland." Long before the general public was aware of the artistic possibilities, mail artists were using rubber stamps to decorate their envelopes, finding abstract applications, and developing techniques. Rubber stamp art became an important genre within mail art, along with publications, postage stamps, photocopy, and audio cassette trade, and began to generate its own shows, magazines, and conventions. From being a contributor in the movement, Gaglione's position was to publicize the up and coming genre by utilizing the publications, shows, magazines, and audio cassettes.
Gaglione left New York and moved to California during the 1970s, where he founded his first company dedicated to mail art, Stamp Francisco. While living in San Francisco, he befriended other mail artists, including Darlene Domel, who he later married, and Anna "Banana" Lee. During this time, he contributed to artistamp, which is the art form of a postage stamp, but not meant to be considered real. Additionally, it was with Anna Banana that Gaglione developed Vile Magazine, which gave the opportunity for mail artists to publish their art and other publications. As Gaglione became more empowered with the mail art movement, he was known as a pioneer and developed the name "Picasso" Gaglione for all of the techniques he created.
During the 1990s, Gaglione focused his attention on the fine art of rubber stamping and his role as curator for the Stamp Art Gallery in San Francisco. Currently, Gaglione resides in Chicago with Darlene Domel. He owns a company, Stampland, which consists of fine art rubber stamps that he sells.

The collection contains William Gaglione's works and papers, including various Dadaland mail art works, visual poems, and sound poems. He also collected newspaper articles and cartoons that pertained to mail and postal services. Additionally, Gaglione collected gallery announcments and other publications that he received or published for personal exhibitions.
The collection consists of 2 boxes, arranged in four series.
ATCA Artists' Works and Correspondence (MsC 764) - Contains work by similar mail artists

ATCA Rubber Stamp Art Collection (MsC 788) - Contains correspondence from Gaglione

ATCA homepage - Overview of the ATCA collection with links to finding aids

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The detailed description has not been entered into the repository.
To view the content list, please follow this link.

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Twentieth Century Avant-Garde Art
Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts (ATCA)