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Tamarind Institute Records

Identifier: MSS-574-BC

Scope and Content

The Tamarind collection is divided into two series: Administrative Files, and Research and Publications. These series are further divided into subseries. For the most part, the collection retains the basic organization created and used by Tamarind. We have done little re-filing, thus materials that were not filed correctly when the collection was given to us largely remain "mis-filed" or in miscellaneous subseries. Original Tamarind file numbers appear in parentheses, following folder descriptions. There is some overlap between the two series.

Series I, Administrative Files, includes papers and correspondence relative to the establishment of the TLW in Los Angeles, continuing throughout the decade that the Workshop was located in Los Angeles (1960-70). It includes correspondence with members of its Board of Directors and its Panel of Selection; correspondence with artists who were nominated for fellowships, applications from and correspondence with prospective printer- and curator-fellows; tape recordings (5," 7" 9" reels and cds) of interviews and lectures; and other materials relative to the operation of the Workshop in L.A. The series also contains correspondence and files pertinent to the subsequent establishment of the Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico in 1970, and the business of the Institute into the 1980's. This includes correspondence with artists, printers, and curators who worked at TI.

Series II, Research and Publications, contains research and publications generated both at the TLW and TI, including research notes, manuscript material, publications, and correspondence related to projects undertaken at Tamarind. Notably, this series includes the Tamarind Book of Lithography and two films produced at Tamarind, The Look of a Lithographer and Four Stones for Kanemitsu, although some administrative materials related to these projects will also be found in Series I.

The researcher should be aware that in certain subseries, such as General Files, Artists Biographies, Artists Editions, and Documentation Worksheets, individuals may be grouped together in an alphabetical range, and therefore their individual names will not appear. Files specific to individuals use a last name, first name format; other appearances of names often use a first name or first initial, last name format. In some instances, only last names appear in the inventory.

Photographs, including photographs of lithographs, artists, printers, and visitors to the Workshop and the Institute have been transferred to the CSWR photoarchives.

Duplicate, preservation copies of most audio tapes will be found in boxes labelled A, B, C, shelved with the rest of the collection.

An addition to this collection was processed in March 2003. The additional materials consist primarily of administrative correspondence and files, a scrapbook from Tamarind's 40th anniversary, artists files, and audio taped interviews conducted by Elizabeth Jones-Popescu. These additional materials overlap with the original accession.

A second addition was processed in June 2005. This consists largely of artist and other administrative files. A small quantity of research/publications is also included.


  • 1959-[ongoing]


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. .

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Institutional History

In 1959, artist June Wayne submitted a proposal to W. McNeil Lowry of the Ford Foundation for the establishment of a workshop devoted to the revival and preservation of the art of lithography. Wayne's initial proposal to the Ford Foundation (FF) formulated six goals for Tamarind, which were to:
  1. 1- create a pool of master artisan-printers in the United States by training apprentices under one or more European master-printers imported for this purpose;
  2. 2- develop a group of American artists of diverse styles into masters of lithography;
  3. 3- habituate each artist and artisan to intimate collaboration so that each becomes responsive and stimulating to the other in the work situation, encouraging both to experiment widely and extend the expressive potential of the medium;
  4. 4- stimulate new markets for the lithograph;
  5. 5 - plan a format to guide the artisan in earning his/her living outside of subsidy or total dependence on the artist's pocket;
  6. 6- restore the prestige of lithography by actually creating a collection of extraordinary prints.
Wayne's proposal was accepted and Tamarind Lithography Workshop (TLW) was established as a nonprofit corporation. A board of directors was created and June Wayne served as Tamarind's firts director. Clinton Adams took a year's leave of absence from his position as head of the Department of Art at the University of Florida, Gainesville, to become the first associate director (1960-61). Garo Antreasian, from the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, was appointed Tamarind's first master printer (1960-61). A workshop was equipped at 1112 N. Tamarind Avenue in Los Angeles and Tamarind opened on July 1, 1960, with Joe Funk as the first printer-fellow and Roma Viesulas as the first artist-fellow.

Under Wayne's direction, programs were developed to achieve the goals set out in the FF grant proposal. Tamarind provided fellowships to printer-trainees and artists to collaborate at Tamarind in order to "experiment widely and extend the expressive potential of the medium." A guest artist program was created to enable selected artists to create one or two lithographs. Adams developed a pioneering system of print documentation and quality control. A curatorial training program was initiated. During this period, Tamarind undertook a number of pioneering research projects to develop papers, inks, and equipment not heretofore available in America; and to explore innovative lithographic techniques so as to make them available to artists and printer-trainees.

In 1963, a preliminary printer-training program was instituted under Antreasian's direction at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. This program identified candidates suited to becoming professional printers and thus served as a printer-referral source for TLW. When Antreasian left Herron to become professor of art at UNM (where Adams was now dean of the College of Fine Arts), the basic training was transferred to Albuquerque. The printer-training program underwent continual revisions, while the artist fellowship program remained fairly constant (1960-69).

TLW's supplemental programs including classes in print connoisseurship, invitations to print experts to visit Tamarind for observation and instruction in lithographic printing and documentation, marketing studies, exhibitions, slide programs, films, and a series of publications about various aspects of lithography. The goal of these programs was to stimulate, preserve, and disseminate the art of lithography. In 1966, a project was developed to subsidize writers under a new writer- grantee program. Established authors from national publications were invited for in-depth visits to Tamarind in order to publicize the progress being made. Tamarind also published a series of brochures (Tamarind Fact Sheets) on the technical and aesthetic aspects of lithography. Work began in the early 1960s to gather information for incorporation in a definitive manual on artist's lithography: a book which would become one of TLW's most important accomplishments. (Garo Antreasian and Clinton Adams, The Tamarind Book of Lithography: Art and Techniques. New York: Abrams, 1971.)

The Museum of Modern Art launched a major exhibition in 1969 to mark the end of Tamarind's first decade, Tamarind: Homage to Lithography. Tamarind produced slide sets and made them available to educational institutions, groups, and individuals in order to increase the understanding and appreciation of fine lithographs. Tamarind also produced two films: The Look of a Lithographer (1967), which documents sculptor Louise Nevelson's collaborative work with printers while an artist-fellow at TLW; and Four Stones for Kanemitsu (1969), which records the making of a color lithograph by painter-printmaker, Matsumi Kanemitsu.

By 1969, Wayne believed Tamarind had substantially achieved its initial goals, and that it was time for institutional consolidation. Changes in tax laws adversely affected TLW under its structure as an independent organization, and it was evident that Ford Foundation support could not continue indefinitely. After consultation with Adams and other administrators at UNM, Wayne and Adams prepared a proposal to establish Tamarind Institute (TI) as a division of the UNM College of Fine Arts; and then requested and received a final grant from Ford for $705,000. With Tamarind's move to UNM, Wayne returned full-time to her art career and Adams became director of TI (1970-85); Antreasian served as co-director (1970-72).

UNM provided a building adjacent to the campus, funds for overhead expenses, and release time for Adams and Antreasian. Antreasian designed the workshop spaces, and Adams designed a modified program that included artist-residencies (in lieu of the artist-fellowships given at TLW), contract printing and publishing, and printer- and curatorial-training programs substantially parallel to those offered at TLW. Requirements of the revised program soon led to physical separation of the printer-training program and the professional shop. Although contract work helped to establish a sound economic base for TI, it did not provide the stylistic diversity essential to the printer-training program; thus, in 1974, TI began to commission artists to create lithographs that TI would publish and distribute. Although TI still does some contract printing, the professional workshop is now devoted primarily to publishing projects. The artist-in-residence and curatorial traning programs have been discontinued. A number of international programs have been conducted, beginning in 1984, in cooperation with the UNM Latin American Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United States Information Agency, and other sources of support.

Tamarind continues its commitment to technical research. Technical studies as well as issues related to the historical aspects of lithography have been published in The Tamarind Papers since 1974. The Tamarind Papers was later retitled The Tamarind Papers: Critical and Historical Studies on the Art of the Lithograph, and when articles on the history both of lithography and other print media were included, the publication was titled, The Tamarind Papers: A Journal of the Fine Print. These papers will cease to be a hard-copy publication after Volume 17 (1998); at that time, TI intends to make the information available via the internet.

Sources: Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Tamarind, from Los Angeles to Albuquerque. Los Angeles: University of California, 1984; Jones-Popescu, Elizabeth. "American Lithography and Tamarind Lithography Workshop/Tamarind Institute (1900-1980)." Ph. D. Diss., University of New Mexico, 1980.


67 boxes (60.5 cu. ft.) + 1 oversize folder

Microfilm Edition

Tamarind Lithography Workshop. "Tamarind Lithography Workshop/Tamarind Institute collection." Houston, Texas: Archives of American Art, 1983. Located at the University of New Mexico Fine Arts Library under call no. NE 2304 T32 1983.

Related Archival Material

Antreasian, Garo Z. Papers. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. Nadler, Harry Papers. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. Tamarind's Catalogue Raisonne.

Separated Material

Photographs are housed in Tamarind Institute Pictorial Collection.

KNME video - UNM Connections: Tamarind Institute has been catalogued for the CSWR general collection.

The "Look of a Lithographer" 16mm film and DVD master copy are stored in B3. Originally labelled box 51.

Original reel to reel tapes are stored on B3.

Master digital audio files are stored on library file server.

Processing Information

Additions to the collection were processed in March 2003 and June 2005.

Audio recordings have been reformatted to CD (December 2012). CDs 1-128 are in box 31; CDs 129-187 are in box 32. Reel to reel recordings were formerly in boxes 31-33; cassette tapes were formerly in boxes 57-59 and 68. Consequently, there are no longer boxes numbered 33, 57, 58, 59, or 68.

Inquire with reference staff for access to unprocessed addition (May 2017) - 37 boxes, B3-6B.


Finding Aid of the Tamarind Institute Records, 1959-[ongoing]
Processed by Staff
©2000, 2003, 2005, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 574 BC::Tamarind Institute Records)//EN" "nmu1mss574bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131